Life Begins at the end of your Comfort Zone....
When you start looking for new opportunities rather than letting things pass you by, everything becomes much more exciting.
We live in a world where we are often encouraged to say 'No', and I agree in many circumstances we perhaps have to learn to slow down, or prioritise. But the power of saying YES cannot be underestimated.
A little while ago I came to realize that my world had shrunk. As a child there were so many exciting opportunities, where to play next, who to go play with, where the next holiday would be, what I would learn to do next, an instrument? a sport?, cooking?, a language?, a new toy? cake decorating?. I was hungry for new experiences and didn't really hesitate to jump at something different, something new. The spirit of adventure, be they tiny, or big adventures, I would never hesitate at. Life had so many doors to open and I wanted to have a go at each and every one.
But at some point I started to say no. To stay in the same groove rather than change it around. I could always think of a billion reasons to say no. I know that I am not alone in this, and challenging yourself to make changes or do different things is scary. I spoke only this morning to someone wanting to move away from the home they know, the area they have made a life in, why because it isn't right, they know that, but change is so frightening that we often stay glued to the spot for fear of the changes it may bring - even if deep down we know they are better for us. Its all too easy to stay stuck in the rut.
Being a mum certainly didn't help me say yes. School, job, routine, and before I knew it I felt unfit saying no to my usual exercise love, I lost my creative time, preferring to spend it in front of the TV, and rarely picking up a good book just to read and relax. I found a comfort zone, one which I remained in for some time. So recently I realized I needed some challenges, something small to begin with. Starting small when you want to change is I believe the best approach. Some may want and are capable of big almighty leaps and do very well at jumping both feet in from a great height, but small steps and small successes gave me confidence. And then the option to go bigger!
So I started thinking about things I wanted to do. Go walking more often. Read more. Start painting again. Photography. Volunteering. I had a nice big list, and found that when you start writing down all the things you would like to try, although it takes a while to get the creative juices going, it's really good fun and you very soon can get into the full swing of it. Pick one or two and go for it. It takes a while to stop saying no, and to say yes, but when you're off - wow - such fun!
Saying yes to new experiences increases our positivity, our confidence grows with the new things we learn, we feel alive again. The more you say yes and try new things, the closer you get to knowing how you want to spend your time. Happy people get involved in new things, meet more people, are involved in exercise, are grateful and have learnt how to use their strengths a lot! (in pursuit of happiness).
I've found the more I now say yes, instead of worrying, or immediately saying no, it gets easier. Energy levels have risen and yes I still of course say no, and still worry, but I say yes more and more. I've become part of a group - they call themselves a tribe - called 'Say Yes More'. Full on adventurers, doing some truly amazing and inspirational journeys, activities, volunteering and having fun. They are so supportive of each others ideas and compulsion to say yes, encouraging and often helping to make it happen wherever they can - check them out here Say Yes More.
Whats my next yes - just said yes to learn to dive - slight fear of going under the water but hey....just got to sort out the where and when - so exciting.
So write that list - go on - then give it a go - i'd love to hear whats on your list and how you get on. Believe me its really good fun, and if you want some encouragement just drop me a line.