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It Takes a Lot of Little “No”s to Find Your Big YES!

Uncategorized Feb 09, 2024

Now, you might have Shonda Rhimes’s Yes to Everything in mind but that’s not what we’re talking about here (and let’s be honest, that’s how people get roped into things like bungee jumping and running marathons—uh…. nooooo thank you!). 

I’m not talking about saying yes to everything; in fact, I want to talk about doing exactly the opposite. I’m talking about clearing out the clutter and making room for the things that really light us up, the things that make us shout "YES!" to the sky. 

Close your eyes and think about the last time you felt this. Remember the adrenaline rush, the victory dance you did in your kitchen… all that good stuff. Breathe. Remember. Imagine.

Because a life full of big YESSES is a real option! 

I was reminded of this while having coffee with a good friend at the top of the year. Just as we were getting ready to leave, she mentioned something that was her big yes and it caught my attention. It made me wonder why such a simple idea felt so novel to me in that moment.  

And this is what I realized: we think that to find the big yes, we have to say yes to everything… but that leads to a crowded, flooded, exhausting life with no clear path forward. 

The Big YES is opting into the things that matter to you, that embody your core values, and move your personal mission forward…. and doing so with your whole heart.

Here’s the trick: to find our big yesses, we first have to master the art of saying no. Because the wrong little yesses will get you! Does sitting on that board really make sense? Does taking on that extra $600 a month to drive that Tesla really pay off? Does agreeing to host the in-laws really make sense? (Especially when they offered to get a hotel—just let them do it!) 

Discerning the right yesses and noes isn't a quick process. It requires patience and a keen eye to evaluate how we truly feel about the demands and opportunities in our lives. It may feel like you're turning things down all the time, but believe me, every no is a step towards a more meaningful yes.

And then, when there’s room in your life to explore, start saying yes to the things that feel right. Feel out the possibilities. That’s when the big YES will appear, and believe me, when you find it, you’ll know. As will everyone around you when they see what it does for you. 

So, let's talk about setting up our lives to find big yesses. 

  1. What’s your gut telling you? Seriously, stop ignoring that little voice. Ask yourself: Is this demand on my life additive? Is good enough really good enough? Maybe not anymore…
  2. Develop your patience. It’s like building muscle. When was the last time that you practiced restraint instead of rushing into the moment? It takes time and curiosity to find your Big YES.
  3. What are you afraid of that you are filling your days with suboptimal yesses? We often say yes out of FOMO or people-pleasing. But how does that really serve YOU?

This journey to "The Big YES" is about crafting a life filled with purpose, excitement, and, yes, those moments that make us feel alive. It's about being honest with ourselves, recognizing what truly matters, and having the courage to chase it. So, let's get on this road together, shall we? Let's find our Big YES and make it the cornerstone of everything we do.

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