Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Learning to say YES or (Grabbing Life by the Balls) or (Things I Say to My Kids but They Don’t Like to Hear Because I Use the Word ‘Balls’ and Tend to Be Very Long Winded)

***Disclaimer: This post is beneath a LOT of you... but for people like me, here goes... :)

It is so difficult, as an artist, a parent, or a human being, to learn to say ‘no’.  Generally people don’t like the confrontation, risk of rejection, or determination it takes to make their lips form that small, two lettered word.  I have found that for me it is equally difficult to say ‘yes’.  I don’t like plans, expectations placed upon me, or the responsibility a good ‘yes’ requires.  Frankly, many times I am outright fearful of not being able to deliver on that ‘yes’--- therefore turning it into a postponed and oftentimes excruciatingly more difficult to deliver ‘no’.   This little problem translates into a life of passive, live by the seat of your pants, take in the left overs sort of arrangement.
“Do you want this last piece of pizza?”
“Ummmm, well, does anybody else want it?  Uh, I really am kind of full… I don’t think I should.  I’m not going to eat again for a long time though.  Hmmmm.”
“Hey!  Do you want this job?  It’s awesome and it will make you a bundle?”
“Ummmm, I’m not sure my schedule will work out there… I, uh, think that I should probably research that position a little deeper.  I’m kind of trying to figure out what direction I want to go…”
“Do you want to do this thing that you have dreamed about doing from the day you were born and are clearly capable of doing and have told everybody every day of your life you are going to do?”
What in the world???  How can you go from being a ‘hide under the bed when friends come over’ to a ‘grab life by the balls’ person?  You have to start by saying ‘yes’!

An important step in that direction is to realize that you have as much power as anybody.  You might immediately think that you don’t have as much power as the president, or the queen of England but seriously, they can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do.  They can punish you or withhold from you things if you don’t follow their rules, but they can’t make you do anything.  This point can be taken further if you narrow it down to just them, and their personal ‘as one human being’ power.  If they were sitting across the table from you without their armies and organizations and money they would have the same amount of power as you.  Most people are not born into great power.  They either find their power, work for their power, or steal their power.  All people though have some power, the power they need to go through life and continually grow.  Powerless people, people that always insist everything that ‘happens’ to them is somebody else’s fault, are simply people that have not claimed their power.  Most people that cannot give a definite ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when life demands it of them are people that have denied their power.   Stop it!  You are entitled to an opinion.  You are definitely capable of making simple, daily decisions.  Why don’t you?

Well, I have avoided making decisions and having opinions in the past because I never ask for further information.  I will lack knowledge and simply won’t ask for it.  I am powerless to stand in front of somebody and question their question.  What exactly does everybody else think about this last piece of pizza and me having it?  What kind of job is it and what kind of work environment is it?  Can you clarify what you mean by ‘my dream’ so I can align your idea of ‘my dream’ against my idea of ‘my dream’ and get back to you?  A person that is used to making decisions is full of questions from the moment they are approached.  The person in the family that controls the planning of meals has a lot of questions when somebody asks them if they want to buy a tomato… or they had a lot of questions and answered them in their mind before they were even approached.  I know this because, for a long time, my husband was the decision maker by default.  He had to make all the decisions because I would not and if he had to rely on me to do something he had questions.  He would ask me how I chose a specific camera, or ketchup, or insurance.  Generally I would answer him that ___________ (fill in the blank with some decision making, powerful person’s name) told me that that is what he/she bought/used/chose and so that is what I got.  What in the world???  Know things.

 Another main obstacle to power, for me, is pride.  That might, on the surface, sound irrational.  You have to have pride in yourself to have power.  I’m talking about the kind of pride that has prevented me from acting because to do so would indicate that I was taking advice, doing something contrary to what I have professed to support in the past, or would simply be embarrassing to me, were I to fail.   Pride has been a main contributor to ‘power killing’ in my life.  Pride is also the reason that I have refused to ask questions.  It is difficult to convince everybody that you know everything when you are caught asking questions! 

Alright, and I guess it must be mentioned because, even though it is so obvious, it is a biggy: FEAR, FEAR, FEAR.  As I have already mentioned, I am fearful.  I am afraid of failing and equally afraid of succeeding.  I am afraid of any decision that I make turning out terribly wrong.  I am afraid, and this leaves me powerless.  Don’t be afraid!  I am losing my fear in (successful) leaps and bounds.  …and I am becoming increasingly more a ‘force to be reckoned with’.  Become your own ‘force to be reckoned with’!

Another stride toward learning to say ‘yes’ is to hang out with people that say ‘yes’.  We honestly don’t know that new experiences can infuse us with power and that we can catapult forward through life simply by stepping out into the unknown.  We don’t know that new experiences can give us courage and wisdom and can help us connect with people and community.  We don’t know the benefit of ‘yes’ unless we can see it intimately in our own lives or the lives of people close to us.  Make friends with people that are comfortable saying ‘yes’!  Don’t be afraid!  Remember, you are just as awesome as the next guy… you just have to learn to say YES!

Sincerely Yours, 


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