Learning to say no

A good number of us would put ourselves firmly in the ‘People Pleaser’ camp. We bend over backwards to seem agreeable and commit to activities, situations or workloads that we maybe would rather not do. We don’t make too much of a fuss when we’re wronged, we don’t confront people over bad behaviour towards us and, little by little, rather than asserting ourselves and risk being seen as disagreeable, we allow life to happen to us.

This can and often does have an impact on our health and fitness goals. How many times have you been offered a piece of cake that someone has bought or baked or been coaxed into a drink you knew you didn’t really want? We often sabotage our own good habits or intentions to ensure we don’t offend others and in doing so, we lower our standards so that we fit in with others’ expectations, whilst inwardly regret doing it.

Saying no to certain things is a liberating and empowering exercise. It also spurs you on to the next situation when you have the choice to do what you actually want or need to do versus pleasing someone else at the cost of your goals. Whilst sacrifices are an inevitable part of life, allowing yourself to be used, lead astray or dropping your high standards to make others feel comfortable, doesn’t have to be.

Next time you find yourself agreeing to something you know you’d sooner not be doing, stop and politely decline. It can be hard to start with but you may be surprised at how much better you feel for doing it and it gets easier the more you practice. Furthermore, this little assertive practice leaves you time and energy to say yes to the things that do have a positive impact on your life, like a personal training session for instance.

Here’s to reclaiming control.