Declining to rise better

Lately, friends and professional contacts have manifested some interest in my opinion: as much flattering as it may sound, I reminded them my area of expertise belongs to a world very different from the counseling one. They then underlined that they were picking my business consulting brain: point taken. I can certainly share my views on a situation; I however decline making a decision on anybody else’s behalf, as I am not in their shoes, even though some past experiences may look similar.

B27_-_PicSharing ideas, both the struggling and energising ones, can go a long way. Accepting to be vulnerable and understanding that someone else’s opinion can be disturbing often makes my decision muscle stronger and more resistant. What I have found in everyday life and while negotiating critical contracts is that my energy level dedicated to look good tends to decrease when I do not feel right about the pressure I let others put on me. It is only my decision to say no to that feeling, especially when that pressure comes directly from my assumptions (or imagination). Having, and taking, the opportunity to actually communicate with others yields for a luxury I sometimes forget: getting my views challenged.

I consider this as a luxury because such an opportunity tickles my honesty skills: towards my counterpart(s), and myself. If I get the chance to interact with another honest player, even if s/he uses some tricks, the game matures to an often-intense debate, leading to a resolution. If I do not like it, then I talk about it, I hold onto it and I fight for it. And repeat.

Inch by inch, I go on. Not looking for perfection, just aiming at being true to myself and to my partners in life and work: I keep moving forward, especially after I have fallen and been hurt. Or simply when I realise that what is suggested to me is just not fitting, or feeling right. I have turned down job offers, contracts or invitations, not as an exercise or a test on my ability to say no. I respectfully declined the propositions which were making me feel displaced, out of line from my values and my own interests.

With the Rugby World Cup coming up in less than two days, watching the teams clash, persist, resist, collide and grapple in honour of their country (and potentially a new title to their international awards collection) only reminds me that giving up is not an option, with bruises, open wounds or not. Saying no is only uplifting when intentions are clear and sincere: it opens up to more possibilities and makes one feel much lighter.

Whether you keep falling in the mud of a soaked terrain like at the recent MTB world championship or your body (along with your mind) cramps up after having given everything you could, it is not over. Better yet: it is just the beginning. Get back on the saddle and do not get distracted by one little mean tree: the forest has so much to offer.

Photo credits: UCI-WC Day 2, Champéry (Switzerland) – © Olivier Borgognon Photography /