The Power of Saying No

Last Saturday morning, as we were getting ready to take our 13-year-old daughter to her travel softball tryouts, she came into our bedroom, tears streaming down her face. She told us she didn’t want to play anymore.

She explained that the pressure to perform, the enormous amount of time spent at practices, private lessons and tournaments, her multiple injuries, and attempts to keep up with her homework stressed her out. She felt overwhelmed.

She went on to say that she’d felt this way for the last few seasons but was afraid to say anything for fear of letting down her teammates and coaches, whom she deeply respects and admires.

As I listened to and consoled my sobbing daughter, I only had one question: do you still enjoy it or have you lost the joy you once had?

In her case, it was the latter. And her decision, though bittersweet, was clear.

That made me think about the actions — or inactions — we take.

How many of us have ignored signs of distress, worried about what others might think if we strayed from what we’ve always done or from others’ expectations?

The power in saying no to things that no longer serve you is that you’re able to say yes to more of the things that bring you joy.

My sweet girl is relieved because, after months of agonizing, she took action.

What if you did, too?