What are You Saying Yes to?
I’ve not always been a fan of saying yes in my life. In fact I’m careful about what I’m saying yes to as over-commitment seems to be a common thread that has wound through many projects, relationships and opportunities! However, saying yes to the right opportunities, even if they are a bit terrifying, can reap huge rewards. (See Article: Get Beyond Fear)
I go back to Tina Fey’s “aha moment” when moving from Chicago to New York to work at Saturday Night Live. This was in 1997 and saying yes changed her life. She says about jobs she’s called upon where she felt, Maybe I’m not quite ready. Maybe it’s a little too early for this to happen to me. But the principle of saying yes to something she didn’t feel ready for moved her into the position of eventually being a head writer for SNL.
Principle of Saying Yes-And
Saying yes, or yes-and is a principle or tool of improvisation. Imagine you are in a scene that is being made up on the spot and you find yourself in an unusual predicament. The person across from you has just said something you feel is outlandish. What you don’t want to do is freeze and deny what the other person is saying. If you acknowledge the situation by saying yes, you will now be able to move the scene forward. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with the statement, just acknowledge it! Then, usually the responsibility for the next response will be tossed to that person across from you.
Life is very similar to that improv scene. We find ourselves in an unusual predicament and have a decision to make. We can either be frozen in our tracks, deny the situation completely and shut ourselves off, or move forward with saying yes. We will cover four principles in this article. Saying yes to today, to change, to learning and to yourself. First, to today.
Saying Yes to Today
Accept the current reality. Is your business dying? What may have been a thriving business some years ago may need reinventing or even completely transformed. I personally know a business who was doing 4 million in sales a year and is now at 400 thousand. That’s a huge difference and he needs to say yes to a new opportunity or pivot!
Take some time to evaluate exactly where you are. Do this personally and professionally. Include the evaluation of your time, money and career focus. There are many courses available to guide you through this. (See: A New Way to Do Business)
Saying Yes to Change
If you find yourself on an endless hamster wheel doing the same thing day in and day out with the same results, you are a candidate for a huge amount of damaging stress that could affect your future health. You need positive change, but you also should define why you want to make that change. Also define where you’d love to be, even in a year.
To change and pivot is a mindset decision. It’s a decision that will affect multiple areas of your life, especially if moving to a different location or closing a business. This is the reason your why is so important. It will keep you centered and focused during the difficult days. (See: Healthy Mindsets)
Saying Yes to Learning
After you have said yes to change, you will need to be open to new ideas and learning. A lifelong learning attitude will take you far. Tech is moving quickly, but you don’t need to be a tech wizard to survive in this market. You just need to be the best you can be in your niche.
Never discount the basics. For example, performing acoustically on an instrument, mainly piano. Even though I’ve used many electronic keyboards, I find we get so attached to our gizmos and gadgets that we forget that people just want us! With no amplification or instrumental tracks, the purity of the instrument can come through. The principle is the same with your message. Don’t let the complexity of tech scare you. Use what you want to use while increasing your learning curve and keep moving, focusing on the purity of your message and product!
Saying Yes to Yourself
This is one of the biggest obstacles to saying yes. Thinking we are not good enough, not worth it, or a failure is destructive. That mindset has the power to keep you squelched your whole life.
As you see the smile lines deepen on your face and get on the comparison merry-go-round, don’t beat yourself up. You are unique and qualified with skills that are transferable and valuable. Always remember that! (See: Dream a Little Dream)
You may never have a Tina Fey Saturday Night Live moment, but you will continue to have opportunities. Some of those will feel daunting unreal and even unreachable But by saying yes, you will give yourself the opportunity to now move your life forward, even a little. Just by saying yes!
If you are interested in growing and learning, check out our online courses here: Online Learning