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Jim Mitchell

Saying No

Saying no can be one of the hardest things to do. No to an exciting new project. No to a volunteer opportunity in the community or at church; no to the extra helping of food at a meal; no to bad habits we’ve carried around with us all our lives.

There’s tremendous power in saying no. When we have the courage to do it, we stop stretching ourselves too thin. We make more time for our families. We become healthier by defeating the temptation to eat the extra cookie. We break bad habits that have held us captive all our lives.

These small wins add up over time and give us the courage to say no when we should more often.

It’s okay to say no. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. It says you’re strong and willing to sacrifice for the important stuff.

It takes guts to say no.

I’m working hard at learning this habit. No extra projects; no outside distractions and commitments that burn me out and take me away from the family; no to using food to deal with stress; no to procrastination; no wasting time on things that don’t matter.

I’ve discovered it’s not easy. The temptation to give in is always there. I find I have to remind myself nearly every day: “Is this thing worth what it’s going to take away from something else?

But when I’m able to stay the course, I make room for plenty of yes in my life. Yes to spending time with family and friends. Yes to being more focused and in the moment. Yes to being mindful of those around me; yes to being tolerant of others; yes to making my health a priority.

It takes a lot of effort to say no. But in the end the good that comes from it far outweighs the bad we’re able to leave behind.

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