What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
–Vincent van Gogh
Such a small but powerful word.
What comes to your mind when you read this word "YES"? Take a few quiet seconds to mull it over…
Excitement? Anxiety? Eagerness? Apprehension? Insecurities? Joy? Fear?
For me, saying YES to most things out of my comfort zone had the potential to throw me into sleepless nights and anxious days.
But, imagine confidently saying YES to not just safe things, but also to the things that intimidate you...
What I have learned these last few years is that instead of running from opportunities…new beginnings… challenging life experiences, that with discernment, I choose to EMBRACE life. I say YES to the STRETCH!
Why we don’t say YES.
You never know what you can do until you try, and very few try unless they have to.
According to motivational speaker and coach Adam Smith, there are 10 fears that hold us back:
1.The fear of inadequacy
2.The fear of uncertainty/unknown
3.The fear of failure
4.The fear of rejection
5.The fear of missing out FOMO
6.The fear of change
7.The fear of losing control
8.The fear of being judged
9.The fear of something bad happening
10.The fear of getting hurt
All 10 of these are possible experiences - some are in our control, such as being fully prepared (inadequacy) or changing out mindset (FOMO). Others are beyond our control, such as being judged and/or rejected by others.
I can identify with all of those fears and internal blocks at various times in my life...
The assumptions, the interpretations, the limiting beliefs, and yes the small but powerful voice inside of me that affirms all my negative feelings. These are lies I've believed that hold me back from saying YES - experiencing growth and walking bravely in my purpose.
What is holding you back from saying YES?
Benefits of saying YES.
If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it,
then learn how to do it later!
In the period of a few months in 2016, I became an empty nester. I left my friends and my home of 15 years and moved with my husband to Los Angeles. At first I relished the days to myself; to read, study, walk, cook new meals. But eventually I started missing my old life, especially my friends, my support group. It was all on me to put myself out there if I was going to meet people and create a life in California. In 2017, I made a conscious decision to go for it; to “try anything once” and to embrace this new beginning.
And as the song goes - "What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…”
I said YES to:
Bookclub with complete strangers
Taking and eventually co-leading a Social Justice Group
Going back to school for my Life Coaching Certification
I said YES to:
Walking with a friend of a friend of a friend
Cooking class and then lunch with woman I met at cooking class
ToastMasters to face my fear of Public Speaking
I said YES to:
Being vulnerable and created a Coaching Instagram page, a newsletter post, a website
Attending a Leadership (POPL) Training
The list goes on... Some or maybe all of these examples might not seem like any big YES to you, but to me they were all a HUGE step!
A LEAP for one might be a HOP for another. It is never about the distance but always about our movement forward.
I can vividly remember saying YES and then having a sort of "buyers remorse" and wanting to cancel. But I would keep telling myself - "You got this. Remember, you can try anything once."
The benefits I received from saying YES and putting myself out there were TRANSFORMing. I learned intimately the value of vulnerability, a deeper awareness of and compassion for myself, respect for authenticity, and developed more spiritual inner strength. Not one of these experiences were easy, but not one lived up to my wildest fears either. All of them brought either spiritual and internal growth, new friendships and/or new opportunities.
Most importantly I have learned the benefits I receive from saying YES far outweigh my fears and trepidations.
I recently asked this question to my Instagram community:
What benefits have you experienced when you said YES and chose belief over doubt?
I loved all the insightful and inspiring answers :
FREEDOM, NEW EXPERIENCES, HAPPINESS, PEACE, FLOW, SELF AWARENESS were a few of my favorites .
What would your answer be?
Discerning when to say YES.
I am not advocating that we say YES to everything that comes our way. It is important we use discernment. I believe that starts with knowing our purpose. Is what we are being invited to do in alignment with our core, our soul, our values. Do not let your doubts and fears hold you back from moving forward toward your dreams and visions.
I found it really helpful to write out my purpose statement and to memorize it. This took much soul searching and prayer. But I landed on what I truly believe God has uniquely created me to do and to be. Knowing this makes saying YES so much easier.
Do I still experience doubt and fear at times - YES. But because I know that my YES is in alignment with my calling - I am able to Trust, to step out in Faith and Belief…. And JOY. Our Purpose will always be greater than our fears.
You are created uniquely for a special purpose. Say YES to your life purpose!
I used to think you had to be special for God to use you,
but now I know you simply need to say yes.