The big question is whether you’re going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure…the adventure of the hero – the adventure of being alive. ~ Joseph Campbell
Why is saying “no,” even to those we love best, so easy to do? Why is saying “yes” so difficult? The questions: “What about me, what about what I want?” appear to be embedded deeply within us, even in the best of people. When we’re asked, “Will you do me a favor?” the response quite often is some variation of, “It depends on the favor, what do you want?” It’s as if we’re afraid that by saying “yes,” we may lose something or that the cost will be too much for us to bear. Maybe we fear committing to something we really may not want to do; so, “it depends,” gives us the leeway, or time, to come up with an excuse to back out – just in case.
Is anything wrong with that thinking? Many teachings and sayings of cultures and religions are in apparent opposition to that notion. Examples include biblical quotes such as “Give and it will be given to you,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Despite these teachings, we frequently don’t operate that way. We apparently live in the time of me; perhaps this is how people have always behaved.
Certainly, many people take the idea of saying “yes” too far – people-pleasers. That’s an extreme. I’m talking about the rest of us.
I see two problems with hedging, with saying anything other than “yes.” The first appears minor; When we say “maybe,” we give the other person the message that “no” is a possibility. But, unless you’re dealing with a bully or someone out of touch with reality, the person is already aware that “no” is a possibility. Saying “maybe,” only underscores the fact. Saying “yes,” on the other hand, encourages and strengthens the relationship with that person. You are, in effect, saying: “You’re important to me and I’m confirming this by saying ‘yes’ without any need of explanation from you. Just tell me what you want.”
The second problem with hedging is that it’s protective where protection is unnecessary. When you say “yes,” you’re saying to yourself and to the other person, “I’m not afraid; I can take care of myself. I’ll give you what you want because I have confidence in myself that I have it to give and I’m willing to give it. It truly won’t cost me. If you ask something I can’t give or choose not to give, I’ll tell you and perhaps help you in some other way.” In other words, saying “yes” empowers you and builds confidence in yourself that you’re abundant and responsible.
Say “yes” today; you’ll be stronger for it; you’ll be the hero of your life.
Life Coach Austin, Texas
Learn to Say Yes to the Adventure of Life – be the Hero – Article © 2009
The Adventure of Life is to Learn – Be the Hero
October 8, 2009 by David Cantu