How Being A Yes Person Has Shaped My Life

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Being A Yes Person Is The Best Mentality I’ve Ever Followed.

“What is a yes person?” I found myself asking this question a few years ago – and now I know the answer. This is Bruce writing this blog post, and I want to share my experiences of being a yes person.

In life (as with at work), saying yes to everything comes with its cautions. If you’ve seen the movie with Jim Carrey called “Yes Man” you would know what happens to him when he says yes to EVERYTHING.

Things are good at first but then things go wrong because he spreads himself too thin. It’s important to gauge what you are saying yes to and make sure that these are things for you.

Having said that, I am honestly so glad that I became a yes person – and through a few stories below you’ll understand the power of saying “yes” and the effect it has had on my life.

It Keeps Me Scared – In a Good Way

white sign with blue writing beside small plants on wood shelf
So very true – could not agree more!

When it comes to their characteristics, yes people are usually more open – to ideas, thoughts, actions, or beliefs. Saying yes is a good way to test this because it can be a “shock to the system”.

Saying yes to something that you might be uncomfortable with – like a task at work that is outside your comfort zone – can have positive results. Sometimes, you need to just dive in and give it a go.

A good example I have is that I was once asked to give a presentation to a group on a topic I knew about. I had never done it before – but I knew that I could do it. When asked, I said yes. I was nervous, but ultimately saying yes pushed me to take on the new task/challenge, and learn from it.

man jumping off cliff into water being a yes person
This is a bit extreme – but thrilling nonetheless!

Turns out, I prepared well and did the presentation just fine. In fact, my boss was so pleased that he trusted me with another one shortly after. It was this relationship I built with this boss that ultimately led to me being the person who was considered for another role when it opened about a year later. Guess what? I got the role – and I LOVED that seasonal role that I did many years ago.

Sometimes, I think about what would have happened had I not stepped up to take on what – at the time – seemed like a challenge. Maybe I never would have gotten the role I loved to do later on. Saying yes kept me scared – in a good way, and I grew from it.

It Helps Me Explore the World

man with backpack walking through old town street
Grab a backpack and go!

Straight up – saying yes has allowed me to see so much of the world. Let’s just say that I have a few continents under my belt and I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to see so much.

Many of my travels have been through volunteering – trips I ultimately said yes to and went on. It is my worldly experiences in my early adulthood that shaped my understanding of the world.

One of my best “yes moments” is the time that a buddy asked me to fly to another country with him – in less than a week. It was the first I had heard of his planned trip when he asked me one night – “Do you want to go on a trip next week?”. 

He was asking me to agree to a week-long trip. I said yes without knowing anything about the trip, the country, or person he was going with (another buddy). In the end, we had the best time exploring this country.

Looking back, I don’t think there was a fiber in my body that wouldn’t have said no. I trusted my buddy, had no schedule conflicts, and could logistically go…. why wouldn’t I go?!

Looking back on my travel career, that trip was “outside my comfort zone” because it was so unfamiliar. Now, I tell people about the country and recommend where to stay and what to do. Imagine if I had said no? Oh, and the country? It was Malta.

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It Allowed Me to Meet My Person

couple standing with backpacks on pier looking at city in distance being a yes person
Once you have a travel buddy – travel changes (for the good).

Spoiler Alert: being a yes person is what led me to Lisa. Being a yes person is also what basically allows Lisa and I to be together now!

Long story short, we connected while travelling – we were in the same city, and started talking because of a photo of the city on Instagram. We never actually met in person at that time, but we just kept talking.

Months later, after talking/Skyping a few times, we planned a trip around Europe to travel together. This was the first time we met in person… to start of a two week trip!

We both could have chickened out at any time. Lisa could have said no. I could have not booked the flights. But, we went with our gut, finally met, travelled together, and had an amazing time. Now, years later, we live together – all a result of saying “yes” and having a ton of trust.

It Helps Me Crush Work

hands typing on laptop on wooden desk
Find where/how you are productive and just WORK.

Finally, and to a somewhat related point about saying yes in the workplace, saying yes has allowed me to not only move up in work but get things done.

Now, there has been criticism of “yes people”. This is mainly in the workplace where yes people who always say yes can be difficult to work with. The belief is that because they take on everything that is asked of them, they can be overworked. It’s also said that people say yes to avoid confrontation, even if a task or duty is not right for them.

Personally, I think that – assuming you have the ability to take on more and you can do all tasks to the best fo your ability –  if you don’t take on more, there’s a chance you’re a no person. In my experience, yes people are typically the hustlers, the grinders, the people with drive, and the ones that think outside the box.

If you say yes and get done what you agree to, sooner or later you will meet your end goals and leave the no people behind. We come from a world of entrepreneurs so yes means getting things done quickly and correctly.

No’s are only reserved for times when there is just too much on the go to take on another task… and this realization is equally important. Basically, if you want to get anywhere in life, you can’t be lazy and closed off. It’s really that simple.

And there you have it – a few examples of why and how being a yes person has shaped my life (for the better). In the end, everyone’s experiences are going to differ but I know that “yes” has been too good for me to stop now.

I owe much of my success thus far to yes, and I will continue down this path, reassessing as I go, of course! What about you? Are you a yes person or trying to be a yes person? Let’s chat about it!

As always, Stay Curious,

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How being a yes person has shaped my life