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How fun this month, to receive an invitation to join in on a challenge. A friend of mine on social media decided, during July, to say “yes” to something every day.
I was immediately intrigued. During my Year of Firsts, in 2014, I experienced a Yes Day. I’ve since done that a couple of times. However, I’ve never experienced a yes month.
My first yes for this challenge was accepting the invitation to participate. Check out what I’ve said Yes! to so far and join in on the fun.
Why Say Yes?
Saying yes opens us up to new opportunities and experiences. And saying yes shows that we are willing to move beyond comfort zones and fears. It’s too easy to utter “no” as our default response to opportunities, requests and invitations. Plus fear crowds in, giving us all kinds of reasons why we should say no instead of yes.
Saying yes allows us to stop procrastinating and to adopt a growth mindset as well.
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, who just soared into space this week, shares this:
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity, but you are not sure you can do it, say yes…then learn how to do it later!”
Saying yes also ramps up creativity and invites playfulness.
In 2015 I attended a writer’s conference in Philadelphia. I enjoyed an improv class there that taught me a valuable lesson.
The instructor led us through a series of conversations. The first one involved saying “no” to all questions asked. No quickly shut down conversations and possibilities. Next we said “yes…but”. Those words limited conversations as well and made communication awkward and difficult. However, when we answered each other’s questions with “yes…and” conversations and creativity flowed. High level energy filled the room.
I witnessed that day how powerful the word “yes” is. It leads to collaborations, more invitations and fun experiences. Yes moves us forward, gets us out of ruts and shifts us into the flow of life.
Of course, there are times to say no. Inappropriate requests are met with no. Overextending oneself repeatedly halts with no. And boundaries are set with no. When no becomes an automatic answer though, it’s time to shake things up and open life back up with yes.
The Yes Month Challenge
My online friend Jen, Go Family Adventure on social media, decided to say yes every day during the month of July. She chooses to say yes to things she’d typically brush off, put on the back burner or say no to.
I love her idea of a month long challenge and said “yes, I’ll join in”.
We are sharing our yeses in our stories on Facebook and Instagram. I believe Jen began on July 1. However, I began saying yes on July 5. That’s the beauty of a yes month challenge. It can begin on any day of the month. Simply continue saying yes daily for 30 days.
When I do one of my games, such as my birthday celebrations, I plan it out. Activities are written on slips of paper and dropped into a jar, where I randomly draw one out every day.
For the yes challenge, the idea is to stay open and see what invitations arrive. Opportunities can be as simple as “Want to grab lunch?” to the more complex “Want to collaborate on this project?”
What I’m finding is that multiple opportunities to say yes appear every day. I’m just more aware of them during this challenge. Some days, I say yes to one opportunity. Some days I’ve said yes multiple times.
A week into the Yes Month Challenge, I realized I began saying yes! several days before my invitation to join in.
I booked a solo trip to a city I’ve never been to before. Several times I almost backed out of the trip, before I even bought my airline ticket. However, I recognized it was time to push myself beyond my comfort zone and any fears I had about traveling solo. I said yes! and booked that trip.
Other yeses during my first week include:
- a walk along the river, something I have not done in a while
- a spontaneous picnic for one in my backyard garden
- attending the Boss Baby 2 movie with my grandkids, sister and her granddaughter
- trying something new at one of my favorite restaurants
- working a 1000 piece puzzle that arrived serendipitously from Scotland
- planning an afternoon tea time in Charleston during my trip, after a city brochure I received in the mail made me aware of the possibility
- caring for my teething eight month old granddaughter one afternoon, so her parents could work
And today I said Yes! to writing this post about the challenge.
The fun, for me, is that I do not know ahead of time what invitations or opportunities will arrive. More yeses have shown up, than those I’ve listed above. Being open to possibilities brings more opportunities to actually say yes to.
An Invitation to Say Yes
Saying yes involves trust.
Fear wants you to believe that you will end up doing something you don’t want to do, if you say yes. Not so. You still chose what’s right for you. Fear wants you to believe it is safer to say no. There’s a difference between safety and holding back.
“Jump off this building?” That’s an easy no.
“Speak before this group?” That’s a no because you are afraid…to speak in public, that you will make a mistake, that no one will want to hear what you have to say. What happens if you say yes instead? You move beyond your comfort zone. And you might make a mistake. No one cares. People can learn and receive value from what you have to share.
By saying yes to opportunities, invitations and new experiences we say to the Divine that we trust. We trust that good is intended for us and that we can grow through the experience.
Will You Say Yes?
Consider this post your invitation to join the Yes Month Challenge. If a month long challenge seems too intimidating, try a Yes Week or a Yes Day. You can start on any day and end the challenge whenever you want. Have fun with it. Invite your children or a friend to join in. Write about your experiences.
It’s your choice. I hope you’ll join me in saying yes!
Let me know if you accept the challenge. And please share some of your yeses with me!
Check out these inspiring books from Amazon:
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Year of Yes Journal by Shonda Rhimes
The Surrender Experiment by Michael A Singer
I Dare Me by Lu Ann Cahn
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