Yes! Oh yeah! Yep! Sure! This little word is powerful - it grants permission, allows for opportunity and swings open the gates into unknown territory. Even in other languages, it is short and to the point 'Ja', 'Si', 'Oui'. In my last post we looked it's counterpart, the tiny but might 'no'. I believe these words are two sides of the same coin - they are responses, exclamations, declarations. They result in decisions made, action taken and outcomes created.
Today, let's flip the coin and get acquainted with ways to say 'yes'!
In life, it is not so much the 'yes' that is important - but what you are saying yes to. What do you want to agree with, open up to and allow in your life? I've said yes to many things I didn't want - food, alcohol, debt, bullying, unkind words...the list goes on. But every new day, we are given another opportunity to say yes to what we actually do want in our lives.
So let's start there and see where yes can take us...
Tip #1 - Yes to clarity
Clarity and certainty on what you want is a vital first step, in fact it feeds into all the other tips below. It stands to reason that when we are unclear on what we want in life, our responses, decisions and actions can also be uncertain. So ask yourself (as the Spice Girls did) - what do you want, really, really want? A huge question, I know! But let's break it down into something more manageable. Ask yourself the following questions to get clarity where you need it most. You may even want to journal on them:
In the main areas of your life - home, work, relationships, money, health, spirituality - what would you like more of?
What opportunities would you like to open yourself to?
What would you like to allow and give permission to in these areas of your life?
Like I say, getting clear at this early stage will help you affirm your 'yes' later on.
Tip #2 - Yes please
If you write something down, you are more likely to do it. So, take your thoughts a step further and write a 'yes please' letter in your journal. It can begin with the phrases 'I am saying yes to...' or 'I am available for...' or 'I am giving permission to...'
For me personally, in the area of health, I would write 'I am saying yes to going to the gym 3-4 times each week'. One I am still learning is 'I am allowing myself to be me'.
Putting pen to paper is a great way to solidify your thoughts, make sense of what you do want and get clear on the actions you need to take.
“Say Yes. To your internal joy. To self love. To your internal strength, happiness and abundance. Each of these qualities will multiply every time you say yes.”
― Purvi Raniga
Tip #3 - Yes to gratitude
The very fact that we have choice - to say yes or no to something - is a privilege and not something to be take for granted. Many of us live in a world where we can say yes, but there are also those that do not have that as a given human right.
Keep this in mind and be grateful for the yes you can say today.
Tip #4 - Yes to your attitude
Whilst imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War, Viktor Frankl was one of many millions whose freedoms were taken away. As part of the brutal regime in these camps, removing any semblance of human identity, value or right was extinguished.
But, as his seminal book Man's Search for Meaning reads, Frankl learned that the atrocities he suffered could not snuff out his ability to choose. He states, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.”
Frankl saw that even in the most desperate of circumstances we can choose how we respond, how we react and the attitude we hold. And that is worth saying yes to.
Tip #5 - Yes to truth
Here's another big question for you...what is your truth? Where and how can you say yes to the real you, the inner part of you that is sometimes hidden from others? When we live in our truth, it brings freedom - because the truth sets us free. And it grants permission for others to do the same.
I spent many years trying to fit in, to belong, to be acceptable. I dumbed down my own sense of self to become like others, in order to gain approval, avoid conflict and belong. You are allowed to be you: quirky, different, unusual. Say yes to your uniqueness today - there is literally no one like you and the world is a better place because you are you.
Where can you give yourself permission to let your truth shine through?
Tip #6 - Yes to joy
Don't give up. You will meet resistance from others, raised eyebrows and questions, but you One of the biggest lessons I've learned since I committed to being a writer is joy is not a luxury, it is an everyday essential.
What brings you joy? What lights up your soul and lifts your spirits? What brings a sparkle to your eyes, a smile to your face and a spring in your step? Say yes to it today, and every day.
Tip #7 - Yes to the unknown
This one is my Achilles heel. I love safety, certainty and the known. I do not like to not know where I am going, I like to plan and have everything laid out for all possibilities and eventualities.
But life is not linear. It does not sit neatly in boxes or spreadsheets. Life is fluid, organic; an evolving force that ebbs and flows through our days. It is like the ocean: coming and going, rolling and flat, quiet and loud. In a word, life is unpredictable.
It's a little ironic that I started this post with the first tip of being certain and it ends with the need for uncertainty. You see, it is good to know what we want and where we want to say yes in outlives. But sometimes we have to take a step of faith, saying yes to something that may not work out, or may be the best decision we've ever made. There is a quote that says 'But what if I fall? But oh darling, what if you fly?' If you do not say yes, you may never know.
And this is life, a paradox of tension between safety and risk, certainty and chance. You may, like me, want to assess the size of the gap before you take the leap - and that's OK. But my advice would be, go for it - you may very well find the wings you had all along.
So, let's work on this together - let me know what you are saying yes to and we can cheer each other on. Please feel free to share this and comment below and follow along on my socials - I've said yes to Twitter and LinkedIn now, so there's lots of places you can find me and see what I'm up to.
Image by Brooke Cagel via Unsplash