I advocate on saying no. 

To say no to the things that do not help you reach your goals or make you excited.  I know saying no can be hard.  I genuinely get it. 

I get it because it has been hard for me.  It still is sometimes.  I hate to let people down.  This is a trauma response.  A response I am aware of and why I work hard to say no! To pause before saying yes to make sure I’m saying yes for the right reasons.   

What I’m curious about is how often you say no to something that would help you move your goals forward because it would make you uncomfortable? 

I know I have. 

I have found excuses why I can’t do something.  Even if it was a great opportunity.  I say no because I’m scared, nervous, or listening to my internal critic.  

Recently I started Taekwondo.  I am a beginner and am learning to be kind to myself as I learn new skills.  One of the side effects of this new journey is pain.  I’m moving my body in ways I don’t usually.  I’m pushing myself more.  All of this has led to some sore muscles. 

At the end of my first week, I asked Master Carrie – my instructor – about the pain.  She advised that my body would get used to it, and when it did, I had to push myself harder.  She challenged me that I should hurt a little after each session which means I would have to keep working harder. 

As I drove home that afternoon, I thought about it, and it made sense.  

Muscles have to be pushed to grow.  Each time they are pushed just beyond their breaking point, they grow just a little stronger. 

Our minds are like that too.  The patterns of Taekwondo are challenging my mind in ways I don’t typically challenge my mind.  I recognize that this means I’m strengthening my mind.    

This got me thinking of the times I’ve said no to an opportunity that would move my goals forward but made me uncomfortable.   By saying no, I was preventing myself from growing. 

Growth is on the other side of our comfort zone.  By saying no when I felt uncomfortable, I stayed in my comfort zone and prevented myself from growing. 

I want to grow.  I want to push myself. 

This has led me to check in when I am about to say no to something that would move my goals forward.  I check-in and ask, are you uncomfortable?  If I realize I am, then I should be saying a big YES! To the opportunity itself and the opportunity to stretch!  

Do you push yourself outside of your comfort zone? 

Each time you try something for the first time you will grow – a little piece of the fear of the unknown is removed and replaced with a sense of empowerment.

Annette White