It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and just live day to day. Maybe you’ve spent years daydreaming about what you want your life to look like. Maybe your job is no longer fulfilling or maybe you’ve always dreamed of traveling around the world or writing a novel. What’s stopping you from saying yes to your dreams? Instead of quietly tucking your dreams away consider making this year your year of yes…
New Discoveries Are Waiting
Everything you love right now was once an unknown. Your favorite song, your favorite movie, your favorite meal, your best friend—all of these things were once unknown to you. But you didn’t let fear of the unknown stop you.
When you say yes to new discoveries, you learn more about what you like and don’t like. Taking chances strengthens your ability to make bolder decisions. This doesn’t mean you’ll love the results of every “Yes” you go after. Sometimes, you’ll simply discover what you don’t like and that’s a good discovery as well.
Personal Growth Doesn’t Happen in Your Safety Zone
One Thanksgiving, Shonda Rhimes’ sister, Delorse, challenged her on her boundaries. She told Shonda, you are “never saying yes to anything.” Convicted by her sister’s words she decided to commit to what she called her year of yes, which she turned into a memoir, Year of Yes. In that year, Shonda said “yes” to giving the commencement address at her alma mater and doing things that she would normally turn down and had an enlightening and fun year.
For some people, saying ‘no’ is an automatic response. You say ‘no’ to that new project even though you know it could lead to a promotion. You say ‘no’ to healthy foods even though you know it could lead to more energy.
But personal growth never happens inside your safety zone. If you really want to make a difference and change your life, then you have to be willing to do things you’ve never done before. You have to be willing to say yes even when the future feels scary and uncertain.
Say Yes to Learning New Things
Besides growing into your best self, saying yes helps you learn new things. You might say yes to the chance to host a party and discover you love being a hostess. You could say yes to a giving a presentation at work and find out you love public speaking.
What you learn won’t be just limited to your personality though. You’ll also learn more about your relationships, your finances, your health, and so many other areas of your life. Maybe a new dance class makes you realize how supportive your partner is. Maybe an unexpected road trip with an aging parent gives you insight into your mom’s upbringing and your family history.
Saying yes can lead to new directions and may lead to new friends, hobbies, and career changes. But saying yes doesn’t have to involve tackling something big like changing your job or moving to a different country. Instead, start with something small like taking a new class or going to a new Meetup group in order to meet new people. The more you say yes to little things the easier it will become to say yes to the big things and make this your year of yes.
Image credit: Photo by Annie Spratt