Cancel Plans and Just Say “No”

The first thing I did to regain power was say “No.”

Sherry Morgan
The Orange Journal
Published in
4 min readOct 6, 2022

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Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash

Most people don’t know this, but I am a former people pleaser. Most of it comes from wanting to keep the peace or keep people from being upset with me. I was the kid who said yes to things because, “what if you don’t want to be my friend anymore?”

If you have followed my writing for a while, you will see that my life and my thoughts about life changed dramatically when my parents passed away. Much about me changed, including my circle of friends, career, and, most importantly, my mindset. I cancel plans. I don’t over-pack my schedule and learned the art of saying no. Let’s start there. I’ve read many books and listened to hundreds of podcasts, and many of these books and podcasts empowered people to say “No.” Saying no is crucial because I ask myself two things.

Do I have the capacity to do whatever I am being asked to do?

And why am I saying, “Yes”?

I’ve learned that people-pleasing doesn’t keep friends, it doesn’t make me any happier in relationships or more fulfilled at work because I am not protecting my energy by saying “Yes” all the time. This year my goal was to only say yes to events and opportunities that would get me closer to my goals. I learned this from Shonda Rhimes’s memoir Year of Yes.

An introvert like me, she spent a whole year saying yes to events and projects that would get her closer to her goals. Ultimately, she had to put herself out there and, as I like to say, position herself for a blessing.

I also make sure I mean “yes,” and “no.”

I say “no” without explanation. The most cause I provide is I can’t do it now, I am unavailable that day, or sometimes the answer is no. When I say yes, I mean yes, and I follow through with it. Where do canceling plans fit in? I don’t just go around canceling plans. However, if I don’t feel well, or it’s been a long week, and those weekend dinner plans sound like I won’t have the energy or capacity to be a suitable dinner companion, I will cancel. I practice good cancellation habits and cancel as soon as I know, usually no later than 24 hours before those plans. I will try to reschedule immediately or as soon as I can. I used to have a habit of attending events or going through with plans when I was dead tired or didn’t have the energy, and worse, I was too sick to do what I agreed to do.

If plans aren’t lined up with where I want to be or could cause a bad vibe, I have decided I don’t need to be there. I am the “who all over there” type of person now. Depending on how I feel, certain people can bring down the energy in the room and alter my energy. As an introvert being around people or social situations takes a lot of me. I’m not saying all people are energy suckers, but some people are, and I firmly believe that no one should be pouring from a half-empty or empty cup.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If I say “no,” I know I’ve checked in with my energy levels; maybe that day, I don’t have it in me. I need time to fill my cup to rejuvenate by doing the things that make me feel fulfilled.

Thanks for reading!

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Sherry Morgan
The Orange Journal

Mental Health. Anxiety. Personal Growth. writtenbysherry.com Writer for Motivate the Mind, The Orange Journal and Change Your Mind Change Your Life