Your Biggest YES

biggest yes
The Olympics wrapped last weekend, and I can’t stop thinking about the epic display of courage and leadership Simone Biles displayed in pulling out of Olympic events to prioritize her mental and physical health and safety. I know so many people — myself included — who would have made the choice instead to “muscle through” because of the need to please and not wanting to deal with the resultant shame. I’m gobsmacked by the backlash Ms. Biles, along with Naomi Osaka and other elite and decorated athletes, have received in response to stepping back. Quitters? Some of the winningest athletes in our history? Wow, do we ever get some pretty screwed up messaging about priorities. It’s my own experience of being laid out flat for many weeks with pneumonia that finally made me wake up to how essential putting ourselves first actually is. This is exactly why I so often write about boundaries. We teach what we need 🙂 .
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One of the more specific things I’ve been thinking about in these examples of putting self-care first, is how focused on the big picture, their vision for their whole life, these women must be. How else can a person step away from competing in their sport at the highest level, after all the time in the gym, on the court, the hours and months and years prepping for these moments. Forget the money that’s on the line; athletes want to play, they want to WIN. They certainly don’t want to deal with media backlash and trolls. What else can it say but that this particular moment doesn’t serve their biggest YES.
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Keeping in the end in mind is one of my favorite techniques for living well, and keeping our biggest YES top of mind and in focus is the way we get there. Focusing on our biggest yes is the only way we can know what and when to say no; it’s the only way we stay on track. When we know where we are going — even broadly — we can make plans and mini goals on how to get there. When we have plans and mini-goals, then we can get super clear on actions to prioritize and take, which in turn helps us know how to protect our time and energy, aka set and uphold boundaries.
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This is not to say your course can’t change, of course it can! We humans are meant to evolve. We are growing and changing animals. And change we absolutely should, but not because of other people’s priorities or ideas about where we should be going. I always like to say we make a plan, we create a frame, and then we dance and play within it, tweaking and changing because we are keeping the end, keeping our biggest YES, in mind. If Simone and Naomi can do it, with the weightiness of the entire world watching, so can you.
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