Learning to Say YES
There's a lot of information on the internet and in self-help books about how to use the word "no" as a complete sentence. This kind of advice is super valuable if you have difficulty setting boundaries or putting your your own needs before the needs of others.
A common problem that can leave you feeling depleted and often resentful in your life and relationships.
Knowing where to draw the line between self and other is an important part of healthy relating, and developing the muscle of saying no is crucial to wellbeing. A lack of boundaries stems from over-valuing the approval of others, and fears of disappointing or hurting others.
But have you ever thought about how often you say YES? Saying yes is harder than it seems particularly if you struggle with trust. In the same way you might fear disappointing others, you may also carry an internal story around being let down.
Saying yes to people, situations or life as a whole means that you inherently believe that the universe is filled with positive outcomes, and that wanting something equates with getting it. It requires feelings of worthiness, and a perspective of abundance.
The confidence that you are deserving and capable of living your dreams, and trusting that mistakes, disappointments, and let downs are a part of life are part of the path to embracing the joy you deeply deserve and want.
It's scary to reach for something that appears more like a mirage than a reality. It takes a leap of faith and lots of courage to jump into the waters of your life without the assurance that you won’t be hurt. Trusting that you will survive any outcome is built from within through practice and experience. Just like sitting on the sidelines of a game and never playing makes it impossible to improve, you will stifle your own growth and progress by avoiding the inevitable challenges that come with the risk of living fully.
The inability to say yes to love, intimacy, change, and success stems from years of difficult relating, disappointment, rejection, and faulty parenting.
We all get plastered and molded into some version of a relational being, and when your "relational style" presents as ambivalent and scared you're work is to break down the walls to emerge with a more open and accepting world perspective.
This is a frightening and arduous process, but research shows us that we can all change the way we relate in the world if we become aware and curious about what drives those behaviors.
Begin by answering these questions:
Is your main intention in life to make other people happy so you can feel accepted? Do you stay invisible and put most of your focus and energy on taking care of your own needs? Are you an outwardly focused person or an inwardly focused person? Do you do things in your life out of obligation and duty or authentic desire? Do you find yourself turning down opportunities for advancement, growth and opportunity because you're afraid to fail? When confronted with decisions in your life do you get stuck in ambivalence or do you become paralyzed?
Your answers should help you start to notice a pattern of how you relate to others and your life in general. You may be someone who is turning away from what is presented, or you might be doing too much for the wrong reasons.
Either way, the goal is to find balance and a way to feel safe while embracing challenge and risk without retreating or sacrificing yourself. To do this you have to first understand what you're doing and why you're doing it.
Every answer you come up with to the above questions will have an intention and motivation behind it. Tactics like avoidance, over-analyzing, and even pleasing are strategies you're unconsciously employing to ensure that you don't get what you really want.
In the end only you are the obstacle to your deepest desires, which is really good news because now you can begin taking the steps toward getting what you want, and the life you deserve.