Choosing not to participate

It’s the time of year for goals and achievements and changing your life. Everyone is motivated because of the new year, therefore you’re surrounded by people setting and smashing goals.

What do you do?

You feel jealous. You feel anxious.

What am I doing compared? Oh god, they have achieved X already, what have I done? Maybe I should do the same thing?


Last week my sister in law asked me if I wanted to join her and my brother in a 10k race. This was an innocent enough invitation. She didn’t make me feel guilted into doing it at all. But I did consider: would I feel shoddy for not doing this cool thing with them? Would I feel less-than compared?

Luckily, I’m in a good headspace right now and I quickly thought, no actually. That’s not right.

I know what I want for this year. I know what my focus is. Running a 10k race doesn’t fit into that. And when I consider my achievements and what would count as a challenge for me, 10k is too much. I’ve never even ran 5k! So for me, if I wanted a challenge and a running goal of some sort, then running 5k (competitively or on my own in my area) makes more sense.

I know what you’re thinking: why not challenge yourself and have fun even if it’s not a personal goal for you? Well, my question just comes back to why? Why do it if it’s not something that’s a focus for me?

Getting better at yoga is what I want. Some sort of routine for raising my heart rate is a focus. But running specifically is not and running for so long definitely isn’t!

I mean this comes down to FOMO, the fear of missing out. Being worried that their goals and achievements will become your regrets. You wish you’d done it, just to say you did it and you were there for it. But if it’s not something that excites you or is important to you, then your time, energy, and even money are better utilised elsewhere towards your own intuitive goals and achievements.

Say yes to the things that resonate and are important for you, not because you’re scared of missing out.

Yes, sometimes you might think “this is not for me” but it could be the best thing you’ve ever done. I agree. I guess it’s about knowing yourself better. Knowing what you want, who you are, and what an appropriate challenge or new experience is for you.

How do you say no? Simply say something like, “That’s not for me right now, but good luck with it!”

In summary, say yes but ask yourself why you’re saying yes. If it’s just because you’re scared to miss out or are jealous of the achievements of others, that’s not a healthy reason to do something. Know yourself and choose the goals and challenges that are important to you.

Don’t let yourself be pressured (externally or internally) into doing something that isn’t for you.


S. xx

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