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Why should you be a ‘Yes’ Wo/man?

How to be a Yes Man

Jim Carrey’s film Yes Man

It’s scary when life imitates art.

… Even scarier when you find yourself copying something off of a Jim Carrey film and it actually works!

The Yes Man was a film with a simple concept. Take an average guy with a dull life and have him promise to spice up his lifestyle. The catch? He must say “Yes” to every opportunity, invitation, request,… Everything.

As far as films go, I’ll be honest- it limps along. But as a proverb to live by, it’s genius!

Almost three years ago, I thought that my work life in the entertainment industry was so exciting, that I didn’t need a social life. But then my work slowed and when it did, my social life took the hit, just as hard as if I had tied a noose around it. It was sad and just plain… pathetic.

So I secretly took up a quest to be a Yes Wo/man.

The results? I completed my first solo trip and went on to live and travel solo in Asia for almost two years. Mostly however, it’s helped improve the quality of my life:  I’ve discovered new hobbies, met people from cultures around the world, became more socially confident, turned into an outdoorsy person (which I, god forbid, never was…) and am living an adventurous travel life according to friends and family.

If the me/then, could’ve seen the me/now, would I have believed my transformation?

Nooo.

What is a ‘Yes Wo/man’ ? 

If you haven’t seen the movie, then let me reiterate how it works.

A ‘Yes Wo/man’ says ‘Yes’ to everything.

Particularly the simple things you don’t feel like doing or wouldn’t ordinarily do .

A  date that you don’t feel thrilled about going on?    Yes.

Playing racquetball (when you don’t care for the sport or even know how to play it)?    Yes.

Going to a social function (when you don’t know anyone attending)?   Yes.

Accept a potential job opportunity (that you may lack a certain skill in)?  Yes.

(Note: Obviously, one should say ‘Yes’ to things within the boundaries of wisdom and reason.)

Why does saying ‘Yes’ to everything work?

Do you find yourself saying No to life more than you do Yes? Be honest. How often do you dare to try new things you’ve never tried or do things outside of your comfort zone?  Before being a ‘Yes’ person, I used to say ‘No’ to over half of the opportunities offered to me.  That’s a lot!

So how did the ‘Yes Wo/man’ idea work for me?

•  Bravery is all in the bluff.

If you’re a woman, fear is not your worst enemy… it’s self-doubt and over-thinking. Thus, you need to fool your mind.

My worst habit?  What-if situations. They’d always distract me with endless loops of self-defeating thought. The result? I’d lose out on a lot of simple and big opportunities, because of continual self-doubt.

Knowing you’re going to say ‘Yes’ to your future, is a bullet to the brain. It removes the thinking process. Erase that and you’ve won over half the battle! Moreover, it commits you to possessing future courage.

… even if you don’t know what courage looks like yet.

When I looked at my male friends, I noticed they seldom suffered from severe over-thinking.  Whether or not they had the confidence and skill to pull off their endeavors, they never questioned the start. Instead, they reacted on it with one impulse…

Say ‘Yes’. Deal later.

•  Accepting the unknown and dealing with it.

By impulsively making agreements to do things I stood uncertain of, I instantly opened the door to opportunity… and fear. But when I took this step forward, something miraculous happened. My…

” What if…? ”

 shifted to

” How will I…? ” and ” How can I…?

The changed outlook of the situation was surprising! I jumped to ‘problem solving’ and then, to ‘doing’. For instance, only after I bought my ticket for my first solo trip, did the fear give way to planning, researching places to visit or stay, fun things to do,… ‘Wondering’ was no longer a roadblock. Fear and worries subsided, now that I had tangible plan.

 And… if you’ve said Yes to something and discovered down the road, that it wasn’t for you? Untangling yourself is easy. You can always walk away, without regret.

•  Learning to roll with life (because it doesn’t always give warnings).

I confess, as a female solo traveler, I always have moments, where I doubt my courage.  Anxiety accompanies me on each journey. Will I be able to do it on my own? What if I can’t? What if something bad happens? etc… I never know what life will throw at me until I’m there, in the moment. But when last-minute changes or ‘the unexpected’ happens, I find I always discover my hidden power tools. Resources, talents and skills that I didn’t know I had or maybe, had forgotten, suddenly surface.

The human instinct for survival is strong. You can trust it being there in your time of need.

When you get down to it, we’re all more resourceful, creative and flexible to changing circumstances than we think. We’re more resilient than we know… and we’re more courageous, powerful and adventurous than we ever imagined.

Why should you be a Yes Wo/man?

You’ll…

1. Focus on manifesting your goals vs. only dreaming about them.
2. Notice opportunities in everything.
3. Discover what you thought you didn’t like, you actually do.
4. Realize most of your fears and worries aren’t real.
5. Not regret lost opportunities.
6. Go from a ‘Yes’ to an ‘I Can‘ attitude in life.

Any ‘Yes’ tips or tricks you might have used to get your life rolling towards its dream destination?

25 Comments

  1. Karisa says:

    Great advice about a positive life attitude! I remember watching that movie and thinking that it was kind of dumb but I love the idea of being open to opportunities.

  2. I didn’t love the movie, but I LOVED the concept and I actually implemented it into my own life. I found that choosing to say ‘yes’ opened my world to a whole new set of experiences and friends. 😀 Best decision ever!

  3. Claire says:

    Yes Man is such a good movie. Never really related it to travel before though. Great post, it really inspires me to say YES more often 🙂

  4. LozinTransit says:

    Overthinking is a problem that affects us all but I guess its proportionate to what we think we have to lose. Its worth noting that ‘Yes Man’ is based on a book by a British Humorist, Danny Wallace. Its a good read.
    I had a YesMan year in 2010 which fed into my EuroTrip in 2011. Its a state of mind thats hard to contain. With experience you become more optimistic because you know you’ve had successes in the past but you still have to energise yourself for every new day. Not thinking is hard work. I wish I was better at it.

    • @Lozin Transit: Didn’t know it was a book or maybe I just overlooked that fact because it was a Jim Carrey film. Yes, our overthinking makes things more complex than they are. But glad to hear you hurdled some of it it to fulfill a grand goal. Congrats on your Euro Trip!

  5. Katja says:

    so, now you like Racquetball? Good to know, if you ever visit the big apple again,- Johanna and I will have our *sses happily handed to us by a newbie yes-woman racquetball player 🙂

    • @Katja: ha ha… okay, racquetball didn’t bode too well for me, so I’d be reluctant to go again. Might try and create a diversion to distract you from inviting me. 😉

  6. Jenna says:

    Another great post, Christine! Well done for living it.

    I met a lady in India once, and all of a sudden it struck me to invite her along on a trip to Greece. “Oh my gosh, you should come to Greece!” I exclaimed, with no preamble. “Ok!” she responded, with maybe a two-second pause. I thought that was pretty cool, but when she agreed to another trip just a month later proposed by a third friend, I was really impressed. Eventually the story came out, and she had been practicing the “yes” philosophy all last year. Needless to say, it was an amazing one, and by now it has become a way of life.

  7. Gray says:

    Very sound advice, Christine. You are right on about the self-doubt and overthinking that we women do.

  8. MsCathy says:

    Genius!!! At this time in my life, I believe I am getting closer to becoming a “Yes Woman” but after reading this post, you have inspired me to say yes more often 🙂 Thank you for the great blog post!! I enjoyed reading it very much!

    Cathy Trails

  9. Dave says:

    Fantastic post Christine, really enjoyed reading it today.

    I’m never really attracted to “Inspirational” travel type articles, but this one I was. I think again it come from the way you write. As if writing about yourself, as opposed to telling people to try something. I find this refreshing!

    As for “Yes Man” tips. Hmmm. Interesting observation on the “men do now, think later”. I think it’s true, but often gets us into the “uh oh, why did I say yes position more often than not.”

    I’m a believer in personality over gender in terms of attitudes and mentalities.

    As for “Yes Tips” I’ve used myself:

    Well, If in doubt, start small. In other words if you find the concept of saying yes bothersome. Just try it for a day. But a limit on it. Make it fun, like a gamble. Eliminate things like yes to giving away you house etc. But after that, all is game. If you survive one day, and enjoyed it. Do it next time for 2 days and so on. Until you work out whether it’s something for you or not.

    Personally, I can never make up my mind on things. And once stuck, I take too long. I’m currently making an effort to make more on the spot decisions rather than think about them for too long.

    Strange to be battling with your own personal preferences on mental attitudes … let’s see.

    Again, great article keep it up!

    • @Dave: Great ‘Yes Tips’ I wish I could highlight them b/c this is something I didn’t mention in my post. I was more of the mind of, I’m putting the secret out and it’s up to others to choose how they use it. But I like your guidelines; I’ll just requote you:
      .
      .

      Dave’s ‘Yes Tips’:

      Well, If in doubt, start small. In other words if you find the concept of saying yes bothersome. Just try it for a day. But a limit on it. Make it fun, like a gamble. Eliminate things like yes to giving away you house etc. But after that, all is game. If you survive one day, and enjoyed it. Do it next time for 2 days and so on. Until you work out whether it’s something for you or not.

      I totally get what you mean about personality over gender. In many regards, I feel the same! But my ‘female mind’ wasn’t cutting it thru decisions quickly enough. A guy/girl go on a date- the guy thinks she’s a nice girl & the girl is thinking half-way down to the altar. Women generally over-think.
      .
      .

      (I’m generalizing…) To expand the story, I noticed guys & girls in TV work/think differently. I found gfs and female supervisors in my industry, had similar neurotic tendencies to self-doubt and it often made them hell to work with! All that mental work causes an air of anxiety, stress and uncertainty in the decision-making process… for everyone. When I worked w/ crew guys– so different– relaxed, grounded, no nutsy freakouts & the job got done just as well. Tv crew guys are just cowboys & I love working with Marlboro men over Nervous Nellys. Guy friends let me in on how they deal w/ things and it was a straight shot, simple, w/o clutter. It worked for me. Not saying it works for everyone and my mind isn’t converted 100% male, but its helped me think and work in the present (male) vs. the future (female).

      Of course, you have chick-like guys & guy-like chicks… you have to factor those into the situation too. I’ve had female-minded GUY bosses… they were generally hell to work with too! 😉

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