The gift of saying "yes" to yourself


You might think (as most of us do) that the hardest part of doing something new or risky is knowing how. In reality, the hard part isn't knowing how, it's saying "Yes." When we actually say a full-throated "Yes," a whole host of neurological, emotional and physiological dynamics kick in to help us get through the how.

So why don't we say "Yes" sooner?

Habit. We've been saying "no" - or "as soon as" or "the time is not right" or "I don't know how" or "I'm not good enough" or "Whatever!" - for such a very long time, it actually feels uncomfortable to say anything different.

While there are dozens of strategies to help overcome this cycle of the perpetual "No" (in all its variations), I wonder about the simple power of the most obvious strategy:

Say "Yes."

After all, it's not like you're going to do it all at once anyway! What if you started by simply saying "Yes," fully and without reservation, and then sat with the discomfort a bit, so the rest of your system can get to work on the details without being hijacked by contradictory messages like, "Soon," or "Seriously, I'll do it in the new year," or "I don't have enough (fill in the blank)."

Perhaps this is the gift you could give yourself this year: finally saying "Yes" - and letting the rest follow.

'Tis the season, after all, when, in nearly every story, every tradition, every belief system, the spirit says...