Allyson Felix Is aware of the Energy of Saying No


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Allyson Felix is clearly a pure born trailblazer. The U.S. Olympian, who’s probably the most adorned U.S. track-and-field athlete in historical past, has made headlines for her athletic capacity, sure, but in addition for her dedication to girls. Amongst her many achievements off the monitor, she’s constructed her personal model and group, Saysh; made headlines (and contractual adjustments for athletes) by brazenly criticizing her former sponsor, Nike, as a result of the model didn’t pay its feminine athletes throughout maternity go away or give maternity protections, and created a child-care grant for feminine athletes.

So it comes as maybe no shock that she’s partnered with ice-tea model Pure Leaf on a “No” Grants initiative that offers girls who say no at work monetary protections. It is not a small factor or imagined factor: Practically three in 4 girls assume they will expertise destructive outcomes when saying “no” at work, and two in three do. Together with that, one in six girls who say no will lose out on pay, and one in 10 girls are fired for saying no. In reality, every time a lady says “no” to an ask within the office (staying late for a gathering, coming in on a time off, and many others.), she dangers dropping as much as $1,406 in future incomes potential, based on a nationwide survey commissioned by Pure Leaf.

Every time a lady says “no” to an ask within the office (staying late for a gathering, coming in on a time off, and many others.), she dangers dropping as much as $1,406 in future incomes potential.

“If I will be concerned with one thing, I wish to actually consider in it, and that it has that goal and that means—so, clearly I’ve my very own expertise with saying no at work, and seeing how Pure Leaf has created these ‘No’ grants simply made me actually excited,” Felix says. “Whether or not meaning no to additional hours, or coming in on a time off, no matter that appears like, it is about having the ability to say sure to a mental-health day or displaying up for household not directly or no matter you want.”

The “No” Grants, in partnership with the SeekHer Basis, will pull from a $200,000 fund and attain 100 girls in its inaugural launch—with the model, Felix, and the SeekHer Basis awarding grants following every of three separate utility intervals (interval 1: March–Could, interval 2: June–August and interval 3: September–November). Felix emphasizes how straightforward the method is: “Simply go to and say why you deserve it—that is it.” We talked extra with the athlete about motherhood, what will get a sure from her these days, and extra.

Properly+Good: I am personally so impressed by this marketing campaign and this initiative. It is actually fairly highly effective. I feel saying no simply on the whole is all the time a tough factor, however saying no within the midst of economic repercussions or within the workforce is all the time even more durable. I might like to know, was that probably the most highly effective “no” you have ever mentioned?

Alison Felix: [Nike] was positively my strongest “no.” I feel simply being an athlete, hyper-focused on efficiency for therefore lengthy…when it got here to this a part of my life, it was so difficult. Particularly seeing how different girls struggled in motherhood, in athletics, and particularly in monitor and discipline. There was this tradition round [remaining] silent when girls grew to become pregnant, and I noticed contracts paused, contracts terminated, only a lot.

“There was this tradition round [remaining] silent when girls grew to become pregnant, and I noticed contracts paused, contracts terminated, only a lot.” — Allyson Felix

And so for me when it was my a part of life to go down that route, I used to be terrified already of what the implications could be. And we’re speaking concerning the penalties of claiming no, and that they do have a value, and I used to be actually afraid of what that is perhaps and what that meant for my future, if I’d nonetheless be capable to compete or what that appeared like.

On the flip facet, having mentioned that, once I mentioned “no,” and [started] talking out, it turned out to be simply actually empowering for myself. And I came upon I used to be completely the place I used to be imagined to be. And though it was a struggle, maternal protections have been secured for folks sooner or later to come back. And in order that was actually nice, but it surely does make me take into consideration that value of claiming no, and I feel that is what’s wonderful about this program and in addition the report that Pure Leaf commissioned—the examine on what truly is the price. I believed that was tremendous attention-grabbing to me having been in that place and understanding the worry round that and never understanding precisely what’s that value or what it might be.

W+G: That is tremendous highly effective, and I feel it pertains to additionally this concept, there’s that stat that is like, “Ladies do not ask for raises as effectively. They do not ask for cash.” However they really do, they simply do not get it. And it is the identical right here. Should you say, “no,” There’s truly a monetary consequence. And so it is dispelling numerous these myths surrounding what girls can earn and in addition the boundaries that we are able to set in these circumstances. So, that is actually attention-grabbing.

AF: I feel it is setting that normal and hopefully it is a first step, however that it’ll ultimately simply present you could prioritize these items, and hopefully it will be the norm in order that we do not have to maintain saying no.

W+G: I might love to listen to what your emotional response to saying no was—to setting that boundary, both on this occasion or in different cases if you’ve needed to set these actually robust boundaries, and the way you navigated that for your self.

AF: It may be actually difficult. I even take into consideration simply extra lately in my life, simply coping with the guilt round that or whether or not it is the mother guilt, which is one thing that I’ve actually struggled with as a result of I do wish to be current at house, and I do wish to do all of these items, and I do have these tasks on the identical time. So understanding for me is once I say no, how I say no, and prioritizing issues which are necessary to me.

And proper now in my life that appears like blocking out time that I spend with my household, and it is time the place I am simply not accessible. And which may imply that I miss out on some issues, however that must be okay. And so I feel it is actually simply evaluating and understanding once I can say no and doing it and truly setting that normal.

Practically three in 4 girls assume they will expertise destructive outcomes when saying “no” at work, and two in three do.

W+G: I really feel like that is an enormous factor that you simply, as you mature even, get to sort of resolve for your self what will get your power, what would not, the way you say no to issues. So what are getting your yeses proper now? What are you placing your power into?

AF: Issues which have that means and affect for positive, on the work facet. Work that I consider in and that I see that is doing good. Household is big. My daughter is three proper now, and she or he simply began soccer, so ensuring I am there or at dance class. I wish to be round for these issues. And in addition my psychological well being and never feeling responsible once I say that I will take a day only for myself, and I will do some issues that make me glad—actually pour into myself in order that I nonetheless present up for everyone else as effectively, as a result of I feel I can simply get overwhelmed at instances and that is simply not good for anyone, if I am unable to be at my greatest.

W+G: Completely. And talking of being at your greatest, what’s your wellness routine or what are some issues that you simply do?

AF: I begin my day writing in my gratitude journal. I began in the course of the pandemic simply because I felt like I used to be overwhelmed with trying on the destructive facet of issues, and I did not like the way in which that made me really feel—I spotted there’s a lot to be thankful for. So, I’ve saved with that and jot down a couple of issues that I am grateful for, setting the tone of my day with optimistic vibes.

Additionally simply leaning into assist, and that is appeared like having the ability to swap off with my husband placing my daughter down in order that I can take a pleasant bubble tub and I can learn one thing that I’ve been desirous to learn and have a couple of quiet moments to myself. So, that is one thing that I attempt to do recurrently as effectively.

W+G: Are there belongings you did not actually do if you have been youthful that you simply lean into extra now, or issues that you simply do now as a mom?

AF: [I do] a bit little bit of meditation. I used to be by no means actually massive on it earlier than, however I feel being a mother, not even a mother, however a busy individual, now I am like, “Okay, I am all about this.” And I like that. Even some breathwork. Simply actually being current and coming again to myself. For me, it is actually been about discovering these instruments that make me really feel good and that assist me really feel refreshed and in a position to proceed to tackle loads.

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