Finding Empowerment in “No”

I don’t like to be told no, or that I can’t have what I want. Who does? By nature, it feels like deprivation, and puts a negative connotation on whatever it is you’re saying “no” to.

But in order to achieve my goals, I know I have to get used to “no,” and I can look at it one of two ways:

  1. No, and I’m missing out on something delicious, tasty, fun – fill in the blank.
  2. No, and I’m proud knowing that I’m sticking to my guns so that I can be healthier, fitter, and happier.

The latter is definitely not intuitive for me – it’s a whole new mindset. But I strongly believe in the power of positivity, so by choosing to be proud of “no” rather than feeling deprived, I can turn that negative connotation into something positive.

Here are a few things I’ve said no to recently that I’ve been really proud of myself for:

  • Skipping my workout
  • Eating the delicious-looking St. Patrick’s day cupcakes someone brought to the office
  • Choosing a higher-calorie lunch option when dining out with a coworker

When I really can’t find the empowerment in “no,” my plan be is to turn that “no” for one thing into a “yes” for something else.

Instead of: “No, I can’t have that package of cookies.”
I’ll say: “Yes, I can have two of those cookies, and save the other two for tomorrow.”

Instead of: “No, I can’t skip my workout, today.”
I’ll say: “Yes, I can skip it today, but I have to make up for it on a day I had planned to rest. Remember your rule: work out at least three days a week with never more than three days between workouts.”

Instead of: “No, I can’t have a drink with my friends.”
I’ll say: “Yes, I’ll have a drink with my friends, and have a smaller dinner and/or squeeze in an extra workout this week.”

Getting where I want to be shouldn’t to be about deprivation. It should be more about moderation. That’s how I find empowerment in “no.”

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