Coming from the study and work experience background I come from means I have fine-tuned the art of careful analysis. I’m brilliant at weighing up the pros, the cons, the ‘stakeholder’ opinions. It can keep me busy for days in fact. And I’m pretty good at making pretty pictures to go with it. That’s all fair and well if your ‘job’ requires it – however, what does this do to your personal life? Do we really need this level of analysis day to day?
I started finding I was getting STUCK big time in analysis that was crippling my life. Every time I went to take a step, any step from big to small I’d feel super glued to the floor. Which would then kick-start a cycle of anxious pros, cons, heavy breathing, and quite possibly tears (ok fine, rapids of tears). Suddenly the pros and cons lists were just not helping. In fact if anything they were disabling me from doing anything at all. The ‘how’ was getting in the way of everything.
So, what would happen if instead I said ‘yes’ then worked out ‘how’ later?
I first came across this saying at my foundational coaching course. Fair to say it may not have landed as heavily on everyone in the room. And while it resonated and I adopted it as a bit of a ‘motto’ it wasn’t for a while until it really started to take on true meaning for me.
SAY YES. Then work out how.
Since getting ‘unstuck’ (for more on my journey you’ll have to invite me out for coffee J ) there’s been plenty of tough decisions to make along the way. While my vision is clearer I’m faced daily with the question of ‘what do I do next?’ or presented with opportunities that definitely align with my vision, there’s just a big fogginess over how it would eventuate.
I’ve been getting used to the idea that ANY action is better than NO action and trusting myself that things will fall into place. Easier said than done you might say. ‘Trust’ doesn’t just ‘happen’. And you’d be right. However, trust does grow gradually over the time the more evidence you collect. So when I started to consider the evidence I realised I really did have proof that when I’d just ‘said Yes’ previously in my life, guess what? THINGS REALLY DID WORK OUT!
One of my most momentous turning points in my journey has been saying Yes to a volunteering experience in Kenya. It just kinda happened. I was towards the end of studying my masters part time, whilst working full time during an incredibly ‘busy’ period. Somehow I found myself googling volunteering adventures instead of finishing off an assignment and before I knew it I was committed. Best thing about it? I just followed the steps one at a time. Google. Find organisation that looks and feels right. Fill in application form. Have phone interview. Look up flights. Tell work. I didn’t really pause in between each of those full stops for long enough to ask ‘what next?’ or ‘how will I…?’ I just kept moving. It also happened at a time in my life where I’d made a huge commitment to CASH only (i.e. had chopped up the credit cards and said NO MORE). Which means I actually have no idea where the cash came from to make the trip happened. But it did. With amazing results too – truly a life changing experience that put me well and truly back on a course of being authentic, true to myself and grateful for the beautiful gift of non-judgement. There’s so much about the trip that centred me towards my coaching journey too – but more on that another time.
So what else have I learnt?
You’ll only ever really be exactly where you need to be. Trust this and you’ll always move forward. Frame the ‘challenge’ or stuckness that shows up with asking yourself ‘what is that I’m suppose to learn from this?’ or ‘what’s the worst thing that could happen?’.
You’ll find it can be quite addictive, the more you start saying yes and leaning into the uncertainty of not having everything perfectly ironed out, you’ll feel this incredible momentum. As long as you keep trusting in it – and that you have that clear vision in mind for where you’re heading – you can only ever end up where you need to be. I’m not saying it’s all going to be smooth sailing, far from it, I am saying that I’ve been chartering a bit of the course and it’s totally worth it!