Over the past year or so I have been given opportunities to reach out of my comfort zone and do (what I previously would have thought as) the unthinkable. Being offered the opportunity to work out amongst a crowd of hundreds led by a celebrity trainer going through his workout routine that I had never done before. The chance to step out from behind the camera and get in front of it as a spokesmodel. Getting asked to be a brand ambassador for health and fitness. Making the decision to go from vegetarian to vegan. Zip lining and rock climbing in a canyon. And, perhaps most importantly, signing up for and completing my yoga teacher training.
I could have easily said “I can’t” to each one of these opportunities, and in some cases I had already said so in the past. I could have gone on living life as I knew it and missed out on memories that will last a lifetime. But I didn’t! I said yes. To each one of them.
For many people, me among them, it takes something life shaking to stop saying NO and starting saying Yes! An accident, a sickness, a family trauma, the shocking loss of someone near and dear to our hearts. Whatever it is, if it has gotten you to the other side of no, and you have learned to make everyday count, I hope you, like me, are loving every second of it. For the rest of you, I challenge you to not wait for that life shattering moment where you question the world, I encourage you to grab life today and start saying yes!
I spoke with a woman at a concert recently who told me it was her “Summer of Yes” after reading Shonda Rhimes’ book (it’s on my list). We instantly bonded over the incredible experiences we have had by just switching our natural gut instincts when answering a proposal. It is easy in the age of social media to look at your screen and be jealous of the highlights of someone else’s life. It is easy to scroll through snapshots on Instagram and think “why can’t that be me!” It CAN, if you just get rid of that nasty second part of the contraction (‘T). And remember the photo you see on Instagram with all of those likes had a few (or dozens) of outtakes. See one such example of mine above and below!
Like other four letter words, can’t should be put on the naughty list. A word we are taught from a young age to never say when we are asked to try something new. Something which has the potential to make us grow, to experience something new, or to change our lives forever.
Consider starting a swear jar for every time you, your significant other, your children, or anyone else in the house uses can’t. Use the money towards something you were so tempted to say you couldn’t do, but now you are working towards doing. For example, a month of yoga classes or a gym pass, stocking the fridge with healthy and organic options and a cookbook to learn how to get it on your plate, a fun family outdoor adventure or getting the dessert you’re always eyeing up on the menu (life is about balance after all).
Jumping in head first can be intimidating at first. You might not be ready to say “I can” if you aren’t sure you will succeed. Instead of saying “I can’t” start by saying “I’ll try.” But keep in mind no one is born a professional at anything, it takes time and practice. I spent the first six months of this year learning to be a yoga teacher and as I lay my mat down to teach my first full yoga class last week I knew my journey was not over but merely just beginning.