A quirky thought swept over me the other day. The word ‘yes’, not simply the word as defined by the idea of trying something new or just going along and being Mrs. Nice Guy, but the actual ‘idea’ of yes is incredibly empowering.
A bit skeptical are you? I am not proposing that you take on every request that comes your way, give up who you are to accommodate others, or over-extend yourself financially for every ‘great deal’ that comes along. That is not the perpetual “yes” I am suggesting.
Instead I realized that they key is to look at the times we don’t say “yes” and then assess how it might be detrimental to our relationships and our success. Yes can help. What if you were to shift your mood, your language and your perspective to be consistently affirmative? What the hell, let’s give a try, shall we? Examples to think about:
• Someone invites you to participate in an activity that you don’t do well but by engaging with them and showing your vulnerability you strengthen the relationship and meet new people. And yes, I get it, saying “yes” to performing Karaoke in a random bar in front of your new boss while your coworkers look on is a challenge few of us embrace. But just giving something ‘new’ a shot, a chance, a resounding ‘YES’ expands you and expands your world.
• You get to work and dread the day because you need to start on a new project and you are intimidated and anxious. What if you approach the project with “Yes, I have great success facing challenges. I have been intimidated by projects in the past and I have always found a way or a resource to do a great job.” Shifting to a more confident outlook has a tremendous impact on your abilities and the sheer enjoyment and challenge that comes from working through the process.
• Your spouse or partner wants to do something that you are not too excited about. Instead of the knee-jerk ‘no way’, why not try to figure out how can you stay affirmative and make both of you happy? Why not try an alternative? There is still a way to say “yes” to the time spent together and the enjoyment of a shared interest without shutting him/her down.
• A friend or colleague comes to you with an idea that they are excited about. Instead of automatically going into a cautionary mode like you normally would while pointing out what might go wrong, you can make the choice to encourage them from a practical and analytical stand. It doesn’t mean you fake being supportive, it just means you provide affirmative support while still being a pragmatist. For instance, ask questions about their process and their outcomes and help them work through potential areas of concern. Point out what is good about the idea so that the good can be extracted and applied to a successful result even if it is not the same as originally predicted.
By being consistently affirmative and using the ‘yes’ word and ‘yes’ attitude, you will look for (and find don’t ya know) the good in any situation. Now, had I written that as my first paragraph to this post you might have found it a bit simple and too goody-goody, right? Don’t you love to look at it this way, by finding the “yes” you not only support yourself but also empower others? Neat stuff.
What do you do to stay positive?