• Erin Engelke

Saying Yes When You Just Wanna Say No

Updated: Dec 29, 2018

Are you a Yes Woman? You know, the type of woman who can’t say no?



The woman who says: Absolutely, yes, I will serve on that committee. Sure, I will stay up until midnight making your favorite rainbow cookies for your school party tomorrow. Oh and without question, I will coordinate your baby shower, host it in my home and make all the goodies from scratch.


I’m likely the guiltiest of us all. My inner Yes Woman comes out often. Sometimes it feels like the Yes response is hard wired into my brain.


Our lives have become increasingly busier, more demanding and filled with more opportunities to embrace than we could possibly commit to in a lifetime. Yet, for most, we struggle (or haven’t learned how) to say no. As a result, our schedules are hectic, stressed out and many times, littered with commitments we’d really rather not do anyway.

But who tells us we need to do all that?


More often than not, we’re the ones that place the expectation and pressure on ourselves.

There’s, quite simply, no one standing over you, forcing you to take on more than you can handle. It’s a feeling of obligation, fear of hurting someone’s feelings or the angst of thinking we’re missing out on a once of a lifetime opportunity that leads us to fill our schedules so full that life simply becomes a list of to-dos instead of a life of completeness.


Don’t misunderstand. There will be really great and meaningful activities and commitments that are likely important to our lives but when it’s when they begin distancing us from our priorities…our spouses, our children, our families and our own personal and spiritual health…that we must scream out “NO”.


As much as we’d like to believe we can indeed squeeze it all into our 24 hour day, the truth is we can’t.

During a recent trip to Los Angeles for work, I met a high-powered professional working mom in the entertainment industry. Naturally, we immediately jumped into conversation about the demands on our lives. She joked that if she only had more hours in the day, that she would be able to accomplish more. But that’s not true. More hours wouldn’t actually make her feel caught up and more balanced. She would simply fill it with more obligations, commitments and work.


And you would too.

Name your priorities…list them out and post them on your mirror to remind yourself daily of what exactly should hear a Yes before anything else. Set boundaries for yourself and your family and don’t apologize for them. You have control over the choices you make, and how you choose to use your time. Give those priorities all of you…instead of just pieces of you.

And before you know it, you’ll be saying No without hesitation.

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