Learn to Say Yes

I’ve seen a number of self-help books talking about how important it is to say yes to things. In my experience, saying “yes” was a bit of a toss up when it comes to results. Sometimes saying yes got me involved in way too many things, but sometimes saying yes gave me some of my favorite and most cherished memories.

This past weekend I was in Florida with my best friend and her parents. She asked me if I wanted to go a few weeks ago, and I spontaneously said yes. Next thing I knew we booked the flights, I was out $200 and had “vacation” penciled into my planner. Anyone who knows me, or has read some of my previous posts, knows that I don’t do spontaneity. I weigh the pros and cons of basically everything and usually need at least 3-5 business days to make a big decision. But this time, I decided to just go for it. It was an incredibly fun, relaxing weekend spent with my favorite person and I’m so thankful I told myself to stop overthinking and just do it.

It can be so easy to shut ourselves off from new opportunities without even meaning to. I know that for me, it’s easier to say no to a situation with an unknown outcome than it is to say yes. When I was approached about applying for my sorority’s executive board, I almost said no. When one of my college friends invited me to hang out with her high school friends, I almost said no. When my boss approached me about applying for a promotion, I almost said no. Chalk it up to lack of faith in myself or my social anxiety or whatever reason you have for saying “no.”

But my advice: force yourself to say yes. If I had said no, I wouldn’t have had the most rewarding experience of my college career, wouldn’t have two of my closest friends, and wouldn’t have an internship in my field before being a junior in college. Saying yes can open so many doors and give you the chance to create so many beautiful memories and experiences (of course, use your judgment in every situation and recognize when no is the best option). If saying yes scares you, give it a try. You might be surprised to find what you’ve been missing.

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