Remember Jim Carrey’s movie “Yes Man”? A few weeks ago while visiting my family in Arizona I adopted that idea, the idea of saying “yes” more instead of no. This somewhat subconscious thought was inspired by my adorable nieces. Let me explain.
I am not a kid person. I have no clue how to engage children or really be anything but completely awkward in front of them. Kids usually sense this and keep their distance. But when it comes to my nieces (that I only get to see once or twice a year) I don’t want them to keep their distance. I want a relationship with them. I want them to remember me and be excited to see me when I come around. So this visit I noticed how they’re just full of questions. They’re brimming with curiosity. They want to try new things, see new things, do new things. So typically, when kids ask me to do something with them, my auto-response is “no” in a very sweet “sorry, maybe next time” kind of tone. This year I realized what BS that is. I’m only saying “no” to protect myself, to stay in control, to not be vulnerable. This is all ridiculous. Especially when we’re talking about 6, 4 and 3 year old kids that just want to have fun with their aunt. So as soon as I realized how this thinking was paralyzing me, I decided to turn my no’s into YES! Such a small change with such a huge impact. YES, I’ll color with you! YES, I’ll swim with you! YES, I’ll tuck you in! I ended up having the best time with them that I’ve ever had.
The thing about YES, is it feels so much better than NO. One is optimistic and one is pessimistic. One is all about opportunity and possibility the other is a barrier keeping us from all that.
These kids reminded me how okay it is to be silly, vulnerable, curious and playful.
Now that I’m back home, I hope to remember how good it feels to say “YES!” no matter the fear on the other side of that answer. “NO” is predictable. “NO” is having the same day today as you did yesterday and the same day tomorrow as today. “YES” is a blank canvas. “YES” is adding more life to your days.
Try it and see where a simple “YES” can take you.