When we think about the things that are holding us back, it’s very likely we’re saying no to something when yes is the path to success.
During an interview, I once heard a statement that stuck with me – most people hear something 20 times before finally registering what was said, and most people say no to something at least four times before finally saying yes. I’ve also witnessed this at work when we offer a customer enrollment into a loyalty program that will earn them credits for free stuff. Quite often the answer is, “I’m not loyal enough” (even though they’re there buying stuff daily) and “I already belong to too many of those” (even though it doesn’t require anything to join and there’s no physical card to carry around.) I mean, I get it. Quite often we’re jaded and cynical, thinking there’s a catch, or that someone wants something from us.
There are a couple things at play here. First, any business knows that the best way to attract (NOT promote, advertise nor SELL) is to give stuff away. Typically, giving the best stuff away. There are weeks throughout the year that lots of coffee shops, convenience stores and gas stations will give away cups of coffee. 7-Eleven experienced a sales boom when they did free Slurpees and coffee. In the personal development space, entrepreneurial coaches give their best advice away in promotional ways (webinars and free courses) to attract people to their businesses. Speakers do loads of free speaking before getting booked for paid speaking gigs.
Inherently, we know there’s value in getting something for free, but we’re so conditioned to say “NO” when something is offered to us.
Have you ever been through a breakup, and then feel like a relationship will never happen again in the future? Have you ever found yourself dating the same person, again and again, but with a different name and face?
We fall into habits, repeating the same cycles repeatedly, hoping that we’ll get the same result. So many people wake up on a Monday morning and say, “this will be the day that I (balance their budget, lose weight, go for that dream job, ask for a raise, break up with the dunderfuck they keep reluctantly sharing a bed with)”, and yet by the end of the week (at best, quite often it’s at the end of the day), fall back into the same habits.
We *know* what we should be doing, and yet we struggle with taking action. We get scared. We try things, we suck at them at first, and we get discouraged. We fall in love, the relationship falls through, and we think we’ll be single and forever alone for the rest of our lives.
When we want to give it another go, we find so many reasons to tell ourselves “no”.
We create more stress for ourselves by obsessing about something than we do by doing it. We experience more pain fixating on a fear than we do by confronting it. We work ourselves up more just by thinking about something than we do by taking action and doing the damn thing.
After we’ve been hurt, after we’ve tried and “failed”, after we’ve gotten knocked on our ass, we know there’s light on the other side of that darkness, and yet we struggle to recover from the setback.
Our brains are hard-wired. We process loads of thoughts, and 90% of them are repetitive. 80% or so are negative thoughts. That’s a HUGE majority!
So, once again, we’re talking about sexy brain stuff! The purpose of addressing this again is because our thoughts inspire our actions. The way we feel about our thoughts is the catalyst for the action that we take. If we don’t like the way we’re thinking about something, we’ll typically do something to feed that negative thought and rationalize why we act out in negative ways (there are so many to choose from – binge-watching shows on Netflix, eating loads of sugar, abusing substances, getting involved in toxic relationships, gossiping and more). If we instead just have awareness for how we’re thinking, we can then start taking steps to change our thoughts.
When we obsess, we can simply say, “thought” or “feeling”, instead of trying to force ourselves to stop thinking a certain way. We can note it, address it, even write it down or say it out loud. When we do this, we acknowledge it instead of trying to force the elephant out of the room.
We don’t have to like something to accept it. We may not like traffic, but if we want to get somewhere safely, we must accept it and deal with it. It’s the same with all the shit that goes on in our minds, about our minds, about our bodies, about feeling disconnected, isolated, judged, judgmental, and “flawed.”
If we could instead give ourselves a moment to say YES to this moment, to our circumstances, and to the good that we already have, maybe then we’ll stop saying NO to the things that may benefit us.
Yes, life will deal some hurtful blows. If it doesn’t, we’re not trying hard enough. But that’s where the growth comes in. It happens after the suck. We get the reward once we push past the pain.
Let’s say yes to the things that will benefit us. Let’s say yes to the amazing light within us all, and let it shine on. Let’s say yes to the endless possibilities of good that we will encounter in our lives.
After all, if we want to get out of the endless cycle of negative thoughts, then we must change the way that we react to those thoughts.
Let’s say yes, and witness the incredibly powerful impact it will have on our lives ♥