Inspirational Writing

Finding Priorities: When To Say No To Yourself

Priorities. What are yours?

This is a question I asked to subscribers last week. Women are doers by nature. Our focus may be different but getting things done is always the mission. So, how do you prioritize your time, energy and efforts so that you are not doing too much?

You can find a few suggestions from last week here. Spoiler Alert: I cut to the chase right below.

Learning to say NO is the best thing you can do to clarify your priorities.

After writing this, the concept got me to thinking. My thoughts went all over the place from how people respond when you say no to them, to how I respond when people say no to me. Ouch. Yeah I don’t like being told no. Now that I think about it I don’t think anyone really likes being told no.

Then later in the week I saw a post on social media that illustrated that I might not be the only one who hates hearing no.

@James Dontreal Williams Jr.

Although I loathe the use of the word female, I think the sentiments are true. We look at NO as a bad word. We seek to go around it, change it, push past it. This is an amazing tool in some cases, but in others it is not.

How to get back to priorities…

What we need is to set our minds to focus on what’s most important to ensure that we are not stressed out, overwhelmed, and unable to do anything. This often means saying no to others in pursuit of efficiency. It also means saying no to yourself.

You have all the dreams, all the vision, all the ideas. That is AMAZING! Please hear me clearly. You need vision and dreams. They drive our society and God uses dreams to grow the kingdom. But vision without clarity and focus does not equal execution. That’s how we pile up broken dreams. You tell everyone your plans, get discouraged, which leads to you focusing on nothing. That isn’t what you want.

There is a better way.

Saying no to yourself about something on your list doesn’t mean it will never get done. Saying no doesn’t mean its not a good idea, or that you can’t do it. Saying no to yourself is how you honor your time and the grace that God has given you TODAY. It says I love myself enough to not put too many things on my plate. It says I love my family enough to not stretch myself so thin that I don’t have time for them.

Saying no to yourself to focus on your priorities is a hard but necessary step. But I’m not going to let you do it all alone without any support. So, I want to give you a few tips. Do these things as you strive to walk out your purpose and I promise you’ll see the rewards of the bigger picture. You’ll begin to see exactly why saying no to yourself and setting priorities is a crucial part of accomplishing a plan.

  • Practice saying no to yourself.

It’s a muscle that gets easier and easier once you start using it. The word No has to stop being a bad word for you no matter who says it. It’s a word that should either propel you to push or redirect your efforts. No doesn’t mean you’re not worthy, the idea isn’t meaningful, or you should quit. No, can redirect you from a fruitless path onto one that is ordained by God.

  • As you plan & prioritize your dreams use your failures as milestones for course correction.

Correcting yourself as you go is key to prioritizing. Stop looking at your failures as defeat. Everyone fails. We all started at the beginning. Failure is your opportunity to learn. Use it. Knowing the difference between what works and what doesn’t work can help you focus on what you actually need to be doing. Let these course corrections guide you and help clarify your vision.

  • Don’t get stuck on your barriers. Focus on what you CAN do.

Again failures, No’s, and barriers are your friend when seeing a vision through. Don’t worry about what holds you back, focus on what you can do. Focus on what you have. This is not toxic positivity that says you can’t feel or act in any other way than positive. This step says I see my barriers but I understand they don’t hold me back (Philippians 4:13).

  • Most importantly: Focus on ONE thing.

Yes, sis. I know you want to do all the things right now. The Bible teaches us there is a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Why? Because there’s something powerful about a person who knows their lane and becomes an expert because of it. I heard a quote before that I can’t remember where it came from but it went something like this:

“We don’t need a bunch of jack of all trades, we need experts”

This is so true. Setting your priorities takes you from being 1 among millions to being One in a million. See the difference? You my friend are definitely one in a million, but the world will never know if you keep hiding behind that to do list of 1000 things. Pick one thing friend. Do it and do it well.

What other ways do you set priorities in your life? Let me know in the comments.