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  • The Yes-No Paradox

    What do I mean by that? Well many of us at some point in our life will experience the feeling of being stuck, of ‘settling’ for the life we have, rather than striving for the life we desire.

    As children we have fantastic dreams of being an astronaut, Prime Minister, a ballerina or in my son’s case at 5years old, the not so grandiose ambition to be an ‘odd job man’!

    So what happens to that drive and ambition?

    Why do we find ourselves in a situation where life becomes a series of repetitive days rather than an exciting adventure? I believe it’s the Yes-No paradox.

    I shall explain.

    We learn from an early age to be people pleasers. When we take our first step our parents clap and cheer. When we do well at school we get gold stars and certificates. All this praise feels good, so we try harder and harder to be liked by doing things for other people, going out of our way to please them.

    This can become our normal; saying ‘Yes’ to other people’s requests even when we don’t really have the time or the inclination. This can lead to overwhelm and spreading ourselves to thin.

    We need to get comfortable with saying ‘No’.

    Conversely as we get older we can get pretty embedded in our comfort zone. We get into a rhythm, a certain way of doing things aka ‘a rut’. The problem with being comfortable is that little by little your confidence decreases. You may be an expert in your field but you no longer want to try something new; the thought of being a beginner, of not knowing what to do, can be terrifying.

    Opportunities for stretching are all around us; a new course at work, a salsa class at the village hall, the chance to do an exchange programme, or to volunteer abroad. But we can shy away from all these new experiences because they will challenge us and make us feel uncomfortable.

    We say ‘No’ when we should be saying ‘Yes’.

    So if you’re up for a dare, I double dare you to say ‘Yes’ instead of ‘No’ and ‘No’ instead of ‘Yes’. Your life could get a whole lot more exciting overnight!

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