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My 3 Step Yes (Wo)man Manifesto And How It Changed My Life

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My 3 Step Yes (Wo)man Manifesto And How It Changed My Life

When I was younger I bought a book called Yes Man by Danny Wallace and read it cover to cover in one sitting. After that night, Yes Man became an elite member of my bookshelf, even claiming a spot in my ‘top 5’.

It made it there for being a great read. And I wasn’t the only one who thought so. The book became so popular that a few years later, Jim Carey starred in the Hollywood movie of the same name (read the book, don’t watch the movie. Trust me.)

The story goes that after a bad breakup Dan (Yes Man), started to lose himself, becoming withdrawn and reclusive. Then late one night, on a bus, he crosses paths with a man who tells him to ‘say yes more’. This gets Dan thinking, and long story short, he decides to say yes to everything!

Years later, last year in fact, I read the book again. Except this time, the very same words told a completely different story.

This time it wasn’t just an entertaining read. And although our situations were different, I could relate to everything he was going through.

In my last article 4 Handy Hacks to Push You Out of Your (Un)Comfort Zone I talked about how as I’d grown older, gotten married and had my children, my life had changed. Somehow life progressed, but I’d been left behind. Although I was working with my husband in our businesses, my own ambitions had fallen by the wayside. I had become a master procrastinator living in a big bubble of misery.

So I decided to do something about it. I was going to get myself and what I wanted out of my career back on track. I decided that just like Dan, I would start saying yes more. And this became the driving force behind 2 of those 4 hacks;

  1. “Do Something Every Day That Scares You”
  2. “Stop Dreaming and Start Doing”

As much as I enjoyed Dan’s adventures, I wasn’t quite ready to say yes to ‘everything’. So I devised a manifesto. A 10 second Yes list made up of 3 questions that gave me just enough time to think about what I was saying yes too, without tipping over into procrastination. Whenever I was faced with a proposition I’d ask myself;

  1. Can I fit it in? Calendar check (5 seconds)
  1. Am I physically able to do it – do I possess the necessary equipment (2.5 seconds)
  1. Is this a step forward? (2.5 seconds)

If I answered yes to all 3 questions, I would immediately set myself on the path of whatever opportunity was presented to me.

Since I made the decision to get my life back, I’ve worked alongside people who I used to only dream of one day meeting. My work is plentiful and fulfilling. This month, because of my Yes list, I was one of 96 women worldwide, taking part in a Facebook live event to celebrate International Women’s Day … and that’s just the start.

You don’t have to say yes to everything, just say yes more. Because if you don’t say yes, it’s always a no.

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