The power of “yes” in your life and business

I recently wrote about intuition and how to listen to it, especially when it’s saying “no”. Well, this post is about...

I recently wrote about intuition and how to listen to it, especially when it’s saying “no”. Well, this post is about the power of “yes” and my way to balance the scales again. Because although saying “no” can be really powerful, I find that saying “yes” can be just as strong a tool, if not more so. And this is what I want you to think about today.

Maybe you’re familiar with the movie Yes Man starring Jim Carrey. The movie is about a man – a banker, Carl Allen – who’s divorced, lives a lonely life, and who has very low self-esteem. He spends his days working a dull job at a bank, and during his spare time he watches DVD movies, all alone. Then one day he bumps into a former high school friend who convinces him to tag along to a self-help conference called “Yes Man”. During the conference, Carl is gently coerced into accepting a “yes” challenge, which means he basically has to say “yes” to any new situation that presents itself to him, leaving no room for low self-esteem or negative thinking. But Carl misunderstands the challenge, and thinks he has to say “yes” to everything. The movie continues as a series of encounters Carl has with other people, where his new attitude of saying “yes” eventually transforms his entire life.

I loved this movie. First, I think Jim Carrey is a pretty funny man.

But besides that, I absolutely love the underlying message that the movie conveys. In my own life and business, I try to live by the “Yes, of course I can” mantra, and I take it very seriously.

This doesn’t mean I’m never saying no – of course I am. We all have to, in many situations: to protect ourselves, to protect our time and our energy, and even simply to protect our happiness. But what I never do is say no to opportunities to enrich my life or bring me joy, or allow myself to get stuck in a rut because I’m afraid to say yes or move forward. And that’s where, I believe, the power of saying “yes” lies.

If your standard response towards opportunities and ideas is one of openness, and belief in yourself and your ability to create beautiful things, then that is exactly what your life will look like and what you’ll achieve. The simple switch from “no, I don’t think I can” to “yes, of course I can” has been a major shift in my life and businesses. And probably one of the biggest boosts to help me achieve my goals, year after year. Because the “yes attitude” has an impact on much more than your actions or your career or business.

Just like with Carl Allen in the movie, by changing your attitude towards the world and opening up to possibilities, you invite much more of that potential into your life. And, as a result, everything changes.

The power of yes in your life and business

First, you experience new things. And with that, you realize that those things are not as difficult, or scary, or impossible as you first thought they might be. Then, because you’re doing so many new things, you become more creative and you start to have new and more daring ideas, too.

And that’s not all. By saying “yes” much more, you’re getting out of your comfort zone, and by pushing your limits like this, you gain more confidence in yourself and your abilities. And this, in turn, makes you say “yes” to even more things, and it ignites even more creative action.

But, how do you go from “no, I don’t think I can” to “yes, of course I can”?

1. Be conscious of your inner chatter.
If you want to change your mindset and the things that you tell yourself, the first step is to listen. So start by paying attention to your inner chatter and becoming conscious of the things that you tell yourself on a daily basis, especially when opportunities and choices show up.

2. Start with something small.
Once you’ve become more aware of how you talk to yourself and the tone of your inner dialogue, I want you to start “yes-ing” the small stuff. Are there any choices that present themselves to you regularly, and that you’ve become accustomed to saying “no” to? Maybe your team invites you for drinks on Friday night, and you’ve made a habit out of not joining them. Or perhaps you’ve become immune to certain types of business propositions, and you systematically put yourself on “no” mode when one comes along? Whatever the case is for you, consider your typical small “no”s and promise yourself to change them into “yes”es from now on. Just to see what happens.

3. Get a mentor or a coach.
Changing “no”s to “yes”es can be a long and a sometimes difficult process. The rewards are amazing – that’s undeniable – but that doesn’t mean you’ll get the hang of it immediately, or that you couldn’t use a little support or accountability along the way. That’s why I believe it’s worth considering hiring a mentor or coach to help you. Making decisions is not easy, and changing your auto-response to opportunities can be equally difficult. Having someone to mirror your thoughts back to you, or to question with you, to encourage you, cheer for you, and to keep you accountable, can be a big help in the process.

4. Don’t give up.
Even if you truly want to, you won’t be able to change all your “no”s to “yes”es right away, and nor should you! You’ll need practice, and new experiences, and you’ll need to choose when to use the power of “yes” and when not to. That means that sometimes you’ll start to worry, and feel insecure about what to do. And that’s perfectly OK. The only thing you need to do is to not give up. Keep at it, and it will get better. That I can promise you.

And maybe you’ve already said “yes” to things in the past, and it didn’t work out so well for you. If that’s the case, I invite you to not give up either, but instead to try again. Failure along the way is a normal part of life, and stepping-stones to bigger and more beautiful things.

5. Celebrate your successes.
We’re so focused on achieving our goals sometimes that we forget to celebrate all the wins we have along the way. Especially when you’re working on your mindset, and on changing deep-rooted habits, it’s important to reward yourself for every step that you take. So celebrate your successes, however small the are.

You successfully said “yes” to something you really didn’t feel like doing, and you truly enjoyed yourself? Celebrate! Or you doubted a risky business move but decided to go for it anyway, and you succeeded? Celebrate!

And in the comments below, let me know what saying “yes” did or could do for you.

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