I don’t know if you ever saw the 2008 movie “Yes Man” starring Jim Carrie. This was about Carl, a lonely man played by Jim Carrie. He has very low self-esteem, and he participates in a self-help program that challenges him to say yes to everything in life for an entire year.
Although this movie is pure fiction, the story is a stark reminder of just how many people live their lives avoiding the word “YES”.
Why is this so important?
In short. We are all programmed from an early age to favor the word “No” over the word “Yes”.
I grew up in a family that used the word “No” a lot. I think most families have members who tend to say no, more than they say, yes. In fact, as a toddler, a child can experience the word “No”, no less than 400 times a day. They get a dose of “No’s” from their parents and another dose of No’s from their kindergarten/pre-school.
We are under attack from a constant barrage of “NO’s” right from the “get go”.
But, surely it’s good to say “No”, sometimes, isn’t it?. Absolutely. No one wants to be a doormat or a YES man/woman BUT – a constant stream of No’s throughout your days, weeks, and months can lead to a pretty dull, and unfulfilled life, sometimes a life of missed opportunities, and even acute loneliness.
People who tend to say “Yes” more, although their decisions are not always right (obviously), seem to live more fulfilling lives. They say “YES” to opportunity, they say “YES” to progress and they say “YES” to change…
Once the word “No” is ingrained in a person, it’s very hard to change the tune..
Life is full of “stuff” that needs doing. Some of it’s good and some of it’s bad. It’s harder to get to the “good stuff” if all you say is “no”.
Think about it.
Would a millionaire say “No” more than “Yes”? – Probably not..
Would a professional sportsman/woman say “No” more than “Yes?” – Doubtful.
Would someone who seriously wants to improve their life favor “No” over “Yes”? – Unlikely..
Many of us tend to be spending life in an “avoidance mode”.
You think and take action in order to grow, you have to be “open” to new things in order to change your life. Groundhog day was a repeat of the previous day – this is how a lot of people go through their lives, this may suit some people, but if it’s a change you want, you have to do things differently from the way you are getting your current results.
Im not saying you should say “Yes” to everything, but I do think you should reconsider some of your “No’s”, they may be hurting your progress, especially if it’s a constant resistance to meet challenges and change.
The Family That Says NO
Many families are resistant to change, and back in the day I had countless friends who came from very negative environments. I guess when we are teenagers we tend to think that we know more than our parents, but for many homes, the constant “No”, can be the source of much frustration.
I moved out at 15yrs old. I then said “Yes” to a lot of things in my teens, including lots of bad things, getting into trouble with the law etc. But I also learned a lot more about the world at an early age by saying “yes” a lot.
I grew up fast.
If you must say “No”.. Say “No” to things that don’t help you to grow. Take chances and say “Yes” to the things that will improve your life. Opportunities, Travel, Education, etc are all great things to say “Yes” to.
I’ve said this before, our time on Earth is very limited, there is no glory in avoiding everything that makes you feel a little uncomfortable. Many of the things we should be doing are on the other side of fear. We are often engineers of our own downfall – simply by avoiding the things we ought to be doing.
We often have this view of the world where we see it as this terrible and unsafe place. Social media and the media itself is full of doom and gloom. Maybe we don’t want to “rock the boat” and just live a safe life. Everyone has a choice, of course, but sometimes you have to crack a few eggs, make some noise and live out loud.
Get used to saying “yes” a bit more…
Take that chance… you never know.. things change, when you do.
Have a great day.
P.S Let me know below in the comments anything you wish you had said “Yes” to, but you didn’t.
P.P.S Say YES to new adventures. Say YES to a new mindset… . Check out this book of mine.