We say way too many Yes’ each day, way too many yes’ that are meant to be Nos. In today’s episode of Like Jesus podcast, Ade and I share different personal experiences and tips to help you learn to say No in order to say yes to God’s purpose for you.
If you are not careful, you will never be able to fully become the real person you were created to be. That’s why this episode today; on how to learn to say no; is extremely important and urgent.
Do you find it hard when you get requests like:
- Will you pls go with me to my cousin-in-law’s birthday party?
- Can you help me house sit my pets
- Are you the area, can you give me a ride to the doctor’s office?
- Will you sign up for Olu’s weekly purposeful living newsletter?
Of course, you should say YES to the last one there;-)
Really though, we need the help of the Holy Spirit to know when to say yes and when to say no.
How can you can you use your No’s well and appropriately? How do you avoid the guilt that comes from saying NO?
Nothing comes for free. When you say Yes to anything, you have actually said no to a few other things. In order to start living a fulfilled life, it’s important to learn to say no, that way you can easily say Yes to God’s purpose for you each day.
Here are some practical steps that will help you
- Understand your priorities
- Plan your week and your day so you have a rough idea of what else you can add to your schedule.
- Make up your mind to be present and committed to any yes ( not half online/offline)
- Be Firm. Don’t say maybe later, not right now, I am not sure, when you mean to say no
- Buy yourself some time
- Be polite about it. Use the Yes, No, Yes Concept.
Listen to the podcast today.
Question: What other ideas have helped you say No in order to say Yes to God? Leave a comment below
Subscribe on: iTunes, Google Play Music, RSS
Episode 35 Transcript Below : Learn To Say No In Order To Say Yes To God’s Purpose For You
Olu: Thanks for joining us again for Like Jesus Podcast. This is Olu Sobanjo and Ade Sobanjo is here too.
Olu: Alright. Today we want to appreciate every one of you that have been listening and thank you all for the feedbacks. It’s always great to get feedbacks from everyone. On this podcast, one of the main things we are trying to do is to get you to focus on the plan that God has for your life. Last week, the comments that I got made me to see that God is at work with this and God is at work with you so thank you! Thank you for all the comments. Keep them coming. It helps to know the challenges that you are having and we pray about this. We pray for you because we want to see you move to the next level in your walk with God.
So today, what we are going to be discussing is very vital and it is saying “Learning to say No!!!” I know that this is a major thing in the mind of many people and up till today for me, it’s still a major topic because, for any Yes that you say, you’ve said No to something else. So, if I say Yes to doing Sunday School at church, baking for my kid’s school, or going to mow the lawn in my neighbor’s house, I’ve said No to a few things. It could be hanging out with the children or another meeting I’m supposed to be at. For every Yes that you say, there is a No that is accompanying it. So, today we want to focus on the fact that if you are going to really pursue purpose; if you’re going to take time to actually listen to what God is saying in your life, you’re going to have to actually learn to say No!
For me personally, this has been a big challenge and my husband right here has been the one that has been my coach in the area of learning to say No because it hurts on my inside when I say No. I feel like I’m doing the wrong thing; I feel guilty especially for those supposedly great and amazing ideas that you say No to. Like when somebody says “Help me do this”, “Carry my children. Drop them off”, I feel bad saying No but then I have other responsibilities. So I’ve brought him. He’s here – He’s a pro who’s been doing this for many years and we have a few points that we are going to just look through. Before we go through the point, I’m sure he has something as an intro to share as well.
Ade: Yes, I think this is a very wonderful topic you have chosen. For anyone that wants to do something, you have to learn to say No to the other things. I find that as one focuses more – as you become better at the things that you are doing, you have to really say more No and just a fewer Yes so that you can really become an expert in the one you are doing well at.
Olu: That’s true! That’s very true!
And that brings us to the first point that we have on the list here which is Understand your priorities. Your priorities is a very major thing and this is where I got it wrong for many years. I was at the point where “everything is great”. That was the place that I was. You know, I just look at it and just see the reward, benefits or the way it is going to sound to people that are around me. That was what determines whether I say Yes or No to something. I didn’t understand this concept of priority because everything sounds really good. It depends on who sells their message well to me and so I may run errands, carry all my children and do all these things. I’m always running from pillar to post as they say because of the fact that the priorities wasn’t clearly understood for me.
I think you’d like to or maybe you should say something.
Ade: Yes. I remember when we started the church and we had so many things to do. I’d be thinking of giving some of these things out to others and you wanted to do everything because it all looked good. You could do them and I think that’s the challenge for many of our listeners. We are multi-talented and can do so many things but we have just the same number of hours in a day and so, we are surely not going to do everything.
Olu: That’s true!
Ade: And so, really knowing what your priority is, is very important. Knowing what the endgame is; What am I trying to get at? What do I really need to do? What is it that when I accomplish at the end of the day, I will feel really fulfilled? It is a good thing to ask one’s self at the beginning of the day, every day. Just to know, What is that big thing for me?
Olu: And I actually think that ties in well with the theme of this podcast series because the more you understand God’s purpose for you, the more you know what your priorities are. So it’s very important, that is why we are doing this podcast. We want you to actually take time to be able to listen to God and know exactly what it is so that you don’t jump that every flamboyant or extravagant idea that flies around you. You know exactly what God is calling you to do, and you start doing that. That aligns or adjusts your mind in such a way that you’re able to pick, “Does this fit into what is calling me to do?” Now, there are times that you are going to do something else that doesn’t fit in but it will still be God leading you.
So we’d move on to the next point.
The next point is, Plan your day or your week in advance so you have an idea of the extra time that you have for helping other people. Usually what happens is, a lot of demands come from people that need your help; that want you to do one thing or the other, which is great. You have the gifting, they need it and you help them. It may even be in line with your priorities. But then, if you don’t plan the main things in advance so you know you have a deadline at work this week, soccer practice for the children, fixing your hair, or going for an event, you already block out important things. This could be physically done; it’s better when you actually do it on paper, your computer or phone and then you can see the extra time that is left. Some other people do it in their minds, mentally. It’s great to do that also if you don’t have so much going on but the more you start using your brain cells to calculate how much time you have then it becomes overwhelming again. So it’s better when you write it down and it’s very important to plan in advance so you’d know exactly what extra time to have.
Ade: As you were speaking, I was thinking about the fact that people can even plan their week ahead but load it up with a lot of irrelevance.
Olu: It’s true. That’s true.
Ade: It’s not that those things are not useful but they are not going to get you to where you want to go to at the end of the day. So even in planning your week, you need to keep asking yourself that question, “What is the big game? What is it that I’m really looking to achieve at the end of the day?”
I’m thinking that maybe an example would help. For us, we are pastors and for me in a day, my goal is to impact lives and to build the platform that God has given to us to reach out to people which is to build the church – build the leaders. As we build the leaders, then we can reach more people. So when I’m planning my day, I like to put in things that will help the church move forward. Once I’ve planned those things and other things come up that I didn’t plan for, if I check them and they actually help me move the church forward, I cancel some things that are on the list and do those. But, if they won’t, I will find a way to schedule those things for another time. So that’s it.
Olu: Yeah, I remember we used to fight a lot about this because then I’d be thinking, “This is a good idea! We should do this”, but because I didn’t have an idea of what was the “behind the scene” decision-making process for him, I’ll be planning all these great ideas saying, “This will be great to do too.” But I remember a couple of years ago, maybe 2 or 3 years, that God used the story of the colt that Jesus rode on into Jerusalem to speak that lesson – message to me and it was a big eye-opening experience for me. God said to me,
“You see that colt? The owner tied it there just in case the Master may need it.”
It just occurred to me that I don’t need to plan my day and cram it with all sorts of things. I plan every single thing. I don’t know, maybe some of you listening are like me; every resource must be accounted for, everything must be planned including every minute. And I kept trying to quickly achieve things under few minutes until God began to say to me, “You are gonna have to relax. Just relax. Don’t plan anything. Plan the free time of not doing anything so that I can speak to you, so I can help you.” And so, I think that what you shared is very important.
And the next point that I have here is Make up your mind to be present in whatever you are doing. Now this is a very interesting one in our present world because we can do a lot of things at the same time. I can be cooking, doing laundry, and doing some ride up, all at the same time. There’s a lot that we can be doing at once in one specific hour. It helps us because we get a lot of things done especially for mums. I know a lot of women, not just mums actually but women, would connect with this a lot more because there is so much on your plate that you need to handle. You still work, do chores, and all these things.
There’s a scripture that says, “Whatever you do, do it with the whole of your heart.” So when an offer comes and says, “Can you please do this for me?” Because of the fact that I don’t want to feel bad or want the person to feel bad, I say Yes to that. But in my head, what I’m thinking is, “Well, while I’m doing the laundry, I could also be doing that at the same time.” But what now happens is that my mind is not there because I’m splitting my mind [attention] between two activities at the same time. So I don’t do it exactly the way God would have loved it to be done. And maybe even God wants to speak if you had put your full attention. So, you won’t be able to get what God is saying and it’d just be your idea. If you are going to be committing to something, your Yes is valuable and they are not “Oh sure! I’d manage it with someone else.” Let it be for real “I will do it.” If you think about it that way, it will help you to decide what to say yes to and what not to say yes to.
Ade: Yes. That’s very important to really bring everything you’ve got into whatever you are doing. Now, that’d happen if you make up your mind where you are going before the time; if you have a life goal, something you really want to achieve and you are doing it. For example, we are doing this podcast right and not doing anything else. Our minds are focused because it’s something important to us and I think that’s always the way it goes back to – knowing what you really want to accomplish so that when you’re doing those things, you put your whole heart to it. Now, if you’re doing something that’s not really related but it’s important then focusing on it will make you finish it quickly so you can get back to the things you really want to spend your time on. So yes! being present is very good
Olu: Thank you.
The next one there is being firm when you say yes or when you say No. I also had issues with this and I’m getting better at it also as I am learning to say yes in a good way and say no in a good way as well. The idea is that many times, because I don’t want to hurt the feelings of another person, I’d say “Well, maybe later. You know what? Yeah, maybe. I’m not sure.” All that is just delaying the No and postponing the hurt, if there’s going to be a hurt. Many times people actually understand if you know where you’re going. People actually understand. They are just looking for help and maybe if you are not able to help now, you may be able to help later but it’s good to have that at the back of your mind.
Ade: Yeah. As you were saying that I was wondering maybe some people are wondering how will they say No? For example, if your mother in law calls you and says “I’m at the airport, come pick me” How do you say No to that?
Olu: Well, you don’t say No to that. There are some things you actually can’t help. Actually, there was an incident that happened recently. I just bought a sewing machine and I’ll be talking about that on another podcast. For many years, I’ve thought I could sew but I never got to it. Recently, I got the sewing machine and I’m amazed. We are all amazed to see the dresses and things I’m able to do without formal training. This past weekend, we were going to have the women empowerment program – teaching them business skills. And somebody said to me, “We need aprons and Pastor Olu, you are going to do the aprons.” The first thing that came to my mind was “No! No!! No!!! That’s another job. I’d rather pay somebody else to do it or tell me how much it is, I’ll buy it.” But of course, she wants me to do it. So I said “No. I can’t do it.” Later on, I realized I could have done it better. The better way to say No is to, first of all, appreciate the gesture and not push down the idea. More like you say Yes, No and Yes. The way I would have done it and I learned this from my Michael Hyatt, one great guy that I listen to. He was saying that if you are going to say No which is going to hurt somebody else, it is better to say
“Yes, wow. That’s a fantastic idea. However, based on the schedule that I have, I won’t be able to add that up. Maybe this other person will be able to do it or maybe we can find out where they sell it and we can buy it.”
That way, you’ve said Yes in a very neat way but you’ve not hurt the other person. Since that incident with the lady, I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve practiced a lot more now. I see that it’s actually easier when you appreciate the idea “Oh, I really appreciate the honor for offering for me to take your kids to school. However, I have this other engagement.” For the Mother-in-law, I don’t know if I’ll be able to find any excuse. She’s already at the Airport and I can’t do anything about it. Except if what I’m doing is very serious then I can say “Okay. Let me see if I can call somebody else to pick you because I have this that I’m doing and then I’ll meet you up at …” So, I think it’s challenging.
How would you do that?
Ade: You got it right. If it’s important, there’s no way. No mother-in-law will expect you to leave your job to come pick them at the airport unless they know that you’re self-employed. If you are self-employed and in a business meeting or doing something, you just say, “You know what? I’m in the middle of something very important…” She knows that she’s not gonna give you a job, so you can then say “You know what? I’m going to call a cab to come pick you up.”
Olu: But, it’s very interesting that you can actually feel like “Oh My God if I don’t do it now, it’s like everything is gonna… I will feel bad. She’s going to talk. Oh, you don’t know this woman. She’s gonna kill me…” All these mixed feelings but just relax. The more you understand what you are actually doing which is why it is important that you understand the purpose of your life and why God sent you here. The more you do that, the more people will start respecting you as well and they won’t be giving you babysitting jobs to do if they don’t have a choice. They’d start realizing that there are certain tasks they can’t just give you impromptu or not. They will just have to find someone else to fill in for them.
Now, the next one is: buy yourself time. You are very good at this. You’re the one that is my pro, leader in that so do you wanna tell us more on that?
Ade: Well, I think you’ve already said some things about that which is being polite. When someone asks you for something, you say, “Well, that’s good. I’ll get back to you later.” Or if it’s a text, what I do is that I leave it. Let it just rest for a while and let me rest. Let’s both think about it for a while. And sometimes, by the time I get back, they’d say, “Oh, don’t worry. We’ve fixed it.” Then that’s alright. I figure that I could not be seeing that text and I’m busy doing something right now so maybe I’m not seeing the text.
Olu: But you saw the text.
Olu: The reason why we are laughing about this is because I used to really stress about this. When somebody texts me and says, I need this or do this or something like that, I will look at it and I’m like, “Oh My God, they know…” WhatsApp tells them you’ve read the message. So at first, I turned off the “read receipts” option on WhatsApp to prevent them from knowing I’ve read the message. Then somebody said to me the other day, “I sent you a message and I saw you come online but then you didn’t answer.” And I was like “Are they watching me or something?” But really, I think the point is that you become stronger because you actually… I am not a phone receiver. That’s not the job that I’m called here to do. Now, it’s not my official job and at the same time, it’s not my purpose on earth to receive calls or reply messages. Now if I respond to it immediately, fine. If I have something else keeping me from responding, fine.
The more you understand your purpose and that was my problem, the more you realize that you don’t have to jump at everything. You can give yourself and buy yourself time and the world is not gonna collapse.
You wanted to say something?
Ade: Yeah. Just before we wrap it up, I wanted to ask a question. What of the person that it’s not people giving them the job? They are the ones piling up. So, they watch a TV program and discover this is good and fantastic business idea and they start running with it. They dig a few calls then they stop. And because somebody came knocking on the door and is introducing a product to them. They are not buying that product but it gives them an idea of another person who has a great idea and they stop the hole they were digging and jump on the next program and they start running with that. And then another person comes or sends them an email and they start another race.
How do you deal with that?
Olu: How do you deal with that? No, you answer that.
Olu: You’re the Pro.
Ade: Well, it’s the same thing we’ve been talking about. As long as you don’t know what the big goal is; the end game; the call – what God has called you to do, you’re gonna find yourself do a lot of that. So when you find a person doing a lot of that, it’s because they don’t understand their purpose yet. The beauty of it is that you can actually do all of those tasks but you do them one at a time. Dig the first hole until it produces then stop. Then you can let it run before going to the next one. Meanwhile, focus on the one that you are doing, and when others come, you just write it down and keep doing the one that you were doing. That’s what I do. I just write down the ideas. Sometimes, people come and suggest things to me, thinking I’ve never thought of them. I just thank them and I move on to keep the focus.
Olu: Thank you very much for adding that to it. I think that it’s a very good place to wrap it up today. It’s very important that we remember that God sent us here for a purpose. We are not just waking up and going to bed every night for making extra money. We are here for a real purpose and it’s important that we have that at the back of our minds and it’s important that we attack life – engage life with that in mind.
So I’m gonna ask you to pray and close for the day
Ade: Father, we thank you so much for this time that we’ve had to discuss your Word and the life that you have given to us. We pray that everyone that’s listening to this that the grace and the strength to say to No to all distracting ideas and distracting demands in our lives, we receive!
Lord, most importantly, grant us clarity about what you really want us to do and what is most important now. For those who are still trying to find out what that is, I pray that even the one that they have right now on their hands, they can focus on until they get another instruction; a clearer instruction Father. Thank you.
We pray for all those who have needs in their lives – different kinds of needs, we pray for breakthroughs and answers to those prayers and good testimonies in Jesus name.
Olu: Alright. Thank you, everyone, for listening and see you again next week.
Don’t forget to go over to olusobanjo.com and leave a message. If you’ve not subscribed, put your name and email address in the form provided there and you will get a notification every Monday.
Go and listen to God. God bless you. Bye.