Often in my work, I encounter people that want to grow. That earnestly desire to overcome the toxic people and blockages in their life. But, they haven’t learned to say YES to the things that allow them to succeed. Without this key to success, long term growth isn’t possible.
Why Do We Need to Say Yes
It is a simple principle that things that change don’t stay the same for long.
People and organizations naturally fall into ruts where they are resistant to change because entrenched habits are the most likely to persist over time. It’s like rolling a die, but every time you get dice that rolls a one, you set that dice aside. Eventually, you will have only ones.
We develop and keep our fixed personality by learning over time to say NO to new ideas, habits, or experiences. The more we say NO, the more limited and stuck we are.
Everyone that feels like they are stuck in a rut, unable to escape abusive relationships, or otherwise held back from growth is kept this way partially by their learned habits, which prevent them from say YES to the new patterns, which would liberate them from their stuck place.
What Does It Mean to Say Yes
Saying YES means we are welcoming new experiences and new ideas into our lives.
Research has shown that humans are much less likely to remember or respond to facts and observations that go against their current belief systems. This is a remarkable finding because it means even if there is an “exit door” to get out of your current situation, your mindset can hide it from you so effectively that you don’t even realize that it is there. You would have no perception that any alternative to your current mode of life exists.
This is why it for many of us, it is so easy to see other people’s problems, but be blind to our own.
By creating a practice out of saying YES to every new thing that comes our way, we are training our subconscious to accept and evaluate information that it would have discarded before.
Saying YES means that when we have a resistant feeling or thought, which we have hundreds of times a day, we take the role of a compassionate parent to our inner child and say, “Just try it and see if you like it.”
Seek out new experiences, find people with elements of the life you want, and commit to trying out the way they live for a while. Learn to go all-in with the necessity for evaluating if their methods are really “right for you.” Instead, try their methods and see if you get the results that you desire.
How to Say YES
Saying YES means that when things get tough when our new experiences lead us down the road of displeasure, that we open up our hearts and enjoy the new sensations that come to us. It is easy to complain, to get bitter, to compare your life to others. Yet this brings us no joy, happiness, or growth.
Instead, I recommend you consciously employ a technique I learned in the military to overcome hard times. They call this technique “embracing the suck.” This means giving up the fight in your mind against what IS, a losing battle anyway, and relish the difficulties as they come.
If you are muddy, enjoy the mud. Slather it around. Feel the grit and slime on your skin. If you are cold, be cold. Feel the contrast between your cold skin and the warmth of your body. Let the pins and needles remind you that you are alive and able to experience this.
It is incredible how powerful this perception is in the face of overpowering odds. What seemed like the worst torture only moments before can instantly become bearable and even fun!
The mind is our most potent weapon. And only when we open ourselves up to