You can’t get anywhere without yeses. There’s no way forward unless you give yourself permission to move forward. It’s like life is one big game of Mother May I.

“Take 5 giant steps forward.”

“Mother, May I?”

“Yes you may.”

And there you go. If life is a game, the Mother could be anyone. Most of the time, it’s you. You decide where to go, and how big your steps will be. You have to give yourself permission, or else no one else will. We’re too old to be asking for permission slips, and we aren’t cars so we don’t need validation either.

But there are times you do need to collect yeses from others. It may be your boss, allowing you to attend a big meeting. It may be your client, giving you the deal you’ve been yearning for, or your partner, allowing you the space you need to make a major decision. Movement depends on yeses, and you have to collect them. That means you have to start looking for them.

Yeses are everywhere. I got my first yes on my first night waitressing, then another yes when I was first allowed to try a case, then when I first appeared on TV, then when I first wrote a book, then when I first anchored a show, and then when I first gave a keynote. Everyone of those yeses took me to the next one, and I can see so many yeses laid out ahead of me like a shining yellow brick road.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE–TRY TO COLLECT YESES. The secret to collecting yeses is to ask the question. You’ll never get a yes if you don’t ask. Start asking for yeses, and remember that the first person to give you permission is always yourself. Remember, too, that sometimes you’ll get no’s. They can be just as valuable, because they teach you what’s not for you, and how not to ask. The no’s shouldn’t stop you, but they should give you pause. Learn from the no’s and then keep on collecting yeses. Your mantra for today is “Yes you may.”

Where do you want to find your yeses? Where are you most afraid of no? Share with us the yeses you will collect today, and what it is you will do with them. And say yes to sharing this. Remember, if you comment you get a little something, but the one person who shares the challenge the most gets a bigger something. Who wouldn’t say yes to that?

2 thoughts on “TRIAL DAY 16-COLLECT YESES

  1. I asked my doctor for help understanding nutrition and reading labels to help me help myself. He said yes and got me a one on one with a nutritionist. Now I can make educated choices and learn when to say “no” and more importantly when I can take charge and leaen yes a new way of life!

  2. Heather, again you hit the nail on the head. I appreciate these topics to dig deeper into and examine under a microscope, face on, pure and clear, absent of all other issues.

    I still have a huge problem with no. I will go to lengths to position my offers and questions so they will be answered in the positive (yes) – but not just any offers and questions. When the question is personal or the offer is from my heart and creativity, “no” is wrenching. I will often avoid a personal question or a creative offer if I think I will hear “no.”

    Besides my question or offer being personal, whether or not I approach the issue also depends on how I expect “no” to be said. I have dear friends whom I can invite for dinner, and “no” is fine. Another person, whom I invited to dinner, said “no,” and I haven’t asked him again. A cold “no” is really bad for me. A warm “no” said with kindness (no reason needed) is normal and perfectly fine.

    Work “no’s” are also fine as are “no’s” from people I don’t’ know well.

    I said all of the above only to say that because of this question, which I have pondered all day, I realize that part of how I have resolved this issue is by my approach people when I need a “yes” or “no.” I have developed a sense, and it is easy for me to hedge and customize my statement to get a yes. I will ponder how to frame a question or position an idea for hours sometimes. I visualize the outcome and various approaches, then come up with one and do it. Sometimes I let it go and perhaps never ask.

    Thank you, Heather for this deep dive. I have never thought about this before.

    P.S. It doesn’t always work. I definitely get a lot of “no’s,” but they are tolerable, and sometimes a breeze.

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