It’s not uncommon for me to work with clients who say yes when they really mean no. Who will do things for other people even when they don’t want to, or it is plain inconvenient, simply from a fear of offending or letting other people down. In that conversation it is usually they who suffer, with no time for themselves, and none of their own needs and wants being met.
But what about when it is the other way round? When we really, really want to say yes but find ourselves saying no – because we are afraid we can’t do it, we shouldn’t do it, we can’t afford it, it might go wrong, or whatever other scenarios start running around our heads.
That’s a place I’ve found myself. Saying no because of fear, taking the safer option to be by myself, do things myself, not invest in myself. And why? Because putting myself out there, trusting other people, trusting myself that I can do something even if I’ve never done it before and have no proof whatsoever that it will work out is pretty scary.
A while back I read the lovely “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes. When her sister said to her “You never say yes to anything” it was a wake-up call, and a place to recommit to saying yes, particularly to the stuff that scared her.
It was a wake-up call to me too, realising how much I was saying no to, and how much that was restricting my life. Yes I avoided the scary stuff, the stuff that could felt like it could go really, really wrong, but in doing so I also missed out on the really fun stuff. I just ended up in my little safe, unexciting space, by myself.
So I’m practising saying yes. Yes to really, truly looking after myself. Yes to trusting my gut. Yes to adventures with a new man in my life. Yes to a Women’s Leadership Conference in Las Vegas in August. Yes to starting public speaking and investing in myself to build that profile. Yes to everything being possible, and yes to the ride along the way – the ups and the downs – being the wild, exhilarating, joyous, fun bit that I’m determined not to miss.
What would change in your life if you said yes a little more? And what are you avoiding saying yes to in your life right now that might change everything?