What makes you say no when you really mean yes? This happens when we receive an offer or an invitation and our heart says, “Heck yeah!” while our mouth says, “No, thank you.” Perhaps it is the fear of being hurt or rejected. If you do not open to receive, you also do not open to the vulnerability of being disappointed. It could be the fear of doing the wrong thing. That very attractive person you have been flirting with takes it to the next level with a proposition and you find yourself worrying, “What if…” Maybe you like the person more than you would like to admit and you fear the proposition is a physical engagement only. However, what is right and wrong? Who defines it?
From an early age, children learn the boundaries on right and wrong, good and bad. These values are enforced in our social structure from school to church, even in unspoken norms about good girls and bad boys. Yet, who really knows who is making up these moral absolutes? Somewhere between the carefree life of our youth, those first time feelings of lust and love, followed by the realization that we contribute as much to our heartbreak as the other person did, cynicism sets in.
Maybe you want to ask someone out, but you're so scared of being rejected or that they will disappoint you that you pass up the opportunity. The other extreme is being so afraid of being alone and lonely that we say “yes” even when we know in the deepest depths of our being that it is the wrong thing to do. How much different would life be, how much time would stop being wasted if we would just be honest from the get go, take some healthy risks, and say what we mean?
Golfers know when they have hit the ball with the sweet spot verses when they slice or shank the ball. The sweet spot is this beautiful, harmonic resonance throughout your body. Knowing the truth is very similar. Your body almost hums. When the truth is not spoken, even if it is a slight deviation, you feel the constriction.
1. Start paying attention to how your body feels as you make decisions. Take one moment to breathe slowly and deeply before responding and test your answer internally before allowing it to flow out.
2. Be open to taking a risk. Start small if that is what is most comfortable. The reality is that we will continue to bring people and situations that allow us to address our deepest fears and heal our deepest pain rather we are conscious of it or not. If you are willing to step into that space, take the risk, you may find a very simple, honest answer leads to a profound healing.
3. Don't worry so much. When those fears of rejection, making the wrong decision, being a fool, or being hurt start to rise, use them as a learning experience. Ask yourself, “Why am I worried about that? Who defined good and bad, right and wrong for me and do I truly believe those definitions?” One of the greatest questions I ever received was, “What are your basic beliefs?” I thought it would be so easy to answer, but it really stumped me because as I started to uncover those beliefs, I had no idea why I believed them. Most of us accept others beliefs without questions. We stay in limited containers so as to stay within the confines of acceptable behavior. Most of what our society has come to know and desire in our lifestyles would no longer be acceptable if we started questioning our beliefs, our reasoning for believing it, and the real definitions of what we believe.
4. Commit to being true to yourself. You cannot control others. You cannot control (fully) a situation. At best, you can control your actions and reactions. That being the case, it is wise to know yourself and why you act and react the way you do. As you step into your authenticity, you give others the permission to do the same. You also will lose those in your life that liked the inauthentic version of you. That’s perfect. It makes room for those who are attracted to the real you.
This is, as a whole, certainly not an easy process. For me, the basic beliefs took two years to really solidify. The stepping into the small risks and being true to myself, however, started immediately. The changes were apparent immediately, too. Best of all, the unexpected side effect was how much more fun life became. Star small, think big, act now.