Most of us recognize the importance of learning how to effectively say no; however, sometimes we need to challenge ourselves by saying yes.  By doing so in certain situations, we greatly increase our potential for success and provoke personal growth.  This isn’t about agreeing to do a favor for someone when you don’t have the time; it’s about declining a friend’s invitation to try something new because you’re not sure you’ll enjoy it, and you don’t want to waste a few hours of your day.  Or it could be about refusing a potentially amazing job opportunity because you’re afraid you’re not qualified.  In many situations, it’s worth saying yes even when we want to say no.

Step outside your comfort zone.  It could be as simple as accepting an invitation to try a new dance class, when you think you’re a horrible dancer and fear embarrassment; or it could mean saying yes to your boss or a client when asked to solve an unfamiliar or daunting problem.  No doubt, in the moment, it can be nerve-wracking and even terrifying to say yes – especially when everything inside of you is shouting ‘How the hell am I going to figure this out?’  But this precise moment of discomfort is an opportunity for you to take things to the next level and broaden your horizons.

4 Reasons To Say Yes More:

girl on the phone1/ Increase your potential.  Regardless of how things turn out in the immediate future, facing a challenge forces you to break through a barrier that will inevitably change you.  By shying away from what makes you uncomfortable, you will limit your ability to achieve your goals and dreams; whereas when you intentionally put yourself in situations that force you to grow, you improve your adaptability, knowledge and potential for success. More often than not, you also learn that your abilities are far greater than you knew. And the more you believe in your future, the more likely it is you’ll work to create the future you want. As the saying goes, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

2/ Expand your comfort zone.  People who achieve great things in life didn’t do so overnight or without obstacles and failures along the way. Each step in your journey has the power to shift your future in an interesting and expansive way, so connect with your most confident self when making important decisions.  The more you expose yourself to challenges and overcome them, the less fazed you’ll be in uncomfortable situations and the more skilled you’ll become at getting through them. Your boundary for discomfort will shrink as you gain experience and become stronger and more confident.

struggle at work3/ Become a kickass problem solver.  Whether it’s putting together the new sound system in your living room (that previously intimidated the sh*t out of you), finishing Level 5 of a new language on Rosetta Stone, organizing an event for your company, or fixing the kitchen sink instead of calling a plumber — whenever you push yourself and learn something new, you improve your ability to problem solve in the future. The mere practice of doing the work to solve an issue (i.e. reading articles, connecting with informed others) is powerful.  It’s also important to note that unsuccessful experiences are opportunities for growth as much as – and sometimes more than – successful ones.

4/ Connect with and inspire others.  In addition to expanding your personal potential and growth, your yes experiences will motivate others to live up to their potential.  Someone in your circle will be encouraged and motivated by your experiences and courage.  This doesn’t require additional effort if you choose to lead solely by example;  however, why not increase your positive spark by sharing your experiences with others?  Meanwhile, living outside your comfort zone often requires interacting with new people and broadening your social network; you will likely develop some unexpected and meaningful relationships as a result.

* Song For This Moment: “Working For It” by ZHU + Skrillex + THEY.

Related Articles:

“When You Believe in Yourself, Your Brain Operates Differently”, article in YouCubed at Stanford University.

“Positive Thinking Constructive to Prolong Life Span”, article in Metrocebu.