The Power of Yes
What’s hiding in the thing you don’t ‘no’?
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THE POWER OF YES
If you are reading this on Sunday morning, I am running the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon right now. I was supposed to run this event in 2020, but it got pushed back two years due to the pandemic. It’s finally time to get it done!
I have participated in at least one, if not more, endurance events every year since 2015 - even throughout the pandemic.
In 2015, with absolutely no experience running and no experience participating in an athletic event of any kind, I decided to train for + run a full marathon.
WHY? Great question…
To be honest, I am not sure what made me decide to jump in. It wasn’t something I was seeking out or pursuing. The opportunity just sort of fell into my lap + I said YES.
I trained with a program called Team in Training with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). It was such a magical experience from beginning to end. And, along the way, it lit a spark in me I didn’t know existed.
Anyone who knows me today, knows I am a runner. It’s such a part of my life + identity now. But, prior to 2015, it wasn’t even a thought.
JUST SAY NO
What if I had said NO when the opportunity came up?
I had no business thinking I could run 26.2 miles. I had never run more than 3 miles. I didn’t know anyone who was participating in the program. I didn’t know the slightest thing about what would be involved. On top of that, I had to raise $1500 for LLS to participate in the program. I had one kid in college + one kid in high school. I had a business to run.
I had every reason to say no. But, instead, I chose the unexpected answer.
I grew up on the 80s. Remember First Lady Nancy Reagan’s campaign ‘JUST SAY NO’? It was part of the war on drugs. Teaching kids to say no to recreational drug use.
Fast forward to today. We have a whole different sort of campaign for saying no. In an effort to protect ourselves from overwhelm + burnout, we are encouraged to protect our time + resources by saying ‘no’ + not feeling guilty about it. It’s a new kind of ‘just say no’.
But, how many times do we say ‘no’ too quickly? What might we be missing?
We say no before hearing the whole story. No before having all the information. No before we even understand what we are saying no to.
We say no to the sales pitch. No to the invitation. No to the new idea. No to the new person. We say no before we even listen or have the information we need to decide.
But think about it, how many of our most pivotal moments in life came from those moments when we opened up + let something new into our lives?
The times we said YES.
What if all of these NO’s we use to ‘protect’ ourselves are keeping an important part of ourselves unexplored or undiscovered?
TO NO OR NOT TO KNOW
I honestly can’t imagine what my life would look like if I hadn’t said yes to that opportunity to run the marathon back in 2015. The people I have met. The things I have learned about myself. The physical fitness I have achieved. The joy it brings to my life.
I can give several similar examples of things I said ‘yes’ to that completely changed the trajectory of my life. I’ll bet you have a few of your own.
I think it’s worth remembering those moments + what they brought to your life.
And then, notice how often you say no too quickly.
When do you shut something out without even listening?
What if it’s a piece of you knocking on the door - ready to take you somewhere you didn’t even know existed?
This week, I challenge you to catch yourself saying no. Take a minute to notice whether it is a ‘good’ no or an ‘automatic’ no? If you’re feeling really brave - I invite you to say ‘Yes’ to something you would normally quickly shut out. Say YES to that invitation you receive. Say YES to that nudge. Turn your “Just Say No” into “Just Say Yes” + see where it takes you.
Here’s a simple way you can practice. I invite you to leave a comment here. A hello. A word of encouragement. A thought that reading The LIFT has inspired. Will you say yes? Click the button below.
READ: 9 Little Known Truths About the Power of Yes! | The Huffington Post
READ: The power of yes: A simple way to get more out of life | Get Rich Slowly
Yes, I know we tend to say YES to too many things. We find ourselves overcommitted + spread too thin. It happens. But, there’s a difference between protecting our bandwidth + shutting ourselves down. Part of staying youthful + relevant is allowing new things into our lives. Growing. Learning. Exploring. Discovering. Playing.
See you next week?