Yes is a powerful, powerful word.
Yes changes things, resolves things, can give focus.
Yes to embracing change.
Yes to forgiving yourself.
Yes to dreaming as big as you dare.
Yes to showing up, to doing the work.
Yes to forgiving yourself or yes to forgiving others.
Yes to making friends with your inner child.
Yes to letting go of beliefs that no longer serve you.
Yes to helping others, yes to helping yourself.
But yes comes at a price.
Saying yes to something means saying no to everything else.
You can only do one thing at a time, so whatever you say yes to excludes all else.
(I know some people believe in multitasking, but that doesn’t exist: it’s just switching between tasks really fast).
If you say yes to becoming a powerful mountain climber, or to developing a new skill, you can’t spend the time required on something else.
It’s a choice, where you select one thing and forego all the other options.
One of the biggest yesses?
“Yes, I do”.
You get married, and give up all the things that don’t belong inside a marriage.
So you see how choosing yes means giving up other things.
This is good, it’s powerful strategy for creating change or for building success.
But there’s a risk involved in saying yes.
If you’re too keen, to eager or too unspecific in what you say yes to, you close the door to other things and it could just be that it’s those other things that would help you more.
In order for you to live the most fulfilling life possible, you can’t spend your yesses willy-nilly.
You need to be considerate, thoughtful, and deliberate in what you do and don’t say yes to.
And that can be difficult, because we all want to be liked.
So we often say yes to people, when really it’s not the best choice for them or for ourselves.
So how do you know what to say yes to?
I can’t give you a failsafe benchmark or test, but I can share what I do:
I only say yes when it’s a ‘hell yes!’
As long as I’m still on the level of ‘yeah, nice idea’, I stay there and postpone a decision.
As Rich Litvin says, there’s no such thing as a ‘hell maybe’.
However good or convincing something looks, however tasty the cake they put in front of me, I don’t dig in until, from the inside and beyond rational thought, comes the message:
‘Hell yes, do this!’
Contemplate this, experiment, see what it does for your life.
Very few opportunities disappear if you stick it out and wait for the total affirmation first.
And if an opportunity does pass you by because you waited too long, another one will present itself soon enough.
The world is an endless fount of opportunities and choices.
Be clear and specific on what you say yes to.
This, incidentally, is also one of my criteria for coaching people:
Unless there’s an overpowering ‘YES, let’s DO this!’ I can’t do any coaching.
I can’t help people who are not 100% committed to doing deep inner work.
Unless you experience an overpowering desire to change and evolve, there’s no hell yes yet.
If you feel you *need* a coach, the time isn’t right yet.
It’s only when you really really *want* a coach, that you can receive the full benefits of working with one.
Same for me:
I don’t need a coach, I’m good on my own.
But I really – REALLY – want a coach, which is why I work with one of the best.
Because I found him, talked to him, and came away changed, came away with a resounding ‘Oh hell yes!’
So be careful what you say yes to.
You can only spend your energy once, and you want to be 100% sure that what you choose is backed by unstoppable conviction.
And as for that being liked thing?
Worry ye not.
If people turn away because you’re clear on what you do and don’t want, I’d venture a guess that they aren’t right for you anyway.
So here’s a question:
What have you said yes to that you knew (or discovered later) was something you ought not to have said yes to?
Also published on Medium.