It’s Okay to Say No
by Steph Beth Nickel
“It’s vital that people have access to this information. What would you think of using my research and writing a book? No need to put my name on it.”
Sounds like a writer’s dream, doesn’t it?
The material is sound. It could help a lot of people. Theoretically, I could carve out time in my schedule.
Still, I knew the right thing to do was to turn down the offer.
As writers, we don’t have to take on every opportunity that comes our way.
Granted, we don’t always have the freedom to say no, but when that is a viable option, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.
Here are nine questions to ask yourself when considering an opportunity that comes your way. (As a Christian, I believe it’s important to do so prayerfully, asking God for wisdom and direction.)
- Does the prospect of taking on this project excite me?
- Do I have the skills necessary to complete this project—or am I able to acquire them in a reasonable amount of time?
- How long will it take to complete this project? (It’s always important to give yourself more time than you think you need. The more involved the project, the more margin you’ll want to factor in.)
- Will I have to set aside other projects in order to take this on?
- Will I have to sacrifice volunteer commitments and time with family and friends?
- Will I need the support of others? Is so, would it be reasonable to ask it of them?
- Is it reasonable to think that I will have the physical, mental, and emotional energy it will take to push through until this project is complete?
- Will the return on investment (ROI) be worth it? (ROI doesn’t always refer to financial gain. For example, the sense of satisfaction that comes from completing a project you’re passionate about can make it worth the time and effort.)
- If after asking myself this series of questions, I’m still undecided, who can I discuss this with who knows me and my situation well enough to give me wise counsel?
When faced with a decision, I like to remember Lysa TerKeurst’s book The Best Yes. The title pretty much says it all.
To sum up how to best make a decision, we can ask ourselves a single question: Is this the best yes for me at this time?
It really is okay to say no.
Steph Beth Nickel is an editor, writer, and birth doula. If you would like more information about her services, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org;
join her Facebook group:
or visit her website-in-progress: nurtureandinspire.com.