I think some people are just good at creating their own YES.
I had this revelation as I sat with my writer's group last night. One young lady seemed to be the type that consistently encountered closed doors. A broken family. Struggles, both academically and socially through high school. Scraping through life with an edge to her that makes her hard. She now has set goals but is unsure of how to reach them and still feels like "no" is the common denominator.
The leader of our group, on the other hand, had many open doors her whole life. She felt a consistent "yes" pushing her in the right direction. She grew up daughter of a minister and a teacher, got good grades, had plenty of friends and ended up getting a full scholarship to a private college. Suddenly though, she felt the cold reality of adulthood when doors weren't opening after graduation; quite the opposite in fact. The 'yes's' turned to 'no's.'
What makes both of these two women, with completely different life stories, end up in similar predicaments? Both feeling stuck and not sure how to jump start their life?
When someone is handed a 'yes' at every turn in their life, do they ever learn how to work around a 'no?' When someone is slapped with 'no' consistently enough, how do they learn to recognize a 'yes?' Can someone be taught to "create their own yes?"
I believe so, and once begun, it's addicting.
Start small. Don't take 'no' for an answer, but pick your battles. Don't just pick on someone, your grocery clerk who won't accept your expired coupon for example. You'll end up causing them to have a bad day and later you'll feel bad for being a jerk. This isn't about bullying your way to the top. Instead, reset your thinking and empower yourself.
Take things to the next level by volunteering. A few hours in a crisis nursery or homeless shelter is enough to make you notice what opportunities you have in front of you that maybe you were blind to before.
Next, put yourself out there. Join a movement....clean water, saving the manatees, equal rights. It doesn't even have to be something you know anything about; as long as you're morally okay with it, you'll gain experience and be surrounding yourself by people who are working for a yes. Without them often even realizing it, yes people are extremely motivating to others.
This leads me to the most important step: consistently surround yourself with yes people. This doesn't mean ignore those you love who may tell you 'no' but allow their 'no's' to be outweighed by ALL of the 'yes's' you are witnessing. Observe the yes people. Ask them how they got where they are. Find out what organizations they are involved in (you'll probably be shocked by the volume of what they do!) Start a conversation. Be brave. Not everyone will want to share their story, but most people love to talk about themselves. If something piques your interest, ask them how you can get involved too. You may, and most likely will, discover a door waiting to be opened that you never knew existed.
My theory is rooted in making connections. It's too cliché to tell you to surround yourself with positive people. I can absolutely say that not every successful person is also a positive person. They OFTEN go hand in hand but are not mutually exclusive. You need to surround yourself with YES people. They are a breed. They may have learned it from their families or be self taught; either way they will teach you how to create your own yes if you pay attention.
Have you created your yes? If so, I want to hear your story!
Do you need help creating your own yes? Contact me for more information on how I can help!