The word only has two letters but sometimes they can seem hard to utter.
That’s due largely in part because we care what others will think of us if we say the word no.
Then there’s the martyr/savior who wants to save the world and over commits because they want to be the hero or they fear things won’t get done without them.
All this saying yes leads to craziness and burn out.
I love my husband for his ability to say no and I often wonder if this just comes easier for men.
I’ve seen many women, especially in church settings who are intimidated by people in power i.e. the pastor, bishop, apostle, choir director…the list goes on. [Sidenote: not every spiritual leader is a manipulator…but there are enough out there who do a lot of damage.]
And when they’re approached and asked to do something, regardless of what’s going on in their world…they’ll drop it in order to make the request happen regardless of the impact on their schedule or family life. They then live for the praise from across the pulpit and if they don’t get it, then they’re hotter than fish grease or feel neglected or unappreciated.
People know who the yes people are. They know how to manipulate and get the yes out of you if you don’t love yourself enough to say no.
Somehow your saying no means you don’t love or respect the pastor or the church or even God and that you’re not “down for the cause.”
The beautiful thing about this life is that we get to make choices.
We get to choose the times we want to give of ourselves and resources sacrificially. That shouldn’t be a scary thing since we’re Spirit-led right?
So no, I can’t babysit for a family member this weekend because I’ve worked 60-hour weeks for the past three weeks.
No I can’t make my famous red velvet cake on such short notice. I have previous plans. And so what if those plans mean I walk around the house with a mud pack on my face and toilet paper between my toes for a home pedicure?
Loving me means sometimes I say no to others so I can say yes to me.
Loving me means I take care of my mental, spiritual and physical well-being.
Loving me means I take time to exhale.
Loving me means I don’t always run myself ragged.
That doesn’t make one selfish, self-serving, egotistical, or even less of a Christian.
Jesus even took a break to recharge!
If you’ve ever ridden a plane before, you know the speech flight attendants give. If there’s a drop in cabin pressure, oxygen masks will fall. Put your mask on first before helping those around you. You will pass out from lack of oxygen helping others if you don’t first help yourself. Then who will help you…someone who bothered to put their mask on first.
Saying no is one way of putting your mask on first.
I can’t help you if I can’t breath.
Lisa N. Alexander is the author and founder of This Woman Knows and What Million-Dollar Brands Know. She is a women’s leadership speaker and marketing consultant known as The Marketing Stylist™. She speaks on topics ranging from women’s empowerment to successfully marketing your business and uses her wit and humor to inform and entertain audiences. For booking information please visit www.LisaNAlexander.com.