Tip #95: Say yes more.
The why: Having anxiety can push you into a box, wrap the box in duct tape, throw the box into a cage, and throw the key to the cage into the deepest ocean trench.
At least, that’s what it feels like.
When you have anxiety, and the world seems a fearful and dangerous place, we stop saying yes to things.
We stop saying yes to going out with friends, we stop saying yes to travelling, we stop saying yes to opportunities at work, we stop saying yes to life.
Our comfort zone shrinks and collapses in on itself until even venturing beyond your doorstep seems a step too far.
As has been said before, we get stuck.
We can’t change or grow or get better if we’re frozen in time, paralysed in the past by our fear of the future.
It’s amazing the power that one word can have on our lives, without us even realising.
How many great things have come into our lives because we said the word yes? How many amazing memories are there because we agreed to try something new, to go somewhere different, to take on a new challenge?
Now obviously, there are some times where saying yes can certainly be a bad thing, like when I agreed, as someone who is lactose intolerant, to eat an entire block of cheddar cheese as a dare.
But, so many extraordinary things can and do happen once you break out of that box, and start saying yes.
Once we get into the habit of saying yes to things, we put out a positive message to the universe; that we’re fearless, brave, and ready to take on anything.
We progress, we move forward, we elevate ourselves using one word: yes.
Today you may be saying yes to giving a presentation at work, tomorrow you may be accepting a promotion because of it.
Today you may be saying yes to travelling abroad, tomorrow you may be accepting an award for a brilliant travel blog you began because of it.
Today you may be saying yes to going out to a new bar, tomorrow you may be accepting a proposal to go on a date because of it.
These may seem outlandish scenarios, but you see my point. Saying yes to things leads us in new and exciting (but also terrifying) directions.
Once you show your brain that leaving your comfort zone isn’t actually all that bad, it will make it far easier to keep expanding that space, keep pushing your boundaries.
After all, life begins at the edge of fear.
So, dear reader, here is my challenge to you this week:
Say yes to five things that you normally may not do.
Now, I’m not saying that you should say yes to skydiving immediately (unless you want to), but it can be simple things, like someone inviting you to lunch, or someone asking if you want to try a new kind of chocolate.
I know it’s terrifying, and I know you may be worried that you’re going to have a panic attack or increased anxiousness whilst doing these things.
You know what, you very well may do. But you have to try. Steel your nerves. Tell yourself that even if your heart is pounding and you feel like you can’t breathe, even if anxiety throws all its horrible minions at you in protest, you’re going to do it.
You’re going to say yes.