“Say 'yes' to life - and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.”
Yes is one of those funny words. If you say it too quickly, just to get a quiet life, or to something you feel you ‘ought’ or ‘should’ to do, it can be one of those words that can eat away at you, chipping away at your time, energy and/or self respect.
But if you say Yes for the right reasons, it can often open up more than you can imagine. Those reasons can include the times when you get that little tremor of excitement, so close to fear, as you see an opportunity which is just outside your comfort zone. For me, it used to be when I was offered the chance to speak in public - my first instinct was always to say ‘No’, because I found speaking in public really scary.
For example, close to the beginning of my coaching career I signed up for a coaches’ retreat. It was going to be an intimate group, about 6-8 people, coaches of all levels of experience.
In the confirmation email, the course leaders offered an “experimental space”, the opportunity for participants to try out a coaching tool they hadn’t tried before, wanted to refine or get feedback on. My first reaction, as I quickly shut down the email message, was that there was no way I was going to stand up in front of my peers and deliver a session, especially one which wasn’t tried and tested. In fact, my reaction was so strong, I knew there was only one thing I could do.
I immediately opened up the email again and before I could think twice, shot off a reply saying I would love the chance to run a new session on visioning the future.
The result? The session went marvellously and was described by one of the course leaders as “the champagne moment of the weekend”! The exercise has become the basis of one of my key workshops.
Nowadays, my yes or no to speaking engagements is based on availability/event/etc., rather than fear.
Sometimes, I find myself working with people who have a big idea and have even spent a great deal of time thinking and planning it in great detail. They come to me because they don’t know quite why it isn’t happening. Often, we work out that although they have been doing all the right things to prepare, they still haven’t really said ‘yes’ to the great new idea. It is like getting dressed up in your best summer clothes, but not stepping out of the front door in case it might rain.
We hesitate because we are frightened: we might not be good at something; we might look a fool; we might get it ‘wrong’. But even if we aren’t very good or we do get it wrong, at least we have given it a try. We can always learn something along the way and who knows, we might even find that it is the best thing we have ever done. I had wanted to dance the Argentine Tango for decades and didn’t do it because I ‘knew’ I would probably be terrible at it and make a complete idiot of myself. I didn’t start dancing until a few years ago and it has had an amazing effect on my life!
Of course, there have been other things I have tried (ice skating, karaoke, cricket, tennis, painting watercolours, for example) where I have been precisely as bad as I had anticipated. But you know, I don’t regret having tried them; I have crossed them off my list and gone on to the next thing, instead of always wondering what it might have been like.
But those things I have said 'yes' to which have worked - well, as Tolle says, the world worked with me!
So, what will you say ‘yes’ to today?
If you need help deciding your motivations behind your yes and no, why not book a Clarity Call and let's start a conversation.