Updated: Oct 9, 2018
I know, I know. I talked about this in the last post. Like, reasons you should just say yes. But I can't stop thinking about it, really–the power of yes. And maybe more importantly the deathly grip of no. I have seen more things happen in my life personally since I have decided to say yes to things that really fuel me and bring me joy. But...I fear it's a bit misleading if I don't share something else.
For every one yes I have received it feels Iike I've heard a hundred noes.
Before I got my last job, I sent out at least twenty-five résumés. The truth is, I lost count. After three months of searching, I had gotten one interview with a "thanks but you might be overly qualified" outcome, and an email from another company which claimed the same. Because the places that I did have qualifications for didn't want me. Okay, they at the very least didn't want to talk to me. I was a piece of paper with a list of facts that may or may not have been true. Finally, when I got a "bite" on a couple more résumés I decided to submit, I was offered both positions and was faced with having to decide between the two.
But let me tell you, before I submitted those final two, I was about to give up. Like, leave this country, turn around, go back where we came from, and try to simply survive. I was so very tempted to hate the world for stripping me of everything that I had known and forcing me to start from scratch. However, I was leaving out one very important factor. Me. I had made the decision to come here–along with my family, of course. I was the one who had pushed for something different, and I was also the only one who had the power to give up on myself or keep going. So, after a few dark and discouraging months, my husband and I decided that we would give it forty days.
We read the book The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson together. For those forty days we agreed not to talk about leaving, about what we didn't have, about the sixty-plus résumés between the two of us that had never been answered, or how grim our future might turn out. We talked about what we wanted. What we dreamed, what might be possible for us, what we envisioned in a perfect outcome, and then we circled it. We circled it in prayer, in conversation, in spirit, and in deed. We decided that we wanted to say yes to our kids, our future, each other, and ourselves. As if from divine appointment at nearly the forty-day mark, I got a phone call. In fact, two phone calls, and two full-time job offers within days of each other. The things is, maybe I've heard one hundred noes for every one yes, but when you say yes, it actually works the opposite way.
For every one yes I've given, it seems like the yeses multiply.
Okay, maybe not at the rate of a hundred to one, but every. single. time. A yes gives birth to another. So here's my point. Once you say yes to yourself and the yeses follow, don't expect a hundred noes to stop coming in. Rather, turn your focus. Because it's SO EASY to fall back into the thinking that you might be unwanted, unheard and undervalued. Because just because yeses come, doesn't mean the noes stop.
But here's what I've decided to do lately. I want to be someone else's yes. I'm at a time in my life where I can spend a little extra time, go the extra mile, help a friend, have a coffee, or show up at someone's event. After all, I did quit the job that taught me so much, giving me the strength to continue saying yes to myself when no seemed to make more sense. So, since I have that little extra time now, I've decided that if I can be someone else yes in a world where they hear a hundred noes, I am going to be that YES not just for myself but for someone else. Aren't we funny sometimes? We only want to show up if there's a hundred people in on it or if the famous people on Instagram say it's cool. And I feel like we've lost a personal yes.
And maybe we've forgotten how to ask, too. Because we're afraid of the noes.
Can I challenge you to say yes to yourself in one way this week? But don't stop there. Say yes to a friend as well. I'm not saying to do more than you have the time to commit to. Maybe it's a yes to someone in a way you can contribute and not a hundred percent of what they need. But then what if you can recruit another friend to help, and as a team you can be the full yes someone else may need? And while I'm there, ask someone for a yes this week. Maybe it's something small. Maybe you just need a friend to say a prayer, drink a cup of coffee, send you good vibes, or give a recommendation. But, can we get back into the habit of saying, "Hey. I need you."? I think that'd be cool.
You could change someone's life. You could be their yes in a sea of noes.
What are you saying yes to where you've seen this concept of yes-breeding-yes work? I'd love to hear YOUR story!