How to say yes to opportunity when fear wants you to say no
If you follow me on social media, you will know that I’ve recently returned from a 3 week trip of Globe Trotting.
It was everything I dreamed of and more. I had some of the best moments of my life. Yet I almost didn’t go.
When I got that call from my friend, asking to go on an adventure to celebrate our birthdays, my first response was an excited “YES”, but almost immediately I started to compile a list of why I couldn’t go. It went like this…
- If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. 3 weeks is a long time to not get paid.
- I can’t go away for 3 weeks, I have a responsibilities…. Clients, bills, running my business.
- It’s not good timing, it’s just after Christmas.
- There are political issues in the Maldives, maybe it’s not safe.
Sensible reasons to say no to a trip of a lifetime, right?
Of course, it’s obvious that when making decisions, we need to consider the limitations and risks, but how many times do we use those things as an excuse to let opportunities run through our fingers?
If we think about anything long enough, we can find sensible, rational reasons that no one can argue with, to spend our whole life protected from any potential risk, change, difference, challenge, hurt or criticism.
Understandable, considering our basic need is self-preservation, but we are no longer cave people and there is a BIG world of possibility out there.
Great experiences and fear often come together. You can’t have one without the other. Both are part of the same thing
Learning to say yes and no in all the right places
There will be times when it’s completely legitimate to say no, and it will feel good and empowering. There will be other times, when you want to say yes, but fear wants you to say no.
Here are 4 questions that had me packing my suitcase, and will help you tell the difference:
- If not now, when?
It’s easy to put things off, or avoid doing them at all. So ask yourself, when else will I have the resources, time and situation to do this? If I put this off, will I have the opportunity to do this again?
2.Is the sacrifice worth it?
Everything, even the things that bring us pleasure, have an element of sacrifice. So, ask yourself, if I say yes, what will be the sacrifice and is it worth it?
- Are the problems solvable?
Identify all the possible problems. Is there a solution?
4.What is the benefit/gain if I say yes?
Here’s the learning and experience I would of been missing out on, if I had said no…
Getting back to basics
In Sri Lanka, I learned to love wearing the same clothes and no make up for days (unheard of in the UK).
By the time we got to the Maldives, my greatest excitement was that I got out of the shower cleaner than I went in and I didn’t wake up every 15 minutes worried that a lizard had fallen on my head! That was until I saw that water… wow! I can now confidently say I’ve been to paradise.
Elephants cuddling in the wild- does it get much better than this??
Understanding and tolerance:
We were treated with such kindness. There would be a lot less ignorance, wars and judgement of other cultures, if we had more understanding. Whether that’s by travelling or chatting to other people from different cultures, only then can we truly make an informed opinion. We cannot judge what we don’t understand.
I did most of my writing in in tut-tuts, or on buses, sharing the road with cows, doigs and the odd monkey.
Travelling with a difference
Legs out- rushing up and down tree-topped mountains covered in waterfalls. ACE.
For someone who loves tea, this was a must go. Amazing to see how they grow, pick and manufacture the different teas.
Facing my fears
I am terrified of swimming in open water, and it took me 3 attempts, a life jacket, flippers, a snorkel, and a captain to hold my hand the entire time, to finally snorkel for 25 minutes! Worth the almost-heart-attack.
Writing Your Bucket List:
Now that you are feeling inspired to say “yes” to your life, write or create a scrap book of your bucket list.
What have you always dreamed of doing but haven’t done yet?
If you were told you were going to live for 3 months, what would be the things that you would most want to do before you die?
What would give your life greatest meaning?
What achievements/experiences/ connections would be your biggest accomplishments
I hope I have inspired you to go and find your own adventures – do let me know what you get up to.