How many times have you bailed on a night out with your friends because you’d prefer to stay curled up on the sofa watching the four hundred episodes of Stranger Things you’ve got stored up on Netflix? Or unexpectedly bumped into an old friend somewhere and saying “we absolutely must meet up properly, it’s been too long!” knowing full well you’ll never call? Maybe deciding not to go to the cinema because the weather outside is a bit rubbish, even though the cinema is the perfect place to go in the rain and you’ll probably drive there so you’ll only actually be exposed to the elements for approximately ninety seconds?
You’re not alone. We’ve all been there.
What is it about the word “no” that means it just rolls off the tongue? Why do we let our lives so effortlessly slip into a cosy rut of routine? Because it’s easier than making the damn effort, that’s why.
I was all about the “no” until my life changed quite dramatically one January and I suddenly found myself to be completely lost, surrounded by closed doors from all of the times I’d bailed on friends or decided just to stay comfortable. I had no choice but to start again, to bring some “yes” into my life and rebuild everything that I had let slip away. Well, I have to tell you that it was a complete revelation and has undoubtedly contributed to my feelings of self-worth, confidence and increasing strength over the following years. Who’d have thought it from just one little word?! So, if you want in on this, here’s how you can use “yes” to your advantage and enrich your life in the process.
Believe me, I know how easy it is to become a complete flake when it comes to socialising. You start becoming a hermit and, suddenly, an impromptu invitation for a night out at the pub seems tantamount to climbing Kilimanjaro as the thought of removing your trusted sweat pants sends alarm bells blaring in your head. But you can do it. Cast aside those pyjamas, put down the mug of tea, back away from the blanket and step out into the world. Those friends you haven’t seen in two years? Call them. That invite for a night out with some people you don’t know that well? Just go for it. That push to do something spontaneous and maybe a bit crazy? Have an adventure.
Get Career Savvy:
Most of us aren’t all lucky enough to have a job that we absolutely love going to every day. When you wake up on Monday morning feeling like you’ve been in a fight with a heavy goods vehicle, I appreciate that it can be pretty difficult to find the motivation to get out of bed. However, donning a pair of googly eyes atop your eyelids so that you can secretly nap throughout the day just isn’t the answer. Instead, take a bucket load of “yes” to work. Yes boss, I will help you with that computer issue you’ve asked me to solve a bazillion times already (cue plastered on smile). Yes I am deserving of a raise and yes I am daring enough to ask for it (cue power suit and confident walk). Yes I will fill my day with productivity instead of lounging off at the first opportunity (cue serious efficiency face). Yes, I should go for that promotion because even if I don’t get it, I haven’t lost anything (cue Aretha Franklin music). Saying “yes” will make you the star of the office and the rewards are yours to reap!
Get Loved Up:
If the closest you’ve recently been to butterflies in your belly is the time where you accidentally ate a caterpillar in your salad, then there’s definitely room for more “yes” in your love life. Set up that dating profile you’ve been too frightened to start or pluck up the courage to ask out that beautiful work colleague of yours. If you’re already loved up, say yes to booking a spontaneous holiday, yes to buying each other little presents every now and then, yes to trying out a new sex position, yes to date nights, yes to making an effort every day. Goodness me, I know how difficult it is to keep that long-term relationship fire burning when your loved one has seen you watching daytime television in your sweat pants spooning peanut butter straight from the jar but that’s why “yes” is so important.
And it’s not all about romantic relationships… getting social will inevitably make you more loved up with your friend and family groups, something which is extremely good for your soul!
Get Back to You:
Now, here comes the serious bit. I can’t stress enough how saying “yes” to yourself is the most important thing you’ll ever do. Cue emotional yet dramatic music, cue montage, here comes some hardcore inspiration. For several years, I completely neglected myself and I wound up losing all sense of who I was. I didn’t really know what music I liked, what films I wanted to watch, what clothes to wear; I defined myself by what other people wanted from me and it made me miserable. When I got a short, sharp shock, I literally had to teach myself how to become Suzy again and it was no easy task. Whatever happens in your life, it’s so important to remain true to yourself and learn how to be okay if there’s only you to depend on. That means saying yes to all of these things: chasing dreams, fulfilling goals, not letting anybody stand in your way, wearing what the hell you want, doing what you feel is right, nurturing your passions, having fun, embracing happiness, loving yourself, being selfish sometimes, taking risks, being spontaneous, learning about yourself, and knowing who you are.
Oh my. I can’t put into words how wonderful it feels to be yourself. It’s pure joy. SO many benefits.
So. What are you waiting for?! Grab a whole load of yes and make the world yours. Go get ‘em, tiger. I can’t wait to hear all about it.
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