Say Yes and See what Happens

say yes

A few months ago, I made the decision to say yes more. I decided that I would embrace opportunities, step outside of my comfort zone and see what happened. This mostly came about form a feeling of intense frustration; I was struggling to find work, missing my social life and drowning under the weight of home schooling. I adore my children, but I needed something which felt like it was just for me. I have never been very good at standing still and I needed to find a way of having an adventure amongst the Covid restrictions.

Saying yes gave me that adventure.

It started out with little things. I said yes to writing an online magazine piece and I joined a Facebook group that was full of amazing women who are doing wonderful things. I said yes to my daughter when she asked me to edit, rewrite and (hopefully) finish a book I started writing when I was fifteen. The thing I started to notice fairly quickly, was that as I started saying yes to more things, the opportunities got bigger.

I said yes to working with a company in Texas despite knowing nothing at all about Houston, which resulted in me completely re-writing their website content, I said yes to building my own website even though the thought of having my name and face on a web domain terrified me. I started to pitch myself more and bid on bigger projects, even though I knew that I would be going against dozens of people with much more impressive levels of experience than little old me.

But, this week, I saw saying yes take on a whole new meaning. On Wednesday, I got up early and made a special trip to the supermarket. A project that I had agreed to over a month ago was being published. I carefully took my treasure to the till and blurted out to the cashier “I have to get this, I’m in it”, which got me a rather blank stare. Once I had paid, I found the closest bench and carefully opened the pages. There I was, on page 47, in a magazine. That was my name, my face, my words. For the first time! Saying yes had brought me to this moment. Before I made the decision to say yes and embrace opportunities, I never would have been brave enough to bid for the piece. I would have wanted to, but self-doubt would have taken over and I would have left it to the ‘proper’ writers.

say yes

It didn’t stop there though. Unexpectedly, while I was doing the washing up, my mobile started ringing. It was a journalist getting back to me after I had offered to talk about my experience of being furloughed and made redundant. She was writing a piece looking at how women had been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. So, I said yes. At the end of the call, she told me that a hair and make-up artist would be with me the next day along with a photographer to take some pictures for the piece. I was shell-shocked but obviously said yes.

After frantically cleaning everything that could be cleaned, tidying the driveway and panicking about my lack of colourful clothing (I was told not to wear black), I was ready. It was an incredibly surreal experience. I’ve only ever been professionally styled for my wedding and I have never had a photoshoot to myself before. But, I’m so glad I did it. Even if they decide not to use my interview, it was a fantastic experience, and one I never would have had if I hadn’t said yes.

It isn’t just professionally that I have decided to say yes. I have introduced the principle to every aspect of our lives as a family. The opportunities for doing this are less impressive, but it has led to feeling much more relaxed about things generally and embracing change.

What I am trying to say with all of my ramblings is that everyone should try saying yes more. Even if you don’t know how to do something, if it’s what you want then say yes and figure it out afterwards. (This probably doesn’t apply if your dream is to be a brain surgeon thought, don’t say yes to performing surgery unless you have been trained.) Not every experience will be a good one and I have had plenty of rejections. But, each time you try is a way of showing the universe what it is that you want. Knock on every door and eventually, you will find one that opens.

The thing about comfort zones is that they are comfortable. Not much happens in them. But if you step out of your comfort zone, that is where the magic happens. Do it and, I promise, you will be amazed at what can happen.

I know that I am still a long way from where I want to be, but I am also a long way from where I started. No matter what happens next, I will carry on saying yes to adventures.

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