As someone who used to be extremely shy, I often have a tendency to lean towards only doing things that are within my comfort zone. I’ve recently decided that I’m going to try and say ‘yes’ to more opportunities, as a way of gaining new experiences that I might otherwise miss out on. Even if it’s to something I think I won’t enjoy, or isn’t necessarily ‘me’, I’m making a conscious effort to put myself out there more and say ‘yes’ to new things.

I’ve got to the point where I would much rather be able to say ‘I’m so glad I did that’ as opposed to ‘I wish I’d done that’. After all, you are more likely to remember all the amazing times, than you are to remember times where you felt anxious and shied away from doing things. Obviously you can’t say yes to absolutely everything, but you can certainly make an effort to try more things.

Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, during his commencement address at the University of California at Berkeley was quoted as saying "Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country. Say yes to meeting new friends. Say yes to learning a new language, picking up a new sport. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job. Yes is how you find your spouse, and even your kids. Even if it's a bit edgy, a bit out of your comfort zone, saying yes means you will do something new, meet someone new and make a difference in your life, and likely in others' lives as well. … Yes is a tiny word that can do big things. Say it often."

So with this in mind, I have begun saying yes to many things that I would previously have probably shied away from. I was recently lucky enough to be given the opportunity to visit Shanghai, and travel is definitely one thing that I think you need to try, no matter how much the thought of it might overwhelm you. There were so many aspects of the trip that were completely out of my comfort zone. But I did it, and embraced every bit of it, and saying yes to new experiences was a massive part of the trip. I’m so glad that I was able to go and do this, as I gained some invaluable experiences and got to experience a brand new culture and complete different way of life. I got to meet new people, try new food, and go to places I never thought I’d get to go. Yes, I wasn’t completely comfortable with everything that we did and tried (I never knew there were so many ways of cooking tofu!), but I still made so many happy memories and don’t regret any of it.  

I’m also trying to spend more time away from my phone. It’s so easy to get consumed by it, by social media and not wanting to miss out on the latest updates from friends, and is definitely something that I consider to be a ‘comfort zone’. It’s easy to rely on your phone when you’re feeling awkward or uncomfortable in social situations. But try spending just one day away from your phone, and it can do the world of good, as well as force you to go out and put yourself in more situations that you may not otherwise get. Feeling shy at a party? Instead of hiding behind your phone, say yes to the opportunity of meeting new people. Put your phone away, and push yourself to talk to those around you. You’d be amazed at what a difference it can make!  

One of the best things I’ve noticed about saying yes more, is that my confidence has grown drastically. The more you experience through saying yes more, the more you feel confident to say it again, and you open the door to so many possibilities.

So now it’s your turn. Try and say “yes” to something that you might normally turn down, whether it’s something as simple as trying a new food, trying a new hobby, or travelling somewhere new. It doesn’t have to be a huge change, but say yes to something new and see how much of a difference it can make!

 

Natasha Sandamas,

Digital Marketing Assistant