Why We Shouldn't Be Afraid to Say 'No' More Often

You’re probably thinking this is the opposite of what most people tell you. Saying yes to more things can be good, but so can saying no. I’ve had to learn both the hard way. When I was in high school, I said no to pretty much everything. I used the fact that it was a school night or I had too much homework to weasel my way out of social events that I wasn’t really interested in attending. I realized I was missing out on so many memories. When I began college I decided to go ahead and say yes more. It was great! I felt like a new person, going to events and outings with my friends. But just like anything, too much of it can backfire.

Recently, I’ve become so tired and stressed by trying to balance everything and making everyone happy by saying yes to everything. Here’s why I think we should say "no" more often — and how to get to the point of only choosing to say "yes" to what makes us happy.

Remember that time is precious

It seems every year, days and months just keep getting shorter. The truth is, the older you get, the more you have to do and the quicker the time goes by. In that case, pick and choose what is really important for you in a day and conquer it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t try to do everything you want all at once. Use your time wisely and don’t feel bad about saying no.

Holidays and birthdays come every year — don't freak out about the little plans

If you get invited to a big birthday bash, but would rather chill at home after a long, hard day, just say no. If this is someone you’re close to, then you do have an obligation. But you’re job on this Earth is not to make everyone happy. As adults, we shouldn’t cry and throw a fit because a birthday or holiday didn’t go as planned. Do the best you can, and plan for next year. If you said no to going to a celebration, there will probably be one the next year (under normal circumstances).

You can always do more — but only do what makes you truly happy

There are some people who seem to have a million things going on — they have a blog, a YouTube channel, a podcast, a company, etc. You can always think of the next company or project to start, but only do it if it will truly fulfill you. Don’t clutter your time. I read once that it’s better to give your best in a few things than your average in a lot of things. Keep that in mind when starting something new.

Make yourself a priority

Some may think this sounds selfish, but at the end of the day this is your life and you need to make yourself happy. I’m not saying to not help others and be more giving, but trying to please everyone and going to every event is going to burn you out. You need to work on yourself and value your time. If that doesn’t sit well with other people then that’s their problem. Becoming run down will show in your school work and performance in other commitments such as sports or your job. Bottom line is, put yourself first and do what you need to do.

Saying yes can open up so many opportunities, and so could saying no! Think of all the energy and time you might have if you say no to a few things, and give yourself more time.