How to Say “No” Without Feeling Guilty

How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Raise your hand if you have ever said yes to doing something just because you knew you would feel guilty for saying no. I know I have done it more times than I’d care to count!

And you know what? I usually regret saying yes far more than I would feel guilty for saying no.

You see, when we say yes to the things that are outside of our passions or skill sets, we become burdened and dread working on those tasks.

Even if we are skilled at something we are asked to do does not necessarily mean we are the one to do it.

For example, this past weekend I went away on a personal writing/planning retreat. I spent a lot of time in prayer asking God to show me what He wanted me to pursue in 2016 personally, spiritually, and vocationally (my blog). I have been going through the certification process to become a Life Purpose Coach, so I know what my gifts, passions, values, and strengths are.

Because I know these things, planning was made much simpler for me. There are specific tasks and projects I want to take on and there are specific ways I need to go about them because of my strengths.

While I was on this writing/planning retreat, I got a call from someone on the nominating committee for a non-profit board on which I serve. She asked me to be treasure-elect for the coming year. This is a position that would automatically step up as treasurer in 2017.

I knew this position was open and really had already begun considering it. With my background in accounting, in addition to my experience with this board, I thought I would be a good fit for this position.

However, even though I’m skilled at accounting and do accounting work part-time for my church, it is not a passion of mine to do all the time. This position would require monthly work to stay on top of things. And after creating a schedule that took into account all the things I need to do in a given week, I realized that there was not enough time to do something I was not passionate about.

So, I decided a couple of weeks ago that this was not a position I could take on. When I received the call asking me if I would consider it, I had my answer ready and was able to say no.

Even though I had made up my mind, it was not that easy to say no. I knew two other people had turned down the job and I was the last one on their short list.

Now, let me make it clear that the dear lady asking me to do this job did not try to make me feel guilty for saying no. She was very gracious about it all.

But, we don’t always have to have someone make us feel guilty. We can bring the guilt upon ourselves.

So how can we say no without feeling guilty? Here are a few things to remember:

  • Decide if what you are asked to do fits within your passions, gifts, and strengths.
  • Determine if your schedule will allow you to do the task.
  • Think about things you may have to sacrifice to do the task.
  • Most importantly, ask God if the task is something He would have you do.

Taking into account all of your answers to these things will help you discern if what you are being asked to do is something you should do. If you decide that the task is not for you, then don’t hesitate. Say no immediately so someone else can be asked.

I know there are situations where we may be obligated to take on the task. But more often then not, we have more control over what we say yes to.

How do you say no without feeling guilty? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

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