How is that little conundrum for you? Honestly, I am writing this post for myself, so if you see me not doing what I preach, call me out. Nicely, of course. 😉
But honestly, when did it become a bad thing to say no? Where did we fall off the tracks of setting boundaries and let our fences be blown over without a fight? Since medieval times, territories and boundaries were fiercely fought for. Someone steps a toe on your property? Hit them over the head! Well, those were called the dark ages for a reason, but where did it become a wrong move to stand up for your own boundaries? No murdering or hitting over the head necessary.
In a world of entitlement, our generations have deteriorated before our eyes and it seems as though it is acceptable to ask for anything, and pitch a fit if it’s not given to you. On the flip side of the issue, we’ve also become so consumed with what people think of us that it has taken over our lives and silenced our ability to say no.
I fall more into the latter than the former. I’m afraid. I’ll straight up say it. I’m afraid of what people will think, afraid of how they will react. Afraid of saying no to an amazing opportunity. Afraid of feeling bad and of leaving them out in the cold. All of these fears swirling in my mind muzzle that “no” that is on the tip of my tongue.
I know I have an issue with this. Honestly, I’ve struggled with it for years and it is something that I am still learning to walk in confidence about. Without further ado, I’ll just say it.
Saying no is not bad.
Setting healthy boundaries are not bad.
Stewarding your time well is not bad.
Wait. . . did I just say that out loud? Honestly, stewardship is so important. God has given us resources, gifts, abilities, and the most important and annoying part of the equation, a certain amount of time and energy. We can’t do everything. We only have so many hours in our day and so much energy to accomplish it. Chugging coffee or (God forbid) Mountain Dew is decidedly not healthy and while it might work for a while now, will leave you in a world of hurt in the future. I’m sorry, but even the excuse that I get given of “I’m young now, I’ll take advantage of it and I’ll recover” is not good enough. I’ve seen it in people I know. What you do now sets the trend for your later life when it comes to your health AND your spiritual life.
How do I set boundaries?
That’s a great question, and one I am currently working through. It’s even harder to set those boundaries when you work from home because your entire home life is just an open ended invitation. But we need to set boundaries there too. (I mean me). But when setting your boundaries, take some time to sit down and just think and pray. Start off with what the core values are. Family is a core value for me. Blogging is of core importance to me. Writing is of core importance to me. By saying yes to so many other things, how are these core values suffering?
After you have figured those out, think about how much of the other things you can add in. Should I only be taking one design job at a time instead of three? Should I only blog twice a week instead of three? Should I not mindlessly surf Youtube instead of spending time with the Lord? Should I not volunteer for every blog tour because I want to support my author friends? Again, pulls the dagger out of my own heart because these are very real scenarios that I struggle with. Some of these are good things, side jobs, and blog tours but if they are stealing my energy, taking away time from family and giving me absolutely NO time to just sit and rest, should I really be saying yes to all of them?
Setting a schedule is not evil. Having a list of how many things you will and will not do per week is not evil. It might stink at first as you get used to saying no or pushing things out instead of doing them right away, but it is worth it. Isn’t your sanity worth it? Isn’t a life well stewarded and spent worth it?
So, let’s break that lie that tells us saying no is wrong. Cause it’s not. It might just be the rightest thing you do.
Interested in hearing more about boundaries from someone far more qualified than I? Check out Havilah Cunnington’s podcast on boundaries. This woman is a gift from God in my life and her clear, succinct, no nonsense approach has really helped me see areas where I need to change.
What do you think? Do you have a hard time saying no?
By God’s Grace,