I always felt like the bad guy when I said that two-lettered word. No.

I thought I was rejecting other people.

I felt like I wasn’t being loving or kind.

I believed it wasn’t “Christian.”

So when I said “no” to someone or something, I felt overwhelming shame. If the person pushed me or tried to guilt me further, I usually gave in and agreed.

It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties when I got introduced to this magical thing called boundaries.

I learned that saying no was setting up a boundary.

Saying no meant that I was choosing not to give away myself to everyone and everything.

It meant I was protecting my energy, my gifts and talents, my time, and myself.

Saying no meant I was powerfully choosing what I invested into and how I viewed the idea of value.

But in the back of my mind, I always kept asking the question “but isn’t saying ‘no’ selfish?”

After all, it meant you were choosing yourself over other people, right?

Let’s take a step back and look at a scenario…

Here’s the deal. You have a finite amount of resources – physical energy, mental/emotional energy, time, money… you get the picture. Because these resources are YOURS, only YOU know how steward them in the best way possible.

If someone comes up to you and asks you to invest some of your resources into a project, you have two options:

1 – Invest part of your resources into the project, leaving you with less to invest in the BEST projects.

Or

2 – Say no, and have more resources to invest in the BEST projects that will serve you and your tribe more effectively and efficiently.

It’s not cruel to say no. Saying no and setting boundaries gives you the power to best steward the finite resources that you have available – so you can best serve yourself, your tribe, and your world.