Just Say Yes

Throughout my career, people have asked me what advice I have to help people become successful. My answer has consistently been the same-- just say yes. I have held a variety of positions and participated in many different projects. The things that made me grow, challenged me, or brought me the most joy were things that I said yes to. Even those things that I didn't feel ready to do.

Keep in mind that there is an art to doing this. It doesn't mean saying yes to everything or become someone's carpet. I've learned to be strategic about what to say yes to. Years ago I was introduced to a book called Boundaries by Dr. Townsend and Dr. Cloud. In this book, they talk about how to set boundaries for yourself. When I learned where these boundaries were, I actually started saying yes more. I was saying yes to the right things.

About 7 years ago I was invited to participate in a professional women's network. I'll be honest, I had no real interest in doing that at the time. However, a colleague encouraged me to participate. When I first walked in the room of 20 other women I felt completely out of my depth. These women were more experienced and had bigger titles than I did. I quickly came to find out that titles didn't matter. I was encouraged, supported, and heard. Some of the women in this group became some of my best friends. I am so proud of the work that we have done together and how we all have grown over time.

I acknowledge this career advice, or life advice for that matter is a bit extreme when taken at face value. Remember it's not about saying yes to everything. It's about saying yes to the things that will make you think differently and look at life through a new lens.

As Fred DeVito said, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” Once you know how to say yes to the right things, even if they're scary they won't be as overwhelming.

Start with one thing. Pick one thing that you’ve been postponing or saying no to to try- take on a stretch assignment at work, go on a date, start writing a blog. Select a path and do the thing!