Yeah, notice how there’s a lot of these kinds of headlines out there? “The one word you need in order to succeed”. “Learn this one word and it’ll change your life forever”.
To spare you the time and effort, I’ve hereby decided to write, well, the one article you’ll ever need to read about this topic.
(… In order to succeed? You be in charge of that.)
You see, in my years of studying confidence and self-development I’ve read several articles like that. And while some of them do contain important truths, I have a problem with the entire premise. Because…
This one word they talk about is always either ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
The idea, then, is that if you just say ‘yes’ — or ‘no’ — to whatever comes your way, things’ll start looking up for you.
You can probably see where I’m going with this. Because…
How on Earth would you possibly live like that??
And it’s not like I don’t get it. I KNOW you’re not supposed to take it that literally.
But what these articles fail to address is the crucial distinction between what one either accepts or rejects .
If you say ‘no’ to everything you’re not gonna have much going for you. But if you say ‘yes’ to everything you’re gonna burn out from stress within a week.
What’s really important is WHEN to say either ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
For the sake of argument, let’s distinguish between a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ mentality. Both can be attributed to non-fidence in their respective ways.
A ‘yes’ mentality in that non-fidents are often people pleasers who will seek to avoid causing conflict and rejection by over-agreeing, over-accepting, and taking on too many burdens of their peers.
A ‘no’ mentality in that negativity is closely related to non-fidence. If you look at yourself negatively, you probably don’t have a very positive outlook altogether. And to protect themselves, non-fidents tend to be rejective towards new ideas that might challenge their comfort zone.
In order to succeed, then, we gotta figure out the right things to either accept or reject.
To better ourselves, we need to teach our ‘yes’ mentality that sometimes it’s okay to disagree, reject non-supportive ideas, and acknowledge that we’re not able to solve everyone’s problems.
And, conversely, we need to teach our ‘no’ mentality that we’ll go nowhere by not allowing ourselves to, that new ideas fuel our growth, and that meaningful change happens outside our comfort zone.
It takes years practicing this distinction. Hell, I’m still working on it. But it gets easier.
Just don’t ever think you’ll do yourself any good by resorting to leading a one-track mentality.
Write two lists of five to ten things.
One, a ‘yes’-list — of things towards which you probably need to be more open and accepting. And, well, in order to succeed in some areas.
The other, a ‘no’-list — of things which you probably need to cut down on, or maybe remove from your life entirely.
These things might be actions, habits, ideas, people, food, gadgets… Whichever might be either obviously beneficial or detrimental to you.