With a new year upon us, now more than ever, is the time to say yes to new opportunities. Sir Richard Branson, a successful entrepreneur, famously suggested “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”

But what if this is not your natural response and it’s much easier to say no? Up until recently, saying no had been my default, and it’s this personal experience that I’d like to share with you today.

There is a certain seduction in saying no and it was pointed out to me, whilst working with a coach, that when I was asked to consider a new approach I immediately said no. This insight got me thinking about why I tend to say no immediately rather than yes. If I said yes, I was committing to an opportunity that I had no idea if it would work or not. It felt ambiguous and unknown, and I was not comfortable with not having all of the details. How could I possibly commit to an idea that had no structure or any guarantee that it would succeed?

I realised that this response was attached to my self belief. Can I do it?

Hence, the seduction of no and not believing I can do it!

It is easier to say no to reduce the chance of failing.

It is easier to say no to avoid making mistakes.

It is easier to say no because then I don’t have to take a risk.

But what I have come to realise is that life is not about what is easier. And what I am noticing is that saying yes to discomfort is often when the magic really happens. It can sometimes be a more challenging path, but it can also be a much more rewarding one.

Self Belief is the Key to Success

What I have learnt is to trust myself more, and to be okay about saying yes to the unknown.  I just needed to believe in myself more and surround myself with people who remind me “Marina, yes you can!”

Believing I can work it out and make it succeed is proving to make all the difference! Self belief is at the heart of helping me achieve the success I desire in my business and career.

The 4 Questions You Must Ask Yourself in 2021 for Career Success

So why am I writing about this? As a passionate advocate of helping others do work that challenges and inspires them, I’m curious to know if you’re holding yourself back by using no as your ‘go to’ when opportunities arise?

If you do, I encourage you to reflect on your ‘go to’ responses and consider the following questions:

  1. If you consistently say NO to opportunities, what is that saying about you?
  2. What is your NO attached to?
  3. In what ways can you build your self worth to take on new and unknown opportunities?
  4. By saying NO, what opportunities are you missing out on?

In other words, how is your NO seducing you?

There is no time like the present to consider why you’re choosing to stay stuck rather than aspiring for new opportunities.

Make 2021 the year of saying YES! And if you’d like to be surrounded by someone who reminds you “Yes, you can!” please contact me for a confidential chat about your career.

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