The Power Of Saying Yes: How Developing A Yes Mindset Helps You Achieve Your Goals
Clodagh O'Mahony·December 22, 2021
YES. Yes is a magic word. No, really it is. Yes has the power to unlock some of life’s greatest treasures, but often we reserve our ‘yeses’ for the stuff we feel obligated to do, like that extra project your boss asked you to take on or the trip you have to take with your friends.
But what if you started saying ‘yes’ to big challenges, out-of-your-comfort zone opportunities, and invitations to connect with others?
It’s really this simple: saying yes can open you up to new opportunities. It encourages new ideas, can prompt innovative thinking, and push your boundaries in powerful, life-changing ways. That’s why we want you to make 2022 your year of saying yes.
Why do we sometimes say ‘no’ when we want to say ‘yes’?
Good question, and here’s the answer: fear. Yes, that’s right, good old-fashioned fear. Fear wears many disguises. When you get asked to a party and you say no because you’re worried you’ll look and feel awkward. That’s fear. When you get offered your dream job, but you turn it down because you (wrongly) believe you haven’t got what it takes. That’s fear too.
Sometimes we turn down ideas because they seem unconventional or out of the box as well, or say no because we already have a lot on our plates and don’t want to overcommit. Whatever the reason, ‘no’ often comes from the rational, fear-based part of our brains.
You can usually figure out why you’re saying no by getting still and asking yourself ‘what’s holding me back?’. Pay attention to the answer. Chances are it’s fear in some form or another and it’s often the very thing you need to overcome to get to your next level.
To clarify, we’re not talking about people-pleasing or suggesting you say yes to every request to satisfy other people. In fact, it’s the opposite. Developing a ‘yes’ mindset is about putting you and your needs first. It’s about aligning to your goals by grabbing opportunities with both hands, rather than saying yes because you feel obligated to. Don’t confuse the two.
How To Develop A Yes Mindset
All too often saying no is can be an automatic reaction. We say no without really thinking about it. But decisions – especially the big ones – are often deserving of real consideration. For this, we recommend The Head Plan Productivity & Wellness Journal and get it all out on paper.
Ask yourself a few questions, how could this help me grow? What might I learn? And what’s stopping me from saying yes?
If you’re really struggling, ask for guidance within. We all have an in-built GPS that always knows which way to go and will encourage you to say yes if it’s for your greater good.
Close your eyes, get into a meditative state and hold the intention of connecting with that spiritual part of you that knows all the answers. You might like to ask questions like, ‘which decision suits me best?’ or ‘Will saying yes to this opportunity bring me closer to my true self?’. Sit for a while and see what comes up.
Find your stretch zone
Have you heard of the stretch zone? It is a place just outside of your comfort zone where progress and learning take place. Research shows that as humans we operate between three primary zones: comfort, stretch and panic.
The comfort zone is familiar but unchallenging, while the panic zone is characterised by extreme stress. Often, we say no because we’re worried we’ll find ourselves in the latter zone: a place where we will be unable to cope.
The answer is finding your stretch zone: the sweet spot in the middle where you can grow and evolve without feeling out of control.
Getting into your stretch zone involves taking tiny, calculated risks that feel a little challenging but not overwhelmingly scary. Think speaking up in a work meeting rather than volunteering to host a presentation or agreeing to ‘drop in’ to that social event instead of staying the whole night.
The more you ‘stretch’ the more comfortable you’ll feel doing the stuff that feels a little scary, and the more willing you’ll be to say yes in the future.
Need a little extra jolt of self-belief to see you through? Write some empowering affirmations like ‘I am powerful and I am ready for change’ on your mirror with The Head Plan Mirror Markers and read them every morning.
Consider the risk in saying no
Let us ask you this: a year from now, do you want to be in the same place you are now or do you want to have made steady progress towards your goals? Do you want to feel accomplished, happier, and more fulfilled? The secret is saying yes.
If you’re still struggling, consider a quick visualization. Imagine the outcome of your ‘yes’. Whether it’s a date or a new job, picture it going well. Really get into it. Notice how the fear kind of dissipates and is replaced by excitement? Now imagine where you’ll be if you say no. You could stay stuck in the same place forever.
When an opportunity presents itself and you feel that nervous knot in your belly, reframe it. The mind and the body can’t tell the difference between nerves and excitement, and that means you can find relief by telling yourself you feel excited rather than anxious. The more you do it, the more you’ll believe it, and pretty soon you’ll be super pumped to give a great big yes.
Life is short, say yes…
Steve Jobs said, "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life." While that might be a little grim, there’s a nugget of wisdom in there. Do you really want to look back on your life and regret all the chances you didn’t take?
The next time an opportunity presents itself and you feel in your gut that you should reach out and grab it, we want you to be brave, and say yes. You owe it to yourself and yes, you’ve got what it takes.