Saying YES! When You Keep Hearing NO

Saying Yes when you keep hearing no

Are you ready to take action, get over the hump, and get on your way to feeling better, achieving a goal, making a deeper impact, and just being happier? Well, my friend, you are going to have to stop pushing opportunities aside, refusing help, trying to do it all on your own, and most importantly, saying NO. What are you afraid of? Are you so closed off and shut down to believe that you have experienced everything there is to experience, that you couldn’t possibly learn something new about yourself, and be happier than you are today? Hogwash. There is ALWAYS more! Let’s dig into the knee jerk “I’m just looking” response and start saying YES!

Let’s talk about what’s preventing you from saying yes, when no works for you and when it can work against you, and how being open to more can give you the momentum to propel you forward. Sound like a plan?

Are you that person who walks into a store and no matter what your mission, when you’re approached for help you say, “no thank you, I’m just looking”? It’s a knee jerk reaction. I’ve said it and then thought about it for half a second, retracted and said: “why yes, I do need some help, where is this or that?” Why spend time searching for something I’m unfamiliar with when an expert just said, how can I help you today.  We’ve become conditioned to figuring things out on our own, to avoid making contact, and possibly being talked into something we don’t need or aren’t ready for. Has this been your experience when you’ve let your guard down and accepted help? No? Then where did that preconceived notion come from? Why are we so quick to push help aside to go it alone?

How many automatic no’s do you deliver every day? If not verbally, in your mind?

Sometimes no is so deeply rooted that even though it comes out of your mouth it doesn’t come from your heart. It’s an opinion or thought given to us when we needed help to understand the world. Somewhere, someone told us no and we believed the why and it became our thought and opinion too. Left unchallenged, we carry it around and use it like caution cones for road construction. Slow down, use caution, or worse….detour here! We reroute everything in our life based on something we heard vs something we’ve tested. 

We talk a lot about self-limiting beliefs and that’s because it’s important. It’s important to look at it from all angles and continue to bring new ideas around the subject to the surface. If you heard it the first time and were able to break through all your false beliefs and adopt your own perspective, then CONGRATS! How freeing that must feel. However, I’m going to lay money on the fact that most of us need to hear it again and again and then even after that, be continually reminded.  Deeply rooted beliefs don’t pluck easily from our garden of knowledge. 

It takes persistence. Just like the weeds that come back again and again, when given any opportunity, these thoughts and judgments will replay over and over.

We’ve all had these beliefs at one time or many times in our lives. We may still be having them now. The first step is to recognize that there could be an alternative perspective. As with anything, if you aren’t aware, you can’t alter your thoughts. 

For me, it happens as a revelation. I may have heard it and believed it one way for so long and then all of a sudden I hear a new idea that challenges my old one and BAM! I may have heard it over and over but for some reason, that one time took hold and opened my eyes. So don’t stop searching for new ideas and listening to others. Knowledge comes from hearing so be open to what’s being said around you. Once your mind is open and this new idea is swirling around, it’s time to challenge your old way of thinking. 

Now you might be a skeptic, so this may not happen in one attempt. But that’s the beauty of self-discovery, it’s a journey. Keep poking away at it and whittle it down until it no longer has a hold over you. 

Sometimes is the sheer fear of saying yes. As we’ve already established, no keeps us closed off and protected. New ideas and opportunities might push you out of your comfort zone and then what? You will be exposed and vulnerable and people might see the true you. Ouch!  Sounds funny but generally, we are afraid of the unknown. Routine is comfortable and predictable. But what if….you really like it and it propels you to new heights.

There are times when no is HARD to say but healthy to do so. I’m not suggesting replacing all your no’s with yes but just to be mindful so you get a healthy balance. Sometimes saying no is the source of your anxiety. You don’t want to let people down, you want to please, fix, or control. No might create that uncomfortable confrontation or worse, show that you aren’t needed when validation is what you need most. ALWAYS being there for everyone but yourself is not valiant it’s risky. Just like limiting beliefs, our perception of people-pleasing can be skewed. Helpful can easily morph into controlling. Not allowing others to live their lives unaided by you can create a false sense of dependency that enables them from learning and evolving.

People-pleasing is another deeply rooted behavior in our garden but with pruning and self-care you can keep it at bay.

Feeling powerful? Perception really does control so much of what we think and do. We can get so rooted in one frame of mind that we miss much of what passes us by. Being open to differing opinions and new perspectives give us a chance to grow in a direction that nurtures and feeds our minds. 

Adam Sicinski, Lifetime Achiever gives us a list of things that we should be saying YES to that will help us live a more optimal life and propel us forward:

Say YES to opportunities to attempt something new that you hadn’t tried before.

Say YES to possibilities for new adventures, challenges, and experiences.

Say YES to things that somewhat scare you or that you don’t quite understand.

Say YES to things that break your monotonous rituals, habits, and routines.

Say YES to things that help you learn something new about yourself, about others and about life.

Say YES to building friendships and connections with strangers.

Say YES to experiencing changes that feel uncomfortable and yet somewhat exciting at the same time.

Say YES to unexpected invites that create interest and pull you out of your comfort zone.

Say YES to random encounters and coincidences that you don’t quite understand but would like to make the most of.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of things that we should be saying YES to more often, however it does cover quite an array of scenarios that can help you experience more of what life has to offer.

CHALLENGE: Take a moment before you respond. This could be an opportunity for something new and exciting to develop. Embrace yes and challenge no when you’ve considered all your options. You deserve the best life has to offer.

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Peter Shankman, article, saying yes vs saying no
Habits for Wellbeing shares some insight on where they come from and why they are so easy to believe.
Ed & Deb Shapiro The Way Ahead
Claire Hodgson gives us 5 Tips to Help You Stop Being a People Pleaser
Adam SicinskiLifetime Achiever gives us, The Value of Saying Yes More Often to Life’s Opportunities