Wednesday Wisdom: Learning to Say No | Seersucker Sass

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Learning to Say No

“A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.” 
– The Best Yes, Lysa Terkeurst

Life is stressful enough as it is, but I feel like the holidays make it so so much worse.  When I read the above quote from The Best Yes, I immediately ordered the book & workbook.  Do you ever feel like you have an overwhelmed schedule and an underwhelmed soul?  Those words really hit home for me, because I feel like I give and I give, but there's not a lot of reward.  I'm not saying that you should give with the expectation of giving in return, but I'm also not saying that... Hear me out.

I helped plan a mud run for my local young professionals group; we were going to be assisting a professional with the planning, and in turn, our organization would be reimbursed.  I love events, and I was excited to get involved.  However, as we got involved in the process, we realized that the support we were supposed to be receiving was just a facade - the race organizer pushed everything off on us, the organization wasn't very supportive, and we still aren't sure what kind of contribution will be coming in for our organization.  Long story short - there was no reward for anyone on the committee, and very little (if any) reward for the organization.

I told myself that I wouldn't sign up for anything else, and that I would "prioritize my passions."  Except I didn't, and when our CEO asked me to sign up with a mentoring organization that I had previously been involved with (and all of the students I was mentoring dropped out...), I did so.  And instead of signing up for the minimum number of students - don't worry - I signed up for the maximum!

And then I get the email, asking me to switch to another school.  I was currently mentoring a school less than 5 minutes from my house; the other school was 45 minutes away.  Finally, I put my people pleasing instincts aside, and I said no.  And do you know what?  No one died.  No one sent me a nasty gram in return.  In fact, I even received a nice email in return!  That single experience helped me to feel much more confident in my ability to say no.

One of my biggest goals for the new year is to "Prioritize my Passions."  There are things I'm passionate about, and then there are organizations that I volunteer with.  And sometimes, those don't match up.  As much as I want to have my hand in every pot and save the world, I'm starting to realize that concentrating my efforts on my passions is more beneficial for everyone involved.  I've also decided to adopt the term "politely decline" instead of "say no." ;)

Do you have trouble politely declining?  What passions do you plan to prioritize?




  1. I've gotten a lot better about learning to say no. I think as I've gotten older I realize that time is short and there is no use trying to please everyone, instead you have to make yourself happy. Great post.

  2. I have the hardest time "politely declining" and tend to over stretch and drive myself crazy. Someone told me once that "you can't please everyone" and that has really stuck with me. You have to make yourself happy and prioritize what is most important to you.

    Pick Your Beau

  3. Saying No was a very hard lesson to learn. But once you get the hang of it, you realize that you are doing everyone a favor by not over committing yourself. xoxo

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