The Power of Yes
Have you ever wondered how your life might have changed if you had decided to say ‘Yes’ to something that you automatically gave a rapid reflexive ‘No’ to? This is the power of yes.
It could have been personal, the date that got away. It could have been business, that job you were offered but too scared to take because you didn’t feel like you had enough experience and would fail. There are a million little situations in life where many of us tend to bat away opportunities with a curt ‘no’ because the fear of failure or the unknown seems insurmountable.
This article isn’t a lecture on pulling a Shonda Rhimes either, she of Shondaland productions like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Bridgerton etc. There is ample content out there detailing how she did an entire year of Yes regardless of the question and how that changed her life.
Because realistically, not everyone can say yes to absolutely everything, and quite frankly, nor should we.
When is it bad to say ‘yes’ all the time
Saying yes all the time can be negative, let’s get this out of the way first.
You all probably have that friend who never says no to any invitation, to any extra tasks at work, or no to their children and that they can’t have everything they want when they want it.
That’s prohibitive to the power of saying yes at the right times.
Boundaries are necessary in life, and ‘Yes People’ are usually referred to as such because they can be taken advantage of or seen as a pushover.
Those situations aside, the ones where saying yes gives you no personal space or time, runs you ragged and lets others walk all over you like a doormat, saying yes in very different and specific circumstances can be life-affirming. Enlightening even.
So when is saying ‘yes’ life-changing
Life can sometimes be a matter of timing and luck. We just don’t always see the opportunity when it presents itself, but it’s happened to all of us. The problem is, most of the time we aren’t letting our nagging intuition into our headspace to see that this opportunity is a way forward. Deep down we may be ready for a change but apprehension has sticky fingers and keeps holding us back.
A quote by Paul Arden brings some clarity to this:
“It’s better to regret what you have done than what you haven’t.”
You may also never get that same opportunity again, so given the context of where and when are talking about saying yes, trust your gut and do it!
Make that overseas move, accept that job you’re unsure you’re completely experienced for, and take chances for change that force you to grow and learn. What have you got to lose except having a go and if it doesn’t go to plan, dust yourself off and try again.
Another oft-quoted statement is from writer, actress, producer and comedy legend Tina Fey:
“Say yes, and you’ll figure it out afterwards.”
If you really don’t know what you’re doing 100%, start your research and homework straight away and make your goal to over-deliver. Be honest when you need some help, and embrace the unfamiliar as you spark your own curiosity in a new project, setting, or personal challenge.
Remember that if the opportunity has come your way, it is because that opportunity seemed to be a good fit for you. You don’t get approached to do random things if there is no belief that you are already capable or capable of learning and getting it right.
In a nutshell, what can ‘yes’ do for you?
A summary in an article by forbes.com says that in the business world, you can expect choosing to say yes more often to give you these five key things:
- More new opportunities and challenges will come your way
- Allows you to empower and affirm others in the workplace, signalling trust
- Encourages a risk-tolerant environment to try, fail, learn, and innovate
- Encourage collaboration
- New joys in life
We at Tricres saw the power of yes when we were invited to a conference in Valencia. We were about to turn it down and then some trusted business associates said why not go? Being a small family-run business we thought where are we going to fit in with all of these huge companies.
But guess what? We decided to attend. Then we got invited to a panel. Then we got invited to speak on the panel. None of that was part of the plan. And of course, there was all the usual networking and so on. But it was a great experience and it was an opportunity that may well lead to new business and further opportunities.
Saying yes also meant a few glorious days in the Spanish sunshine while Edinburgh was cold and gloomy. Why would anyone want to say no to that?