While there is a time and place for saying no, there is also power in saying yes. I’m not talking about when you automatically default to saying yes, but rather about when you really consider saying yes, intentionally and deliberately. Yes, to support. Yes, to collaboration. Yes, to opportunity. Yes, to meeting new people and expanding your world. There’s a little bit of magic in saying yes.
Of course, saying yes comes with a price. You are agreeing to committing or exchanging your time and energy for something else. A good question to ask yourself is whether you are saying yes out of curiosity and adventure, or out of fear. FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real thing and can be a time-waster. If you’re not careful, you can get pulled into all sorts of things that may not actually serve you.
Intentionally saying yes to new people, new places and new experiences is like looking into fresh mirrors that help you discover more about yourself. A while after my husband’s death – on the journey of discovering who I was without him – I realised that I needed people to reflect me back at me. Being with my closest friends and family was great, but I had to push boundaries and socialise with people beyond my tight circle to get some fresh perspectives too.
We often say no because we fear the worst. Why not say yes and expect the best? What’s your driver? Curiosity or fear?
From a business perspective, I have never feared attending events on my own. In fact, I really love it. It’s an adventure without an agenda that can lead to unanticipated consequences and results.
Saying yes can help us keep progressing, growing, and evolving. Sometimes we need to say yes to something bigger than us that is going to stretch us. To begin with, it will most likely take you out of your comfort zone. However, as you grow in competence, so your confidence will increase too.
“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you are not sure you can do it, say yes. Then learn how to do it later.” Richard Branson. Isn’t this true of most leaders and innovators who have pushed the envelope and raised the bar?
STOP PLAYING SMALL
Every time I write a new book, I wonder what on earth I have committed to. It looks like an insurmountable challenge, but it pushes me to sharpen my saw again and again. Saying yes to something big or new is scary and exciting at the same time. It can bring new purpose and pressure to bear, which is needed from time to time to move you forward. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone. You can always ask for help and support.
Saying yes can get you out of a rut and onto a new track. If you want to change your direction or trajectory, you have say yes to learning new skills, changing your work rate or overhauling your attitude. The power of yes can stop you from playing small. Saying yes to hard things, over and over, builds resilience and self-belief that you can. It can stop you falling prey to imposter syndrome, enable you to shine, and help you avoid stagnation and mediocrity.
Of course, when we say yes, we have to say no to other things. Do you have the courage and conviction to do the things you really want to do? There is no perfect timing. You are never perfectly ready. Carefully considered yeses are an invitation to dance with life in new ways. Is there a yes you have been avoiding?
TAKEAWAYS FOR WINNING AT WORK
- If offers and opportunities come your way, it’s usually because someone believes in you. Saying yes, intentionally and deliberately, shows your belief in yourself.
- Stepping up to the plate can show leadership, loyalty and commitment
- Saying yes can provide you with a canvas to showcase your skills and experience.
- Look out for opportunities to say yes that align with your goals and ambitions.
- Beware of saying yes to things that might side-track you – people (energy vampires), time-sucking habits or taking on responsibilities that don’t belong to you. Read my blog “It’s okay to say no”.
Sometimes unexpected opportunities come our way – often when people see things in us that we can’t see. Saying yes in these situations can open up new doors and windows of possibility. You need to be well-tuned in to both your head and your gut to know if a shift like this is for you. It has happened to me a number of times at pivotal moments in my life. I would not be doing the work I am doing today. I would be a home economist or a dietician. I am sure I would have been good at either, but here I am as a speaker and author – this is my third career.
TAKEAWAYS FOR WINNING AT HOME AND LIFE
- Saying yes can attract positivity into your life.
- Stretch yourself to live the fullest version of your life.
- Say yes to find new avenues of self-expression.
- Say yes to learn new things.
- Ask yourself, “What is the best that can happen?”
- You do not have to do everything alone – in fact, you can’t. As the African proverb goes, “If you want to travel far, travel together.” Say yes to support. Ask for it and be clear about what you need when you ask.
- Say yes to opportunities to do different things, try new food, visit unusual places. This is how you and your family can broaden your perspective of the world.
- When you make a decision about something (say a new school for your child), embrace the decision whole-heartedly and without reservation. Go with it. Don’t sit on the fence. If you do, your child will feel your uncertainty, which will lead to doubt and fear in themselves.
- If you are single, or the new family in town, say yes to invitations to meet people. Some you’ll like and some you won’t but you’ll never know if you don’t put yourself out there.
- Be curious.