The New Yes
I’m about half way through Shonda Rimes’ book, Year of Yes. If you haven’t read it yet, do it – it’s yummy.
(Well, I’m only half way through…so I can only fully attest to the first half being yummy, but I’m predicting that I’ll keep on liking it.)
Anyway, obviously the book is about saying YES.
YES, to the scary stuff. To leaning in. Nothing new there, but her story is a good one and we all need more examples of YES. A few more nudges in the right direction.
It’s not the yes to the scary stuff that stood out for me though. That’s not why I’m writing to you.
It’s this. (This is only a tiny spoiler – it won’t wreck the book for you…I promise.)
She discovers that her weight – the crazy kind of overweight that she is when she begins this year of yes – also comes from YES.
It was YES to being fat. A YES to wine and brownies and bacon and, in her own words, a YES to“…take it all and shove it down and put some food on top of it.”
What we have said YES to is what we have now.
I’m going to say that again because it absolutely files in the face of the way we think about it most of the time.
You have what you have said yes to. And you have said yes to what you have.
We spend so much time seeing YES as what we’re going to say when we grow the cojones to really lean in to our lives, and seeing what we have now as the result of not quite being there yet.
But that’s not entirely true.
Every tiny thing you choose is a yes.
YES, “I’ll just take care of those emails tomorrow.”
YES, “I’ll close myself off so no one can hurt me like that again.”
YES, “I’m having a glass of wine tonight, even though it’s Monday and I know that one glass always morphs into three.”
So, it’s not really just about saying yes, is it?
And believe me. It’s not about saying NO.
Your brain hates NO. Your brain will retaliate against NO. NO is a 100% short term solution.
It’s about noticing the YESses you’re already making.
It’s about choosing the YESses that will move you forward.
It’s about crafting bigger and bigger YESses until you’re exactly where you want to be.
This is about the intentional YES.
I know I probably don’t have to tell you this again, but I’ll feel negligent if I don’t, so before you’re able to notice anything real, you need to be in the present moment.
Adjust your lenses.
Start noticing. Refrain from self-judgement, please. Your brain hates to be judged almost as much as it hates NO – judgement is another 100% short-term solution.
Simply notice what you’re saying YES to.
Make it real. (remember the no judgement part here)
Say it aloud and/or in your head. Be very clear with yourself. YES, “I’m going to hit snooze again.” YES, “I’m going to watch Outlander instead of paying bills.” YES, “I think I’ll nuke some nachos.”
Now that you know what you’re saying YES to, you can start to choose. It may be helpful to insert a few questions at this point.
Does saying YES to this bring me closer to or further from what I really what?
What do I get out of saying YES to this?
What else could I say YES to that does the same thing for me AND will bring me closer to my goals?
Once you get the hang of choosing your YESses…start to eek them in a bigger direction.
This is the growing some cojones part.
You have what you say YES to.
BIG stuff requires BIG YESses.