Updated: Jul 9
In the 2008 film, Yes Man, Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) finds himself stuck in a rut. But after attending a self-help seminar, Carl discovers the power of saying yes, and begins to turn his life around.
I feel fairly safe in saying that the film will not go down in history as being any sort of cinematic classic, but it does touch on a rather important point.
That point being, saying yes to new experiences can absolutely be life changing.
I’m sure that information comes as no surprise, but it’s worth noting that although it’s common knowledge, most of us have a tendency to stay in our own lane, declining to take advantage of new and exciting opportunities.
The question is, why?
In my experience, it can almost always be traced back to fear, of at least some sort.
Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of embarrassing ourselves, fear of what others may think or say...
Perhaps we simply don’t want to be noticed; I mean, trying something new may inadvertently invite unwanted attention. Scary, I know.
Maybe we don’t feel that we are worthy or deserving of more. Of course, most of us are never going to admit to having such negative feelings about ourselves. In fact, we may not even be aware of them.
Nevertheless, people frequently engage in self-sabotage, whether they realize it or not.
What’s truly interesting is that for as often as we say no thank you, we are only too happy to try and encourage others to “go for it”.
And, you know what?
Those feelings? Those thoughts and fears? Those acts of self sabotage?
They’re understandable. All of them.
But they are rarely, if ever, rooted in any kind of truth.
Our inclination to say no, is a direct by-product of our negative self-talk.
Instead of considering the possibilities, we create scenario’s that we just know will end in certain disaster. And although those “certain disasters” have virtually no chance of coming true, we convince ourselves otherwise, and never try.
But there are reasons; real, legitimate reasons, why it’s a good idea to take a chance, step out of our comfort zones, and try something new.
Let’s start with confidence. New experiences can boost our self-confidence. Every new challenge, no matter how small, is an opportunity to grow. Every new accomplishment is a step forward, and reminds us of what we are capable of.
New experiences also allow us to learn more about ourselves. We might find that we have interests that we previously knew nothing about, that could potentially become our newfound passion, or even lead us down an entirely different career path.
Saying yes to new opportunities changes our perspective, and challenges our beliefs. We become more interesting, because we’ve lived a bigger life. We get to meet new people from a variety of different backgrounds, increasing our chances of making new friends (not that there’s anything wrong with the old ones).
Of course, you can’t say yes to everything.
Too much of anything, even a good thing, can become more than a little problematic.
But saying yes, even just a little more often, can increase our personal satisfaction, and overall happiness.
Sounds pretty good, no?