If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.

This has been my mantra in 2019. I’m a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a writer, a business owner, a mental health advocate, an artist, and so much more. I have 57 irons in the fire on any given day. I’m also a people-pleaser, which, in the past has caused me to throw 57 more irons in the fire, simply because I couldn’t muster up the balls to say no. 

Saying no can be so hard for us people-pleasing types (especially us women), because we’ve been raised in a culture where we are to be demure, selfless, and accommodating. We must be small, quiet, and unassuming, because God forbid we set boundaries and respect our own needs. That would make us a bitch. We don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable or put-out, so we say yes to one more task or one more event or one more hour, and we lose a little bit of ourselves every single time we give that half-hearted yes.

Friends, you don’t owe anyone anything. Not your time, not your energy, not your knowledge, not your platform, not your money… not any part of you.

 Should you be kind? Yes. Should you care about others besides yourself? Absolutely.

But not at the expense of yourself. 

If it’s a cause you’re passionate about or someone you love to whom you’re giving your time and energy, go all in. If your response to someone’s request is a hell yes, then by all means, go crazy with generosity!

We are only given a short time in this crazy and beautiful world, so how silly is it to give even 1 hour of your time for a vacuum demonstration when you don’t really want to? Or to feel guilty about saying no to a Facebook friend who wants to give you a free makeover when that’s not really your thing?

You’re not a bad person for turning down someone who wants something of you, and you can say no and be kind at the same time. A simple “no thank you” or “I appreciate the offer, but I’m not interested at this time” can spare you from giving more of your precious life to a cause that doesn’t set a fire in your soul. And if they don’t honor your no, they never deserved a yes in the first place.

Look at it this way: for every minute you give to a cause that you don’t care about, you’re taking that minute away from something that truly matters to you – yourself, or your spouse, or your child, or your dreams, or your health. When all is said and done – when the lights are dimming on this one life you have – won’t you be happier and more satisfied if you knew you threw every fiber of your being into what you think matters?

In the end, it’s up to you to decide what is worth your yes, and it’s up to you to politely but firmly decline anything that doesn’t align with that. If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no. Anything less is a disservice to your life.

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