The power of saying NO. A people pleasers guide

Last year I got in way over my head overcommitted in pretty much every area of life.  My philosophy was if it is something I want to do then do it! I truly enjoyed everything I was committed to, volunteering for great organizations, church ministry leadership, working from home, volunteering at the girls school, and just the regular trying to have a life in there too.  But I left myself no margins.

If my life was a piece of paper there was writting in every corner  even circling around the holes to the left hand side.  My former self would say there was nothing wrong with this.  You can sleep when your dead I would say.  But the reality is when you leave no extra room you are a time bomb waiting to explode.  You get cranky and leave no time to enjoy anything.

I was faced with a overwhelmed schedule and an overwhelmed soul -Lysa Terkheurst 


Fast forward to this summer.  I had a meltdown, quit pretty much everything and I found this life changing little book, “The best yes”

This book has taught me so much!  I am still in “people pleasures recovery” But I am learning a lot along this journey of discovering my best yes.
We all have different skills, connections and talents but we all have only 24 hours in a day.  There are a host of things competing for our time and we are the ones in control of those precious minutes that equal our life.

Saying-NoSaying NO to something, even a good thing, gives room, gives MARGIN for us to say yes to something GREAT.

This is not to be a pass to say no to everything that just inconveniences us.  I am a strong believer in pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones but there is a difference in the command to love verses overtaxing yourself with the disease to please.

The struggle is real.  Us people pleaser folks really DO want to hang out with you, we really DO want to be part of that committee, volunteer for this ministry AND have a clean home complete with a homemade healthy dinner.  But we simply can’t do all of those things.

Take the parable of the two sons found in Matthew 21:28

There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered.


But I love the powerful message it also gives about saying no.  The son who said no, but later realized he had time and was able to fulfill his fathers request was so much wiser.  The second son said yes and then didn’t show up!  How often am i that second son?  I am asked to fill a commitment, faced with the pressure to please I say yes, then i find myself too busy, grumpy about it trying to fill my commitment or worse having to cancel!

It’s not always wise to say no right away, but can you see the wisdom the second son had over the first?  Are you picking up what I’m throwing down here?

So how is a people pleaser to say no with grace? Lysa Terkeurest suggest
10 ways to graciously say no when you feel pressured to say yes.  My favorite are:

1. While my heart wants to say yes, yes, yes, the reality of my time makes this a no.

2. I so appreciate you asking me, but I must be brave and decline this opportunity. Saying no is hard for me but necessary in this season. Thank you for understanding.

3. I’ve promised my family not to add any new commitments to my schedule right now. Thank you for our friendship that allows me to be honest with my realities.

The bottom line is this: Speaking no with grace to protect you and your family gives you room for your BEST YES.  Giving you margin to be your BEST YOU.  And the world would be at a loss if you were too taxed to be your best.

Go forth and be awesome.


Love it! I’m currently reading “The Best Yes”. In fact, this morning I kept rehearsing “We must not confuse the command to love with the disease to please” in my mind. I’m even scheduling that quote to post on my Facebook timeline later today. Thanks for posting such a timely message.

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