Bailing on a night out with your friends because you’d prefer to stay curled up on the sofa watching the Netflix. Unexpectedly meeting an old friend somewhere and saying “We absolutely must meet up properly, it’s been too long!”, yet knowing full well you’ll never call. Deciding not to go to the cinema because the weather outside is a bit rubbish, even though it is the perfect place to go when it’s raining and you’ll probably drive there so you’ll only actually be exposed to the elements for approximately ninety seconds.
Yep, thought so. That’s because we’ve all been there.
What is it about the word “no” that allows it to easily roll off the tongue? Why do we let our lives so effortlessly slip into a cozy rut of routine? Because it’s easier than making a damn effort, that’s why.
I was all about “no” until my life changed quite dramatically in January of this year. I suddenly found myself to be completely lost, surrounded by closed doors from all of the times I’d bailed on friends or decided just to stay in and be comfortable. I had no choice but to start over again—to bring some “yes” into my life and rebuild everything that I had let slip away. It has been a complete revelation and undoubtedly contributed to my feelings of self-worth, confidence and increasing strength over recent months. The power of one little word! Here’s how you can use “yes” to your advantage and enrich your life in the process.
Believe me, I know how easy it is to become a complete flake when it comes to socializing. You start becoming a hermit and, suddenly, an impromptu invitation for a night out at the pub seems tantamount to climbing Kilimanjaro as the thought of removing your oh-so-soft sweat pants sends alarm bells blaring in your head. If I can be frank with you for a moment, when the decision of whether to go out or not is based on what television show you might miss, you need to reevaluate your priorities. Cast aside those pajamas, put down the mug of tea, back away from the blanket and step out into the world. Those friends you haven’t seen in two years? Call them. That invite for a night out with some people you don’t know that well? Just go for it. That push to do something spontaneous and maybe a bit crazy could turn into just the adventure you need to spice up your life.
Benefits of getting social:
You’ll generate a wider social circle; there’s always someone to hang out with; you partake in fun activities and best of all—it means no more boring nights in, tons of photographs and memories you’ll cherish forever.
The not-so-down sides of getting social:
Split sides from laughing too hard; no time to sleep because you’re too busy having fun; you can’t keep on top of your texts and social networks because everyone wants to get in touch.
Become Career Savvy
Unfortunately, we aren’t all lucky enough to have a job that we love going to every day. When you wake up on Monday morning feeling like you’ve been in a fight with a heavy goods vehicle, it can be pretty difficult to find the motivation to roll out of bed. However, donning a pair of googly eyes atop your eyelids so that you can secretly nap throughout the day isn’t the answer. Instead, take a bucket load of “yes” to work.
“Yes boss, I will help you with that computer issue you’ve asked me to solve a bazillion times already.” (Cue plastered on smile.)
“Yes, I am deserving of a raise and yes, I am daring enough to ask for it.” (Cue power suit and confident strut.)
“Yes, I will fill my day with productivity instead of lounging off at the first opportunity.” (Cue serious efficiency face.)
“Yes, I will work my ass off for that promotion because even if I don’t get it, I haven’t lost anything.” (Cue Aretha Franklin music).
Saying “yes” will make you the star of the office.
Benefits of getting career savvy:
You might find yourself with that promotion; your colleagues will love you; your boss will be impressed; the days will fly by instead of dragging on and on and on; people may bring cake to work on your birthday.
The not-so-down sides of getting career savvy:
Having to boss around previous colleagues when you get a promotion (hurrah for revenge on nasty Keith from accounting); blowing your raise on a new wardrobe; being so efficient that everyone comes to you for help.
Find Someone to Love You
If you’re thinking that this section doesn’t apply to you because you’re already in a long-term relationship then get your ass back here, missy. If the closest you’ve recently been to butterflies in your belly is the time when you accidentally ate a caterpillar in your salad, then there’s definitely room for more “yes” in your love life. Goodness me, I know how difficult it is to keep that fire burning when your loved one has seen you watching daytime television in your sweat pants, spooning peanut butter straight from the jar, or held your hair back whilst you continuously vomited from the stomach flu you caught on holiday. Those aren’t easy images to forget. That’s why “yes” is so important. Say yes to booking a spontaneous holiday; say yes to buying each other little presents every now and then; say yes to trying out a new sex position; say yes to date night; say yes to making an effort every day to better your relationship.
Benefits of getting loved up:
Isn’t it obvious? Better relationship = better sex. Simple.
The not-so-down sides of getting loved up:
All of your friends hate you for bagging such an amazing relationship; uncontrollable air of glee at all times; chafing (ahem).