Advertising
Advertising

12 Things That Happen When You Say Yes More

12 Things That Happen When You Say Yes More

Have you ever found yourself sitting quietly in a group of friends and realized that you’re the one who has nothing to say? Or you have the Sunday Fear because, just like every Sunday, you have to go to work tomorrow? Deep inside you know that you’ve got something offer, you believe it, even — but you have no idea how to start discovering that secret version of you, the potential you have, the key to the doors you’ve so far been unable to unlock.

As a human, you’re the only creature on the planet capable of actively developing yourself. Every time you do something new you grow and however rich life has been so far there is so much more to come as long as you give yourself a chance.

Saying yes opens a door for something new to happen and if saying yes becomes a habit far fewer opportunities will slide by unnoticed. In fact, saying yes more will leave you with so many options that you’ll also have to say no more, but let’s concentrate on the glass half full. The things you say yes to are the things that happen, the memories you create and the experiences that will make you who you are, and as soon as you begin you’ll find yourself on a journey that will shape the rest of your life.

Here are the 12 things that will happen when you say yes more.

Advertising

1. You become more interesting

It might take a little time, but when you have a different experience to talk about every time you catch up with your friends not only do you have new tales to tell, but as time goes on you will become more rounded, articulate and knowledgeable. Not only will your friends wonder what happened to you, but slowly they’ll become infected with your enthusiasm to do new things.

2. You realize the kindness of strangers

Stranger danger is a cold war myth. You’re a stranger to most people and you’re not so bad, so give everyone else the benefit of the doubt. Saying yes will mean you find yourself in brand new surroundings with people you’ve never met before, and more than likely you’ll need some help at some point. Just when you’re feeling down and feeling like maybe this yes thing wasn’t such a good idea, something good will happen and it’s likely to come in the form of a helping hand. Strangers are just friends waiting to happen and if you approach life with gusto, see color in the grayest of moments and start to push your limits you’ll be amazed at who you meet.

3. Your confidence skyrockets

Remember the last thing you said yes to? And the the one before that? Of course you do! You’re still alive — in fact, you feel more alive — and suddenly you’re not just waiting for opportunities, you’re creating them. As saying yes to cool stuff becomes second nature you’ll talk to more people which in turn will lead to new offers and ideas. You’ll feel less scared than ever before, more willing to take risks and as your field of vision opens up your eyes will shine brighter.

4. Failure becomes OK

There will always be moments when you’re scared to fail or that people tell you that you’re not en route to success, but even when your latest adventure doesn’t quite come off you’ll be better prepared to dust yourself off. What other people classify as failure shouldn’t matter to you because this is your life and you can do what you want with it. Saying yes is just as much about putting yourself in a position to accept that not everything goes perfectly, but that this is still OK. Success isn’t owning a big house and a fancy car, it’s waking up each day knowing that you’re going to give this your best shot.

Advertising

5. You get better at everything

You’re rubbish every time you do something new, unless you have some freakish talent or aptitude, in which case, now and then you’ll get lucky. But on the whole, you’re not going to be an expert when you try out a new activity or skill. But keep on plugging away and you’ll learn more, you’ll improve steadily and eventually your discipline will reward you. One day you’ll look back and laugh at how bad you were at the beginning, just as someone hands you a medal or you cross the finish line with arms aloft. Remember, not being able to do something does not mean you’ll never be able to do it.

6. You discover new-found creativity

OK, you’re fully into doing mode now. You’ve become pretty good at taking chances but now and then you’ll have to get creative. Whether it’s making a yes list, coming up with a one-off project or even setting yourself a huge adventure to complete, the extra purpose you’ve created for your actions will offer motivation and direction. Suddenly you’re starting to design life as you want it to look, and that means grabbing hold of your dreams and splashing them over paper. ‘I wish I could do that’ becomes ‘Let’s do that!’ and all of a sudden you’ll be doing something so unique your former self couldn’t have imagined it. That’s creativity and you’re an artist of life; keep painting!

7. You feel more healthy

Living life on your own terms comes with its downs but your ability to take charge and take or create new opportunities has done wonders for your mind and your body. You’re more positive, which means you challenge illness or inactivity as soon as it presents itself. You’re in a stronger position to help others which always makes you feel better, and physically you’re more confident — especially because now you know that if you wanted to, you could run a marathon, even though you haven’t started training yet. Crucially, looking after yourself and knowing when to say yes to rest will preserve the energy you need for the next big thing.

8. Asking for things becomes easier

It’s not always simple stepping out of the box but if it’s taught you one thing, it’s that you’re OK with being vulnerable. There’s no shame in feeling lost or in need of help and just as you’d step up to assist someone if they asked for your help, you become more confident that it works in the opposite direction too. Maybe you’re cycling through a foreign country and a storm is coming in — just knock on the door of a local farm and ask if you could sleep in the barn (they’ll probably end up giving you a bed, a meal and a shower too). Perhaps you’re fundraising for a charity, organizing an event or need help moving to a smaller place (because who needed room for all that stuff anyway?!), just reach out and others will help, especially because now you have a good reason to be asking.

Advertising

9. You start to enjoy Mondays

You only used to hate Mondays because you hated your job, and if all of this saying yes has taught you anything it’s that you no longer have to accept a mediocre life. Without a doubt that means that you don’t have to spend the majority of the week doing something you have no love for. You’ve worked out an escape plan despite a few people around you saying that ‘you definitely shouldn’t give up everything you’ve worked for’ and, your game strengthened by all the things you learned between points 1 and 9; you’re ready to take things to the next level. There is a way to make a living doing something you enjoy and yes, it’ll take some time and work, but you’re ready for the struggle. It’s not like that job filled you with joy anyway. One day you’ll wake up on a Monday without a looming malice stirring in your belly — that’s the day you know you made it.

10. You have to learn how to say no

Life got epic and busy, but now you’re in a position where you’ve opened up so many doors you simply can’t take them all at the same time. You’re also being approached by others asking your advice — yep, you’ve now gotten to a stage where you’ve done so much that people are coming to you for help — but this takes time, too. You have a hunch that maybe if you carry on saying yes to everything that sure, you might not get any sleep, but that’s OK. But it’s not: sleep is the best medicine you have. S

o you have to learn to say no sometimes, after all, every time you say yes you also say no by default to pretty much everything else. Knowing what’s right and wrong comes down to instinct, and this has been honed (and will continue to be so) by all of the yeses you’ve said so far. You know what’s good for and not so good as well, you just have to decide on the Big Yes for any given moment and protect your investment in that by saying no to the rest.

11. The world starts to make sense

It didn’t use to. Remember when you were a kid and you thought your twenty-five year-old teacher was a fully blown adult, totally sorted in every way? And then you got to twenty-five and realized you were still figuring everything out? Well, that doesn’t ever change. There will always be questions we can’t answer and part of understanding what makes this world revolve is accepting that we don’t have control of everything. But we are capable of influencing our own decisions and the happiness of the people around us, and nothing matters much more than how you make others feel when you go through life. The longer we spend on this wonderful planet the better we get to know our place in it, and the value of that place is multiplied by your willingness to learn and experience as much as you dare.

Advertising

12. Things just work out

They do, they really do. You have to trust in this fully to get the most out of life, to turn disappointment into opportunity, to let heartache run its course and doubt evaporate into hope. The process of saying yes to so many things has meant that you’ve broken down barriers, learned more about yourself and started to help others too. Sometimes it feels like you’re totally in control but now and then life throws you the most unfair-seeming curve balls which you can’t escape from. Who knows why we’re here but if we can accept the best of life we should be able to accept the worst of it, and moving on to the next good moment will happen in time, especially when utilizing the most positive habits.

For the last ten years my personal motto has been to say yes more, and it has changed my life unimaginably. Of all the benefits, learning and experiences that came along with each yes, it’s worth noting that in the face of an increasing virtual, dislocated world, nothing worthwhile happens without people. Our ability to communicate, inspire, help and be helped and to share with others will paint the picture of our lives, one we only get to see in full when we look back right at the end, on our last day.

Let’s make this time we have here count, for us and those around us. Make life memorable. Say Yes More.

Featured photo credit: DaveCornthwaite//www.davecornthwaite.com via davecorn.smugmug.com

More by this author

sayyesmore 12 Things That Happen When You Say Yes More 10 Things You Need to do to Successfully Work From Home

Trending in Communication

1 5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward 2 When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 3 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 4 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 5 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

Advertising

1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

Advertising

3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

Advertising

It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

Advertising

Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next