Today is a great day to begin a new practice: say yes.
Especially if you have an automatic habit of saying no, start to say yes instead.
Your ‘yes’ welcomes new experiences and opportunities into your life. New people come along with those new experiences. Fresh points of view help you to break out of old tired routines.
If you’ve been feeling stuck in your life, say yes to looking at your situation from another angle. When you just can’t see it, find someone who’s neutral to give you a clear perspective.
If ‘yes’ scares you, it could be time to take a closer look at why ‘no’ has been your automatic response.
You might be saying no because you fear the worst with every yes you give.
It’s scary to take chances, to put yourself out on a limb. No feels safer. You’ve never done x, y, or z before. You think you need more experience before you say yes. (Yes brings you that experience!)
You fear losing control, so you say no. (Yes can take away a lot of control issues.) You think you’ll fail, that you’re not ready yet, that it’s not your turn, so you turn down opportunities.
One of my favorite authors, Seth Godin says, “it’s always your turn”. Even though it can be truly nerve wracking to say yes, to risk sticking your neck out, to try something brand new in this era of social media, something you might fail at doing, you can say yes anyway.
If you don’t, you’ll never know what you missed. Saying no is sometimes a bigger failure than missing the mark when you say yes.
A note to you recovering people pleasers in the audience:
I’m not talking about saying ‘yes’ to one more request that creates a ‘no’ for you and sucks your energy out of you.
I’ll be the first one to tell you to learn how to say no to anything that doesn’t work for you. Make sure that you say no only so that you can say a bigger yes to yourself.
This is a big yes to your truth, your growth, your ability to give of yourself, not give yourself away.
Learn how to improvise.
Improvisation is an art form practiced by performers who create plays and scenes without a script.
They make it up as they go along, following rules such as “say yes and”. If you’ve never seen an improv show, do yourself a favor and get to one. Better yet, go take an improv class.
Artists and creators from all disciplines can and do improvise. Anyone who creates new forms and comes up with solutions on a day to day basis has to jump in and improvise from time to time.
Improvisation uses other abilities you have, like intuition, being present, and imagination.
Here’s the thing about improvisation: everything happens in the present moment, right now. Improvisation is the art of yes. Your conscious yes creates art, and you are already an artist. Paint your world with your yes.
The only moment in which you can say yes is now. Here’s a few ways you can create with yes:
- Welcome this new day.
- Allow for new growth and opportunities.
- Let go of a grudge, the past, old habits, pain. Come on, you know you want to!
- Sing out loud, create, play, love, forgive.
- Say hello to strangers that you meet. Make eye contact, open doors.
Imagine: what can your yes create for you? Where, and how far, can you travel on yes?
“Yes lets you stand out in a crowd, be the optimist, see the glass full, be the one everyone comes to. Yes is what keeps us all young.” -Eric Schmidt