When I was young I said yes to whatever people asked from me. I had no idea that I had a choice to say no, I blame it mostly on my upbringing, shyness and my low self-esteem. I did so many things I did not want to do because, well, I’ve been a people pleaser, until someone explained to me I am no longer a child and I have the power to say no, take care of myself and even survive if someone doesn’t like me for my choices, etc, etc. and that absolutely blew my mind. And, since then (spoiler alert) I have been saying no to almost everything I can say no to.
A friend asking for a movie? No. Some money? No. A date? Oh god no. A weekend outing, a little trip? New friends? Any social event? Trying something new? No, no, no, just no. I’m going to be in my bed with my laptop, where I’m most comfortable and safe, doing absolutely nothing at all. This is what happens when you find that sweet-sweet spot in your comfort zone. I had no dreams, no goals, no future, apparently no life. I was slowly dying in my bed every weekend, and I was like, “Eh! there’s no hope for me. Something bad happened to me, so I’m going to give up on everything. I’m going to push everyone away and become a loner and talk to no one. This is my life now.” And sadly, it really was.
I think Netflix (my only true friend at that time), sensed this in some way and recommended a movie called “Yes Man”. It starred Jim Carrey (my childhood crush) so I was already sold. Twenty minutes into the movie and it felt like I was Jim Carrey- ignores everyone’s call, avoids conversations at work, flaking on friends, forgetting a close friends engagement, never leaving the house, single, lonely and anxious. OMG! did someone stalk me and wrote this script? What was going on! It was surreal. Okay, I am exaggerating, but it was very close to what I had become.
In the movie, Jim Carrey participates in a self-help program where he is forced to say yes to everything for a year, which he does dread initially, but once he gets hang of it, he does great things (no spoiler alerts here, watch the movie please). It changes his life, it changes him as a person, he hits new highs and lows, he learns so much about himself, he goes way out of his comfort zone and realizes it was not that hard. I know its just a movie and things like these probably won’t happen to me in real life, but who cares, at least I’ll be living my life to the fullest.
And since then I’ve said yes to things I would have never imagined. I didn’t wait for people to ask me so that I can yes, I started out small, like asking people out, talking to someone new, saying yes to the new dress I never thought I could pull off, taking myself on a date, saying yes to meet new people, new projects, yes to making more money, have a better physique, actually anything that’s going to make me uncomfortable but in the end I’ll be content that at least I tried.
You know, the truth is, it wasn’t that I had become very comfortable with my life, to the contrary, I was fucking terrified of change and failure. I’ve been afraid of almost everything, all my life and I was sick and tired of fear deciding what my life should look like. So I decided to say yes, yes to new experiences, memories, to the things I always wanted to do but never did, to things I’m really terrified of, things I love and enjoy, things I know I’ll regret if I missed them, I’ll be saying yes to all these things, but, on the other hand, I don’t want to say yes to things just to please people, to cover up my insecurity, or anything that’s harmful to my mental and physical wellbeing, because what you say yes to is also important.
Do watch the movie if you haven’t already, it may change your life like it did for me.
DISCLAIMER: Do not say ‘yes’ to stupid things and blame it on me or the movie.