OyChicago blog

Just Say “Yes”

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08/14/2014

Just Say “Yes” photo

Have you ever noticed how improvisational actors need to accept whatever is offered to them on stage? In order for a scene to flow, the actors take whatever arises and continue on. What if we did that in real life as well?  We just took what was handed to us and went with it.

There is overwhelming evidence that saying “yes” can help you in almost every aspect of your life. In the 2008 movie Yes Man, Jim Carrey’s character transforms his life by saying “yes” to any and all offers put before him.

Building a business in the financial industry, I feel like the “Yes Man” (I guess I should say “Yes Woman”). Anytime anyone asks me to do something, I just say “yes.” The quickest way to get someone to say “yes” seems to be to say it first. It is natural for people to match the communication of others, so if they hear “yes” they will say it right back. “Yes” – I will go with you. “Yes” – I need your help. “Yes” – I will support XYZ.

Now, not all the experiences I have had from my “just say yes” mentality have been remarkable successes – at least to the naked eye. For example, I said “yes” to help an individual sort out piles upon piles of insurance and annuity contracts acquired over the years. I spent hours spilled over the contracts, evaluating the benefits and establishing a plan for the future. I struggled to come up with a solution, but I learned, I grew and I said “yes.”

It is natural to want to say “no” when you are not an expert in the field someone wants you to talk about, when you are normally in bed before the event someone wants you to join them at is beginning, when you see yourself as a poor writer and someone wants you to co-author an article, but what’s the worst that can happen? You struggle. You learn. You grow. Is that a reason to say “no?” I think it is a reason to say “yes.”

We all have dreams and goals we want to attain but most of us build obstacles so we can’t reach them, we say “no.” Even when people say “yes,” the majority of time they are thinking “no.” It is time to change.

I have a challenge for you. For one day, just one day, keep track of every time that you say “yes” and every time that you say “no.” Tally them up. See the results for yourself. Most likely you will see that you need to tweak your mindset and just say “YES.”

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