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Four Words To Use More Often: Yes, No, Oops & Hello

Part 1 of 5: Leaning Into Your Yes


Tips to help with your journey to thriving while living with chronic illness

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by Lisa Cohen in Expansion, Quality of Life, Strategies

Words are powerful things. The words that we use can open our minds and greatly expand our possibilities, or they can keep us small and limited. Not using certain words that we’re afraid to use can have the same effects. If you’re finding that your life is more stressful or less satisfying than you’d like it to be, take a look at the words that you’re using or find yourself feeling afraid to use. This series of 5 posts suggests four words to use more often—YES, NO, OOPS, and HELLO—and this first post discusses the power of using the word YES.

Leaning Into Your Yes

Have you had a hard time saying “yes” to interests you want to pursue or to chasing your dreams?  Because of conditioning, women in particular can have difficulty saying “yes” to themselves out of fear of being considered “selfish” or somehow “too large.”  A fear of yes can also come from self-doubt and the worry that failing to make your dream a reality may be worse than never trying in the first place.  So, you stay in your “safe” zone that feels like a rut but is at least familiar, and continue to daydream…

But, how does that feel to you?  Probably not that good, right?

Well, here are 3 simple reasons why you should lean into your yes…

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Reason #1: New And Valuable Discoveries Are Waiting For You

Everything that you love right now was once an unknown. Your favorite ice cream flavor, your favorite movie, your favorite shade of lipstick—all of these things were once unknown to you. You took a chance and tried them anyway, and were pleasantly surprised.

When you say yes to new discoveries, you learn more about what you like and love. This doesn’t mean that you’ll love the results of every yes you go after. Sometimes, you’ll simply discover what you don’t like, but that’s valuable information, too.  Knowing what you don’t like and don’t want is more than half the battle when you try to create the life that you DO want.

Reason #2: Personal Growth Doesn’t Happen In Your Safety Zone

Think about it…Has saying “no” to yourself become an automatic response? You may say “no” to a new pursuit, even though you know it could lead to something bigger and better in your life. You may say “no” to eating healthy foods, even though you know it could lead to more energy and better overall health. The automatic “no” may have become a habit and/or may be related to  not feeling like you can tolerate that temporary discomfort that would result from saying yes.

But, here’s the thing: Personal growth never happens inside your safety zone. If you really want to make a difference and change your life, then you have to be willing to do things you’ve never done before. You have to be willing to say yes even when change feels uncomfortable and the future feels scary and uncertain.

Reason #3: Saying Yes Leads To Learning New Things

Besides giving you the opportunity to grow into your best self, saying yes helps you learn new things. You might say yes to the chance to host a party and discover you love being a hostess. You could say yes to a giving a presentation at work and find out that you love public speaking.  What you learn won’t just be limited to your personality, though. You’ll also learn more about your relationships, your finances, your health, and many other areas of your life.

Saying yes can be the beginning of a beautiful new adventure, and your first yes can be to something small. You don’t have to start out by tackling a big life change…in fact, it’s probably better if you don’t.  Start with something small like taking a new class or reaching out to form new friendships. The more you practice saying yes to little things, the easier it will become to say yes to the big things.  Read Part 2: Turning The Word No Into A Gift.

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Tips to help with your journey to thriving while living with chronic illness