Say yes more often…

New things used to scare me. Until recently, I had a long mental list of “things I don’t do” and would have no trouble saying no if there was even a hint that I might be asked to do something on that list. This attitude was fixed and applied both at home and at work.

You will note that I’ve been writing in the past tense and I hope you’re asking “so what’s changed?”, well here’s where the story begins…

Over Easter last year I went on a trip to New Zealand. This was a holiday and the chance to meet the rest of my in-laws (Laura’s mum is a New Zealander and the majority of her family live there). During the trip we spent a lot of time with Laura’s aunts, Sue and Sharon, in and around Wellington. Whilst getting to know each other we talked about our outlooks on life and plans for the future. Through these conversations I learned a lot about myself and took some valuable advice and inspiration from Sharon. When we were leaving she gave me this card and I have been using the words as my mantra ever since:

Say yes more often

What prompted me to write this post was an experience on the WAMP workshop a couple of weeks ago. As part of a session on performance management we did a role-play exercise. You know that mental list I had of “things I don’t do”? Role play was definitely on it and 12 months ago I would have found it difficult to take part. Now that I am saying ‘yes’ more often there was no doubt in my mind that I would give it a go. I was a little scared but my overriding thoughts were that it would be a really good opportunity to get some practical experience of performance management and that I could learn a lot from it.

I found the whole role-play experience tiring and challenging but ultimately extremely useful. As well as doing our own role-plays it was really good to get the opportunity to observe others in action and see how different people and personalities approached a range of issues.

New things used to stress me out, but I’ve found that by saying ‘yes’ more often I’ve become more relaxed about the things that life throws at me and I feel I can take them on with confidence. Give it a go and see if it helps you too!

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