When Was the Last Time You Said YES to Yourself?

In last week’s blog post, I wrote about the story Rachel Rodgers shares in her book, We Should All Be Millionaires, about how she started getting regular haircuts to feel better about herself and then started making more money because her present self embodied the vision she had of her future self.

I can’t stop thinking about this.

Here’s why: how often do you say NO to yourself? 

The crazy thing is that “no” doesn’t always sound like “no” in our heads. Instead it’s a subtle form of justifying why we can’t do or have something. It sounds more like: 

  • It’s okay if I don’t get that haircut, I can wait a little longer. 
  • I don’t need that new dress/pair of shoes/pair of jeans. 
  • I could really use a pedicure, but I’ll just wait until next month. 
  • I’ll just make do with this cheap faux-leather bag and I’ll use it until it’s frayed and falling apart. Maybe by then I can afford a real leather bag.
  • I’ll just do my own taxes even though it’s going to take me 20 hours, but I can’t afford to hire someone, so…
  • I really want to get [fill in the blank], but I don’t really need it, so…
  • I really want to do [fill in the blank], but no one else does that, so…

Of course the challenge is that, when it sounds like something on this list, we don’t recognize it as saying NO to ourselves. 

Now, you may be thinking, but Janna, I’m on a budget, or I’m being frugal, or I’m really being conscious of when and how I spend money. 

I totally hear you. This isn’t even about spending money. I’m not suggesting that you go out and be frivolous, racking up credit card debt, buying a bunch of fast fashion clothing that you can’t afford.

That’s not what this is about. 

But this IS about being okay with WANTING something. Being okay with your DESIRE. And then LETTING YOURSELF HAVE IT.

Maybe that means that, yes, there’s a little more of a stretch in the financial budget this month so that you can splurge on that pedicure or new pair of shoes. Because this is a practice in allowing yourself to get used to saying yes to little things, so that eventually you can say yes to the big things.

A few years ago I read the book The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. It’s all about how she recognized that she had a habit of saying “no,” and it kept her playing small. It wasn’t until she challenged herself to one year of saying “yes” that things really started to change for her. She said yes to invites that she would normally decline, and she found herself at parties with people who were decision makers that lead to opportunities—like green-lighting Grey’s Anatomy, one of her first big breaks. 

Saying yes to yourself is about accepting the abundance the universe has to offer and opening yourself up to opportunity. 

If you’re constantly saying “no I can’t…,” or “no I won’t…,” or “I could never…” or “no I don’t…” why would the universe even bother giving you something that you want if you never allow yourself to have it? 

It’s like this:

  • You say you want to submit or pitch your work to magazines, but you never say yes to getting a regular haircut.
  • You say you want to spend more time writing, but you never say yes when you want to spend your time just lounging around, reading, or taking a bath.
  • You say you want to finish your book, but you never say yes when there’s an opportunity to get away on a writing retreat.
  • You say you want to find an agent, but you never say yes when you use Instacart to have your groceries delivered instead of going shopping yourself.
  • You say you want to work with an editor, but you never say yes when you could hire someone to clean your house.

If you never say yes to the little things, why would you ever say yes to the big things? 

If you never allow yourself to have the little things you want, why would you ever expect the big things you want to happen? 

So tell me: when was the last time you said YES to yourself? And if you can’t remember, how can you say YES to yourself TODAY?

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