This How to Say No post has been sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. #WellYes2018 #CollectiveBias
No doubt you’ve had to say no to someone before and stayed awake half of the night stewing about whether you really could have squeezed that into your schedule. You probably even start feeling guilty about not helping that person or cause. Well, I’m here to give you a few suggestions on How to Say No without feeling guilty about it!
We are constantly bombarded with “opportunities” to serve and be involved in our communities, churches, or families.
People approach me almost every single day asking me if I would be willing to help with an activity or project of one kind or another. The projects are most often worthwhile and meaningful which makes me feel guilty for saying no.
After all, I’ve been blessed in a million ways and it wouldn’t hurt me to give back. So how do I turn these opportunities to serve down without feeling like I’m not doing my part to help humanity?
Well, I’m learning that every time I say yes to an opportunity to serve, I’m also saying no to someone or something else. There are only so many hours in a day and I have to prioritize my time or someone else will prioritize it for me.
Why is it so easy to say yes to everyone else even when I know it means I’m saying no to myself, my family, and my other responsibilities?
When I say yes to chaperoning at a Junior High dance, I’m often times saying no to my exercise time which means I’m saying no to taking care of my body.
When I say yes to a friend who just can’t seem to squeeze her carpool turn in and wants me to take it for her, I’m actually saying no to being prepared for family dinner and spending quality time with my family. Those are precious times I can’t get back.
When I say yes to giving a speech to a group of girls, I’m actually saying no to get enough sleep at night.
When I say yes to taking a bunch of kids bowling, I’m also saying no to date night with my husband! Why is that date night is always the last item on the to do list? Why do I struggle with having a Well Yes! Moment of taking care of myself?
You might be wondering if I’m totally opposed to volunteering and being involved in my community. Of course not! I’m just suggesting that in order to be able to offer your best self to whatever cause you are supporting you have to take care of yourself first. Part of taking care of yourself is learning what opportunities to say yes to and what to say no to, and how to say it without feeling guilty!
So the question is “How to Say No” without losing sleep over it! Here are a few tips!
- Try and remember that when you say no you are actually saying Well Yes! to other good causes! And yes, taking care of yourself counts as a good cause! There are lots of demands on your time and energy. When you put yourself and your agenda first you will actually have a better version of yourself left to share with others! It’s really hard to serve others when you are running ragged yourself!
- At the beginning of the year think about and decide what you kinds of activities you want to support. It will help you stay true to your priorities when other options become available. My priorities usually include spending time helping in organizations my kids are involved in; volunteering in classrooms, going on field trips, helping with FFA and 4-H, and of course exercising for me! I also like to volunteer for Distinguished Young Women Program. It gives me some much needed girl time!
- Plan your weeks in advance and don’t feel pressure to alter your schedule when something unexpected comes up unless it’s something you really believe in. I’m a work at home mom which means my schedule is flexible, but I still have a valuable schedule. That’s right…you have a valuable schedule. What you have planned is important to you. Just because someone else has and idea of what you could spend your time on doesn’t mean you have to drop your schedule. You consciously choose how you want to spend your time even if that means you have to say no! Remember you are saying Well Yes! to your own agenda.
- It might help if you prepare and practice a few responses to those calls asking you to do something. You don’t have to apologize or give an excuse for not being able to change your plans for someone else. It’s okay to simply say something like, “I just can’t squeeze that into my schedule today” or “I’ve already committed to volunteer in a few other organizations this year. Thanks for thinking of me though.” You can even simply state, “I’d love to help but I don’t think I it’s going to work out this time. Let me know in advance next time and I’d love to be involved”.
- Sometimes it’s even harder to say no when it’s a close friend or family that asks a favor. Of course it’s okay to say yes if it fits in your schedule. It’s also okay to ask them to trade you for another day of babysitting, or carpooling instead of simply picking up their turn and yours too.
- Learn to think of saying no as actually a Moment of Yes! A moment of saying yes to something really important! Something important like you or your family!
You see how sometimes we let other people take control of our schedules, our priorities, our lives? Why do we feel like we need to do that to be a nice person?
Once again, I’m not suggesting you never bring dinner to your neighbor, or help with concession stands at your kids football games, or bring treats to the Valentine’s Day Party at school. I am suggesting you decide how much you think you can/want to take on. Do what you can for causes you are passionate about. Politely say no to the rest. And move on knowing that you said yes to so many other important activities, moments, and experiences that sometimes get overlooked.
Yes, you can sit and read a book to your children. You can take a bubble bath and enjoy a little relaxation just for you. You can spend a few minutes in the evening going for a walk with your husband. Afterall, aren’t these the moments that help us be strong. They help create a better you and in turn you will be able to help others far more than you ever thought you could!
Well Yes!® Soup is one more little trick for helping take care of what’s most important! Well Yes! Soup is a line of soups that are made from real nutritious ingredients. They have chicken, sweet potatoes, kale, and more ingredients that are free of artificial flavors and colors.
There are lots of yummy varieties of Well Yes! Soups to choose from; Chicken Noodle, Italian Vegetable with Farro Soup, Sweet Potato Corn Chowder Soup, Roasted Chicken Wild Rice Soup, Black Bean with Red Quinoa Soup, Butternut Squash Apple Bisque, Tomato Carrot Bisque, Minestrone with Kale Soup, Hearty Lentil Vegetable Soup, Mediterranean-Style Wedding Soup, Cajun Red Bean & Vegetable Soup, Chickpea & Roasted Red Pepper Soup, Braised Beef & Black Barley Soup, Hearty Tomato with Toasted Barley Soup! Hmmm, which one to try today?
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My challenge to you and me this year is to have more Well Yes! Moments for ourselves! We already know when we take care of ourselves somehow our capacity to help others magically swells. Remember YOU are important too! In fact you are every bit as important as anyone else, or anything else! Learn how to say no and feel no guilt for investing in your own Well Yes! Moments this year!