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I’m a people pleaser, an over-achiever, a checklist making, color-coded spreadsheet keeping, fear of failing woman. Saying no isn’t natural for me. Saying no feels like missing out, disappointing, saying “no thanks” to be included.
And all I want is to be included.
My flesh craves recognition and praise from others and it’s a battle I fight constantly to seek God before making decisions. If someone asks me to help with something my first instinct is to say “yes” because they NEED me.
But what if my best yes is to say no?
Saying “yes” to everything that comes my way feels exciting in the moment, especially when it’s an opportunity I’ve sought for so long. Maybe it’s speaking, or writing a book, or promoting a project, or helping with an event. And I say “yes” without counting the cost. Because when we say yes? There is always a cost.
Every “yes” means a “no” to something else. To time with my family. Peace of mind. Margin. And it means a “no” for someone else. I’ve struggled so much with this lately because there are so many dreams I’d love to chase but I’m realizing that every time I’m asked to do something and I take that spot, it takes it away from someone else.
My flesh is selfish. I don’t like to admit it, but it’s true. The thought of saying “no” to something I’ve worked hard toward is so foreign to me. But God keeps bringing Philippians 2 to mind:
Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
What if my best yes is to say no and help someone else say yes? What if my no means I can recommend a friend who can serve in her strengths? What if my no means I can promote diversity and change and something new? What if my best yes is to say “I’ll stop making it all about me, God.”
I’ve said no this year. I’ve stop chasing a dream that wasn’t intended for me. And you know what I felt?
Peace unlike anything I felt when I first said yes. That yes was full of anxiety and stress, worry and comparison. My “no?” It was like taking a deep breath and settling a little deeper into the plan God has for ME. I want my yes and my no to mean something. To be intentional and make a difference because if I’m honest? I’m more worn out than wonder woman.
Let’s stop being “yes” women and start being “Best Yes” women.
New York Times Bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst has written a new book about finding your Best Yes. Many call this book “inspiring” and “fabulous.” I call it a game-changer. You can grab a copy here.