How many of you think that it’s so much easier just to say “yes” than to figure out a reason to say “no?”
How many of you find yourself saying “yes” so often that you really don’t have any time to say “me?”
Today I want to tell you that saying “no” is not about hurting someone else’s feelings or feeling guilty, it’s about knowing your boundaries and what your body and soul is capable of doing – and then acknowledging those limits in real life.
Learning to say “no” was a huge part of my fitness journey. I was 19 years old and in college when I decided to change my lifestyle, get fit & strong and say goodbye to partying, excessive eating & drinking and sleep deprivation. I made this commitment to myself one day (after starting to notice some small changes from working out a lot) and I never looked back.
I started saying “No” to:
- greasy food
- nights out at the club
- “grab a drink”
- partying on weekdays
- cram studying until 5am
I started saying “Yes” to:
- time for myself
- spending time with close friends
- going on amazing hikes & bike rides with close friends instead of just “grabbing a drink”
- people who supported me
- people who had the same goals as me
- a fitter self
- opportunities to work & learn in the fitness industry
- early morning 6 am workouts before class
Saying “no” and finding better, more quality opportunities to say “yes” completely changed my life. I started to find out who my true friends were and they definitely weren’t the ones who were always calling me to go out. Those friends quickly fell off the map after a month of “no.” They weren’t interested in finding out why I said no, or figuring out something else to do that we could all enjoy.
Saying “no” is so liberating. It made me feel in control of my life and strong & able to make my own decisions – and not feel guilty or get FOMO (fear of missing out). I was doing exactly what I wanted to do.
Now, of course I wasn’t this grumpy mean person who was saying “no” to absolutely everything all the time. I just realized, after saying “no” a lot, when the appropriate times to say yes were. Helping a (real) friend in need even when I have lots of errands to do — that’s a YES! Saying “no” allowed me to find my give-and-take relationships and let go of the give-only or take-only ones. I found my balance.
Now, I don’t have kids or anything I am obligated to besides myself and my work. However, I know there are a lot of people out there who put the health and well being of others (kids, family, etc.) ahead of themselves. Always saying “yes” “yes” “yes” to every favor, request & need can be so taxing on your body: stressed, sick, tired, overwhelmed, exhausted. Everyone, no matter their lifestyle, should figure out a way to say “no” in order to make time for “me.”
This isn’t easy people! I know it. I found myself saying “no” to nearly EVERYTHING I was saying “yes” to before. Saying yes every time someone wanted to come over, hang out, go out, get food and/or go party left me sick, fatigued, exhausted, overwhelmed and looking quite worn out (hello dark under eye circles and blemished skin). Saying “no” left me spending a lot of time figuring myself out and made me happy, energetic, awake, healthy, strong, fit and my life seemed much more manageable.
We aren’t required to do more than we can handle – going to your breaking point does not need to be a daily or weekly occurrence.
If any of this made sense to you or made you feel like “me too” then here is how you start:
1. Start paying attention to all the times you say “yes.”
2. Make a list of all those scenarios (or the majority of the most popular recurring instances).
3. Figure out which ones you really can say “no” to – and still live a happy and stable life.
4. Practice saying NO! (You will feel liberated & free immediately – trust me)
Leave me comments and let me know how saying “no” has helped your life.