It was a beautiful day in Los Angeles, about 75 degrees despite it being the middle of January. Sitting outside of Jersey Mike’s sandwich shop near the airport, I reflected with my close friend and partner in crime about just how far this year had taken me.
In January of 2018, I was in the middle of a huge transition in my life, a divorce that occurred after a little over a year of marriage. I had just moved out of my home and lost my two beloved dogs in the process. While I loved my job, I couldn’t help but notice there was so much more inside of me wanting to emerge. I was absolutely sick and tired of stress, commuting, waking up at 5:30 and the fact that, as a teacher, no matter how hard you work, you can’t make more money. It was at that point that I decided to take a huge risk and started a completely different career as I started my new, single life.
As we sat in the sun, reflecting on the year, my friend asked, “You know why you’ve been successful? You just kept saying ‘Yes.’” That got me thinking. What she said was simply stated and so true. When I first visioned for a new business, a new relationship, a healthier lifestyle, more financial freedom, I had no idea HOW I was going to do it. I focused on the WHAT. I set my eyes on what I would love and had the faith it would happen. But, I also took action every step of the way. When opportunities came my way, I said, “Yes.”
It’s really that simple, although not necessarily easy. Think about it. What are you saying no to, and what are you saying yes to? When I had the opportunity to become a speaker and coach, it scared me. I knew it was right for me, and that’s why I was so frightened. When you’re about to do something you know is going to change your life, the part of you that likes comfort kicks in and you will feel afraid. I was about to invest five-figures into a business I had no experience in.
In your life, opportunities come your way frequently. No one has more or less opportunity. We all live in a body, with a brain, in a universe of unlimited possibilities. Do you say yes when opportunities come your way? I said yes. I bravely invested in my new venture. When my friend said, “Why don’t you put your first workshop date on the calendar and send people save the dates?” I said yes, even though I wasn’t trained or certified yet. Sixteen people showed up for that first workshop!
Then I did something others perceived as crazy. I turned in my letter of resignation before I even had one client. I said yes to my new business. I said, “This is going to be a success.” I knew that if my energy was only half invested, I would fail, so I said yes to success. Not long into my new business, I had the opportunity to join a local networking group. It was going to cost a little over a thousand dollars to join. I was nervous, but I said yes. That investment has returned to me tenfold.
In my personal life, I said yes to dating again. The voice in my head said, “You will fail. You aren’t good at this. You don’t pick well.” People close to me said, “Isn’t it a little soon? Don’t get hurt again.” But I said yes. Not every date went well! Sometimes it was funny, other times just awkward, but past failure is not indicative of future outcomes. I sure am happy I kept saying yes because now I am discovering what it feels like to fall in love again.
Examine what it is you long for and ask yourself if there is a way you can say yes. Notice opportunities and how fast you convince yourself they are not for you. Saying yes to my dreams is the cause of my success. You can be extremely successful in your life, but it’s going to take different patterns and behaviors than the ones that created your past results. Even if you love your results, the next level requires a shift. Say yes to opportunities, but more importantly, say yes to your dreams. You never know how long you have here on earth. I know when I reach the end of my life, I am never going to regret the yeses, but of one thing I am certain, I would regret the nos.