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?
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…? ”
” 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?
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.