When one of my favorite Peloton instructors, Leanne Hainsby, gives shout outs during her classes, she always follows the person's name with, "Yes to you!" It makes me smile every time.
One of the best pieces of parenting wisdom I received when my girls were young was to say yes as often as I could. As humans our first reaction is usually to say no. It's how our brains protect us from doing something dangerous. But going with that first reaction means we miss out on so many chances to say yes.
When my older daughter was a toddler she went through a phase where it was very important to her that she go up or down the stairs first. So I let her. Because I could say yes. It added some extra time to our trips up and down, but it allowed her to assert her independence in a way that ultimately didn't matter at all to me. But it mattered a lot to her.
I carried this advice with me when I went back to work after five years as a stay at home mom. I was a healthcare compliance attorney so essentially my job was to make sure my clients followed the rules. In other words, it would have been really, really easy to say no all of the time. But I said yes as often as I could.
By saying yes, I demonstrated my trustworthiness as an advisor and advocate.
Because I only said no when it was necessary I never developed a reputation as a killjoy or naysayer. And when I said no, my clients didn't resent me for "holding them back". When they asked for my advice my thought process always began with "How is this possible?" That way when I did have to say no, I knew I'd already thought through every possible way I could say yes. And my clients trusted that I was looking out for them.
How often do you find ways to say yes to yourself?
When you want something do you look for reasons why you should get it? Or do you try to talk yourself out of having it?
I spent a lot of years saying yes to my kids, yes to my clients and not extending that same courtesy to myself. Which sent the message to me and everyone else that I wasn't important or valuable. That what I wanted was less important than what they wanted.
Now I go to Starbucks for a venti green tea almost every day. It would be easy to talk myself out of doing that. I could make tea at home. I could stop drinking tea altogether. I could go to McDonalds and get a $1 tea instead of a $3.45 tea at Starbucks. I could Google all of the articles that have been written telling me what I can do with all of that money instead of "wasting" it on Starbucks.
Or I can say yes to me. Because the fact that I want it is enough.
I decided that I'm worth a 10 minute trip and $3.45 every day. Because their tea is delicious and I look forward to it every morning. But this isn't just about Starbucks. Or about spending money. Allowing myself to have something just because I want it is the same as letting my daughter walk up the stairs first. I'm demonstrating that if it's important to me, it's important. It also keeps me from growing resentful or frustrated. By looking for ways to say yes, I'm building trust and confidence in my ability to have what I want instead of holding myself back.
What would be different for you if you looked for ways to yes? Start saying yes to you and get ready for the magic to happen.
Working with me is one way to say yes to yourself! Schedule a free consult to learn more. We'll talk about where you are now, where you want to be and all of the ways you can start saying yes.
What do you get when you work with a life coach? ✨A judgment- free space devoted to you and your goals. ✨Strategies for creating and getting the life you want. ✨Honest, objective perspective on what's keeping you stuck. ✨The opportunity to make decisions based on possibility not discontent.
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