While there are thousands of words found in the English language, “Yes” may be the most powerful one.
From a young age, one of the first words we learn to say is “no”. No to eating a particular meal, wearing a certain pair of shoes, or doing school work. As we grow older, the word becomes less and less foreign on our tongues, rolling off easily. Consequently, we might catch ourselves saying “no” more often than we’d like, sometimes even using it as a security blanket. And while it might be relaxing to stay on the couch instead of going on a friend’s camping trip or attending a work event where you don’t know anyone, saying no can be the barrier stopping you from living life to the fullest. So, why should you switch out that “no” with a “yes”?
Introduces You to New Opportunities
You’re in your office meeting room, everyone has their head in the clouds, absentmindedly nodding along to whoever is leading the meeting in hopes of seeming attentive… and then silence takes the room as the person up front waits for someone to volunteer. There’s a big new client, and they need someone to lead the account. You can either cast your eyes down or raise your hand and volunteer as tribute (reenacting the historical Hunger Games scene). What will it be?
In most cases, when it comes to career decisions and opportunities, we find ourselves saying no because we don’t feel ready to take on new challenges and the risks that come with them. But, like with many things in life, we can never be ready for everything. And here comes the benefit of saying “yes”; you allow curiosity and excitement to run your life instead of fear! The more you say “yes” to new opportunities, the more you’ll realize that the learning part can always come later. However, it would never be possible without actually taking on the opportunity.
Introduces You to New People
Another benefit of saying “yes” is that it pushes you to meet new people. While this can be daunting to the introverts out there, meeting new people can not only result in lifelong connections, but it can also be a vital step in helping you learn more about the world we live in. This is because each person you interact with will come to your discussion with their own experiences and background, broadening your view of the world.
Introduces You to a Happier You
Popping the bubble of comfort we all craft around ourselves can certainly be scary. However, let me drop some words of wisdom (definitely spoken by others before). Growth will only come from outside your comfort zone. Saying “yes” to new things might not only make you more confident in yourself and your decisions, but it can also introduce you to new interests you never thought of. It will also make the idea of failing less terrifying as to say “yes” one has to take a leap of faith and trust that even if they’re venturing into the unknown, it’ll all work out in the end. Learning to say “yes” more often can free you from all the restrictions, sometimes self-imposed, that have been holding you back from living the way you truly want.
How to Say “Yes” More
We can all agree that wanting to say “yes” and actually saying “yes” are two different things, the latter much harder to accomplish than the first. But worry not, here are some tips that’ll help make “yes” your go-to answer. One thing that can help the fear around agreeing to try something new disappear is to ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” You’ll often discover that whatever answer you come to won’t be all that bad.
Another thing to consider is that while saying “yes” will lead to change, either good or bad, saying “no” will lead to no change. Realizing that “no” will keep you rooted in the same spot could be the driving force to do something different and to say “yes”. While there is no guarantee that saying “yes” will lead to an amazing experience, saying “no” will guarantee missing a possibly amazing experience.
It will take time, practice, and effort, but soon you’ll start to catch yourself saying “yes” before even fully knowing what you’re agreeing to. After all, great stories rarely start with “I said no.”
Although we’ve discussed how saying “yes” more often can be life-changing, sometimes saying “yes” might not be the best choice. And here comes another important takeaway that’ll teach you how to handle and harness the power of the word “yes”. Balance is key. Learning to say “no” in certain situations can be just as important as learning to say “yes”. For instance, if you’re invited to hang out with people who don’t make you feel your best or your boss constantly asks you to do tasks outside your job responsibilities, saying “no” can be healthier than saying “yes.”
Don’t say “yes” to something that you know will drain you, whether that’s mentally or physically. Say “yes” to new things and experiences you know will help you grow.
So, what will your next “yes” be?
Photo: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock
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