We all have those moments when we should have kept our mouths shut ("Thank you sir" "I'm a woman..."), things we would have rather not done ("Yes, I want another gin-tonic."), places we would have rather not been ("So you're a friend of a cousin of the bartender? Thanks for driving me home.") But, where we are right now would honestly not be the same without them.*
As a person with anxiety, I find myself wanting to say "no" all the time. I am terrified of driving, of being lost, of crowds, of new situations in general. This limits me when it comes to the things I enjoy like traveling, taking new opportunities and attending parties.
For a long time, I said no because I believed my mental state (Zen? Relaxed? Neutral?) was a lot more important than a few unflattering photos of me holding a koala bear or a road trip with my best friend on the other side of the world.
But, I soon realized that plenty of people were going on these trips and parties and random outings and surviving. Moreover were they creating memories that I would never be a part of simply because I was too anxious.
We often are the ones who block ourselves from making our present moments the best they can be and for pursuing wholeheartedly. That's when I decided to not only prevent my anxiety from getting the best of me, but to consciously shift my mindset. By approaching life as if the answer was already yes, I was giving myself step by step permission to find more and more joy.
Life has only opened up and become so much wider, sweeter and better by saying yes more often. This year I have made memories and, I have survived them.
Say yes to weekend adventures and say yes to that extra kilometer and say yes to appreciating the beauty in your everyday life. Say yes to yoga class this weekend and the surfing lessons next month and living abroad next year. Say yes to jumping into situations head first and say yes to living life to the fullest every single day.
Say yes to change and growth and challenges and lessons learned. Say yes to crazy things that come up that are unexpected and say yes to loving deep and passionate. Say yes to moments and situations that create resistance and say yes to things that turn out a little different than you planned at first.
Be the heroine of your life and I promise you will survive. I did.
* The friend from the cousin of the bartender became a good friend, I met awesome people with a little help from gin-tonic and I always have a funny anecdote to tell.