If you’re a leader in any capacity, I’m sure there are moments you take on more than you can handle. It’s part of the weight of being in leadership. But sometimes, we can avoid getting in over our heads simply by learning the art of saying “no.” – This phrase is one you’ve probably heard a thousand times “sometimes you have to say no to a good thing before you say yes to the best thing.” Saying no clarifies your focus and vision and helps you stay in your lane, focused on the ultimate goal. Regardless of whether we want to believe it or not, we all have limitations. We’re not superman (or superwoman) and we simply cannot do everything, or be everything for everyone. At least not all at once. So in today’s article, I want to equip you with tools that will help you before you give your yes to something. We often don’t think of what it will cost us if we say yes. It may seem like a small task we can take on, a small favor, but they add up and can end up creating mountains of distractions from our main purpose.
Before saying yes, ask yourself these questions.
What will this cost my time?
What will this cost me mentally?
Will this take me away from my main priorities?
Will my family suffer if I say yes to this?
And unless you feel God telling you to say yes, you have the permission to say “no.” And you don’t always have to explain yourself either. Often the biggest reason we don’t want to say no is because we don’t want to disappoint people. But remember, your job is not to please people. You can politely say no, and more times than not, people will understand and honor you for your boundaries.
In a Harvard business review article on saying no, it says ” A considered no protects you. The right yes allows you to serve others, make a difference, collaborate successfully, and increase your influence. You want to gain a reputation for saying no at the right times for the right reasons and make every single yes really count.”
Take an honest look at everything you are doing and ask yourself what things you may need to let go of to say yes to the best things. We cannot thrive relationally, spiritually, or creatively when our schedules are packed to the max. Give yourself permission to create margin, and focus on doing a few things well.