It's Okay to Say No

Do you find yourself stretched too thin? Are you at maximum capacity? Just trying to stay afloat? I am, and if I’m honest, I have been for far too long!

I have a problem. It’s taken a long time for me to admit it, even though I’ve known it all along. I struggle to tell people ‘No’ (despite what my children may tell you!).

Before I went back to working in an office again, I generally had the time to pick up the odd task or help with another project. But that odd task and next project turned into working part time from home, serving on the staff of a non-profit ministry, sitting on the Board of Directors for the school’s PTO, serving as the commissioner of two basketball leagues, and coaching a couple of teams to boot. However, since I wasn’t working full time, it didn’t feel like I was too overcommitted and most of it directly involved my children.

Fast forward a couple of months and now I’m in an office working 30 hours a week from 8:00-2:00 (you know, so I can be there for my kids in the afternoon). But what I’ve quickly discovered is that the time I was supposed to have for my children has turned into more hours of working for all the other things I’ve said yes to. I’ve come to realize that I can’t give any of it my best effort, and that really starts to hit home when one of those things that’s negatively impacted is your family.

So it’s time to make some changes, trim the fat, and cut back on what I’m willing to say yes to.

Do you struggle to say no? Have you seen it have a negative impact on your overall productivity and time with your family? If so, commit to changing! Commit to saying yes to only those things that excite you or impact your family in a positive way.

Below are five quotes to jumpstart your journey to saying ‘No’ more often.

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage - pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically - to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside.”
~Steven Covey~

“Whenever you say yes to something, there is less of you for something else. Make sure your yes is worth the less.”
~Lysa TerKeurst, The Best Yes~

“But you can’t have yes without no. Another way to say it: if you’re not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things without even realizing it. In my rampant yes-yes-yes-ing, I said no, without intending to, to rest, to peace, to groundedness, to listening, to deep and slow connection, built over years instead of moments.”
~Shauna Niequist, Present Over Perfect~

"...that medium yes, that I-feel-like-I-should yes, that guilty yes, that coerced yes, that I-actually-hate-this-thing yes, that I-guess-so yes, that who-else-will-do-it yes, that careless yes, that default yes, that resentful yes, that I-probably-shouldn’t-but-struggle-with boundaries yes? No. Nope...Now, the things that make your heart race, your blood pump, the fire in your belly burn, your gifts to leap to life, and keep your family and home healthy and strong...ALL IN, BABY.”
~Jen Hatmaker~

If I don’t say no:
Other people’s priorities will take precedence over ours.
Mere acquaintances - people we barely know! - will crowd out time with family and close friends.
We will not have the time we need for rest and recovery.
We will end up frustrated and stressed.
We won’t be able to say yes to the really important things.
~Michael Hyatt~

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Sara Wilson is the Communications Coordinator for FireSeeds and Wildsparq, located in Birmingham, AL. You can contact her directly at