Wendy Gladney (File photo)

I have a fascination with quotes and clever sayings. I admire people who are witty and can make complicated situations simple with a short phrase.

When I moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA, I started attending Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church where Dr. E.V. Hill was my pastor. Over the years I have shared with friends, family, and clients a phrase that he would often say, “If you can don’t lie, and if you can’t don’t try.”

At first, I did not quite understand the total meaning of what he was saying, but over time I have not only come to understand its meaning, but I have also lived it.

This phrase basically means to be honest with yourself and with others. Oftentimes we overextend ourselves trying to please others when we know our schedules are full and we are over committing ourselves. Our priority should always be to trust our gut and to not commit if we know we will not be able to follow through.

However, sometimes there will be situations where we mean well and we make a commitment, but we will not be able to follow through because something has come up that is out of our control. No matter how hard we try we will never be able to please everyone in our lives.

There will always be those who will feel we have let them down and have not lived up to their expectations. Our benchmark should not be the thoughts of man, but the will of God.  Feelings are fickle and can change.  People can love you one day and throw you away the next.  Keep your mind and focus on just doing and being your best.

When I am not able to keep up with the events and requests on my list, I feel bad. I am keenly aware that when we try to serve and help others, it is difficult to say no even though our plates are already full, but we must know our capacity and limits. I do not like disappointing anyone so I have come to learn if I already know it will be a big stretch to do something, I just need to let them know right away that I wish I could attend or help, but my plate is full. The people in our lives will appreciate the honesty because it will help them move forward with their plan B. What I have also learned is if we discuss the situation a bit there may be other solutions.

Maybe you cannot attend an event, but you can send a donation.  Maybe you do not have it in your budget financially, but you can recommend a resource that will help them.  There are various ways we can extend help and show we care without pushing our limit to exhaustion or failure. Let me also say, sometimes we will say yes to something and for some reason beyond our control we are not able to follow through and that is when we hope people will extend grace.

Some of us also need to get a tighter grip on managing our schedules.  Find what system works best for you.  I am a bit old school, so I still love writing things down in a paper calendar, but I have also learned to try and back what I write in my calendar to my phone.  If I am out and about and I don’t have my calendar with me, I ask whoever I am speaking with to give me time to get back to my calendar to confirm with them so that I do not double book myself.  Do not be afraid to ask for time if you need it before you commit to something.

We must manage not only our schedules, but also the expectations of others and what we allow them to place on us.  I also recommend that you put in a little margin in your schedule as much as possible so that you do not wear yourself out.  Self-care must also be on your list.

Remember, “If you can don’t lie, and if you can’t don’t try.” Everything will work itself out if we are open and honest.

Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on.


Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.