How to Say “No” Wisely

by Lysa TerKeurst

Proverbs 2:11: “Discretion will watch over you, understanding and discernment will guard you.” Lysa Terkeurst gives ten simple guidelines to help you navigate your decisions wisely:




1. While my heart wants to say yes, yes, yes, the reality of my time makes this a no.


2. I am honored by your request but I’m in a season of refocusing my priorities and have committed not to add anything new right now.


3. After living at an unhealthy breakneck pace for too long, I’m learning to realistically assess my capacity. Though I would love to say yes, the reality of my limitations means I must say no this time.


4. I so appreciate you asking me, but I must be brave and decline this opportunity. Saying no is hard for me but necessary in this season. Thank you for understanding.




5. I’ve promised my family not to add any new commitments to my schedule right now. Thank you for our friendship that allows me to be honest with my realities.


6. Thank you for thinking of me. Your project sounds wonderful. However, as much as I would love to be involved, I can’t give your project the attention it deserves right now.


 7. While I would love to connect about your new project, I’ve discovered this is one of those activities I must give up while trying to ____________________ (write my book, start my business, stick to my project, etc.) Saying yes would just enable my unhealthy habit of procrastination. Thank you for understanding and helping me push through to the finish line.


8. There is nothing I love more than helping others in my field get started. Unfortunately, I get so many requests for help that I’m no longer able to meet in person. So, I’ve created this attached document with my best advice.


9. While I don’t have time for a lunch appointment, I’d love to connect for a few minutes over the phone. I can talk from 8-8:30am.


10. Thank you so much for caring enough about me to want my involvement. Unfortunately, I’m not able to participate this time. But I’m certainly cheering for your continued success.

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