If it’s not hell yes, it’s a no

Time for some Tuesday, trainer tough love. Every once in a while, I have a few topics that come up – either common misconceptions, ideas and exercises people get wrong, whatever they may be. We’re going to tackle these on Tuesdays with bonus articles. They might be what you want to hear. They might be something you don’t want to (but need to) hear. Regardless, let’s get into the sixth installment of Trainer Tough Love.


On Sunday, I talked about making time for yourself and filling your own cup so you’re able to pour into other’s. Today, we’re going to dive into a little tough love and explore another concept I’ve stumbled upon recently: “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.”

In today’s world, there are constant demands for our attention, time and focus. Family events. Meeting requests. Drinks after work. That’s not to mention the pings, beeps, buzzes, and rings of text, phone calls, social media, and emails. With all of these distractions, how do we choose where to place our attention?

We’ve all been there. You’re invited to a social event and immediately agree. All the while dreading it. The day of your thoughts are consumed with ideas of how to get out of it.

I could say <insert excuse> but I feel guilty for lying and backing out.

            I don’t want to lie, but I really don’t want to go.

            I would feel terrible just saying ‘no’ without giving a reason, but I don’t have one.

The list could go on and on.

Recently, I’ve been evaluating more closely before making a decision: Am I absolutely, without a doubt, 100% excited about this opportunity? Or will I be saying yes to please others? If it’s the latter, it’s a no. Of course, later on I may agree to go to the event in question. But it’s quite a bit easier to say no first and then agree to go second. So, if it’s not a “hell yes”, it’s a “no”.

This is all within reason of course. I doubt anyone wants to sit in an hour and a half long meeting with the higher-ups, but it’s mandatory. For personal events and requests, I would suggest testing out this approach. And, at the end of the day, if you agreed to do something but don’t want to or don’t have the energy to go. Just say no. It’s perfectly okay to say you cannot attend without giving a reason.

Do you run into situations where you’re frantically thinking of a reason to get out of going somewhere? Do you have too much on your plate? I encourage you to give this a shot with your next handful of decisions and see how you like it!

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