saying yes, maggie mcreynolds

Trusting Yourself to Say YES

I’ve been talking to more women than I ever expected about my Ready to Ripen program. I’ve touched a chord, it’s clear, and that thrills me.

But the program isn’t what this is about, except to say that in the course of talking to these women, it’s striking to me that almost all of them are reaching out because they want to say yes.

But most of them are saying no.

This isn’t self-aggrandizing delusion (perhaps I’ll make that next week’s newsletter). I’ve been self-employed and as such offering my writing and coaching services for most of my adult life. I really do know the difference between a disinterested no and yearning regret.

“I would so love to do this,” one woman tells me. “I think this program would be perfect for me,” says another. “OMG this is SO what I need!” writes a third.

But they’re overwhelmed by everything they’re already juggling—even as they are ironically aware that what they want is help with this very problem. They are worried about justifying the expense to themselves or someone else, although they tell me they know they spend as much or more on stuff that isn’t meaningful to them.

I understand. And what I also hear, underneath, is something I’ve said many, many times to myself: “I’m afraid I will somehow be ‘not good’ at this and waste the opportunity. Or that my gut says I want this and it’s a fit, but I might be wrong. I’m afraid that I won’t really energetically show up. I’m even more afraid of what might happen if I do.”

They haven’t earned their own trust. And because of that, they don’t believe they deserve to explore, to create the possibility of change. They’d give it to their loves ones, to their children, in a heartbeat.

They deny their heart’s cry to themselves.

There was a time when I said “no” to almost everything because it just felt safer. No to travel, no to new experiences, no especially to my gut or following my instincts.

I survived. Kinda bedridden and semi-suicidal, but at the time, I didn’t think I deserved better.

That poor woman, I look back and think. I can see her now with love and know that her life changed forever when she trusted herself to say YES. Instead of defining my life by all the things I knew I didn’t want—and there were a lot of them—I define myself now by what I do.

How did I figure out what I wanted? I listened to my gut and I learned to trust myself when it said YES.

Even the things that I think don’t work out end up doing just that, in a different way than I expect. I get so much more back than I risked. I am living life on my joyful edge.

This week, I invite you to say YES to something you want: listen with your gut and your heart. I am not talking about a cupcake here, I am talking about something that feeds your soul. It could be really small, like taking those moments to yourself, late at night, chilly but exhilarated out on the front porch when you “should” be sleeping. It could be big, like leaping from one way of life into another. And it could be an infinite number of things in between.

Whatever it is, trust your yes. And when you say it? Say it BIG so everybody—especially you—can hear it.

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