It's Ok To Say No
Everyone has something; people, situations, the flesh and the ever-popular temptation that needs a response from us. I mean we have to answer one way or the other…eventually. Do you seem to have the nagging problem of not being able to say “no”?
It seems everywhere we go someone wants something from us. Our spouses need our time, and attention, our kids need us all.the.time.for.everything, our parents need us as they age, our employers need us to do our jobs, imagine that. This list could go on forever.
Therein lies the problem, how can we say yes to all of the demands and the asks for our time and attention? Well…get ready…we can’t. Why is it that we feel we can’t say no? What compels us to spend our time and energy giving a people pleasing yes all the while slowly dying from saying no to ourselves.
The things people need us to say yes to are often good things. They are often something we may even want to do. That is not the problem. The real question isn’t can we do it but “should’ we do it. Will it overload my already heavy schedule or disrupt my current commitments and the biggest reason “why do I feel I need to say yes…”?
Why do we do the things that we do? We don’t often take the time to ever think about that. But we should. Here are some reasons we can’t say no when we should:
1. We are insecure. Our feelings of security stem from our performance. If we perform correctly we feel good, if not we feel insecure. These tendencies can come from our childhood where poor performance was criticized, and good performance was praised. But our “who” should never come from our “do”. What we do is not who we are. We have inherent value completely apart from what we do and until we understand that we will never be whole.
2. We get our self-worth out of what we do. Similar to being insecure we have a need to feel valuable by what we do. Doing what we do well for someone who needs it gives us the feelings we need. Every time we say yes when we should say no we chip away at ourselves.
3. We don’t know who we are. We’ve never taken the time to know ourselves, to understand what we want or are called to be. We can’t fulfill a calling we don’t know that we have. We can’t fully be anything for anyone else until we are who we were meant to be, and that takes some work on our part.
Believe me when I say I spent way too much of my life saying yes to everyone and everything but myself. I had no idea who I was or why I was on this spinning ball of gas. Our fathers are supposed to give us our identifies and when they fail to do that we can search our whole lives to find it in places we shouldn’t.
I’m good at a few things, cleaning is defiantly one of them. So when my kids were little I started a cleaning business so I could actually raise them. I could make my own hours, be there when they got up and when they got home from school, and because I was good at it people paid me good money to do it…win win!
Problem was, I just kept saying yes when more and more people called, when they needed me to work Christmas Eve, and Saturdays and hang wallpaper and paint and the list goes on. I said yes until I broke myself. Since retiring from that business I’ve had foot, shoulder and elbow surgeries to fix all of the yeses that should have been nos.
I realized I said yes too much because it made me feel needed and appreciated and valuable. All the things I already was but didn’t realize. I was getting my “who” from my “do”. Thank goodness for lessons learned and inner healing. Thank you lawd.
If you can’t say no, ask yourself why. It’s important to understand yourself. It’s important to understand why you do what you do and even more important to admit you do it for the wrong reasons. You aren’t called to be fulfilled by the praises of people or to have fans who give you applause. You are called to please your God and to perform before an audience of One.