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Seven and a Half Chances You Won’t Regret Taking In Life

Seven and a Half Chances You Won’t Regret Taking In Life

What are the chances you WON’T regret taking in life?

Everyone comes to a point in their life when they face a decision that involves risk. Perhaps it’s having a baby; starting or ending a relationship; or perhaps changing careers, changing cities or changing their entire life.

What if it’s you? Do you twist or stick?

You look at all the money you could lose; the humiliation you could face; the pain of having to start all over again with another person, or another job, or perhaps another country.

Is it going to be worth it?

If you’re facing such a decision, this may make it easier for you; here are six and a half chances you won’t ever regret taking.

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1. Taking the chance to fail.

No one ever regrets trying and failing, not afterwards. If you gave it your best shot and came up short, at least you won’t die wondering. Yes, you could look dumb in front of your friends when that beautiful girl says no to a date; you could lose money if the business venture goes wrong; you could come back with your tail between your legs if you couldn’t stick out that new life in Spain or Thailand or Vladivostock. But what if you win out? And even if you don’t, suddenly you’re a risk taker and you’ll look different—to yourself and everyone who knows you.

2. Taking a chance on yourself.

You can’t go to your grave thinking you’re not old enough or young enough or smart enough or good enough, not if you want to live a life well lived. No one ever regretted taking a chance on finding out they were more than they thought they were. No one ever regretted backing themselves to try—even if you fall short of your goal you will find out along the way that you’re much more than you think you are.

 “I wondered about the explorers who’d sailed their ships to the end of the world. How terrified they must have been when they risked falling over the edge; how amazed to discover, instead, places they had seen only in their dreams.”
Jodi Picoult, Handle With Care

3. Taking a chance on feeling afraid.

Courage is not the absence of fear; it’s soiling your shorts and facing the fear anyway.

Why would anyone run with bulls, dive with sharks, or jump off 250 meter bridges? I did all those things in the span of one month a few years back and I have no regrets. Was I terrified? You betcha. But I found out I could face and beat my fears, and that’s the most important lesson of all.

But you don’t just do it for fun; your fears stand in the way of your success—you’re afraid of letting that guy you love into your life; afraid of striking out on your own in business; afraid of giving up your day job to following your passions full time. Feeling afraid and risking all anyway is one chance you’ll never ever, ever regret.

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4. Taking a chance on love.

Yes, you could really end up hurt here; but if you wait to find the perfect man, the perfect woman, you may find out that they don’t exist or that they’re a perfect bust when you do find them. Your job isn’t to find love, but to find out the walls you have built against it.

“A ship in harbor is safe—but that is not what ships are for.”

John A. Shedd

5. Taking a chance on your dreams.

I worked on an ambulance for many years and took many people on their last ride. Some of those folk knew what was coming, and so we had some interesting conversations. I can’t reveal much of what they said to me but I can tell you this; the ones who had followed their dreams had no regrets whatsoever, no matter how things turned out; the ones who didn’t mourned the waste of it all deeply.

6. Taking a chance on your own worth.

This may mean you need to fight for what you deserve—or it could mean being strong enough to let you go of what you don’t deserve, especially in relationships. In some cases, you risk losing the relationship or perhaps losing your job or your promotion. But if you also gain your self respect, that’s a chance you won’t ever regret taking.

“It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don’t. They sit in front of the TV and treat life as if it goes on forever.”

Philip Adams

7. Taking a chance on feeling

The biggest risk of all: many of us close off big parts of ourselves because others could hurt us, or betray us, or leave us. We don’t think we could stand it.

But feelings of deep loss, inconsolable grief—these feelings only result from loving deeply. But if we never know what love feels like, what grief is, then we have not lived a real life.

So taking a chance on feeling—however it comes out—that’s not something we should ever regret.

… And taking the half chance.

You know the moment when you have to say “yes” or “no” and you don’t have time to think; the man who asks you if you’d like a drink, but you’re late for an appointment; the friend who rings you and says there’s a big job opening in London but you have to get to the interview across town in an hour; the house that’s just come on the market at a bargain price and you’re not sure if you can afford it.

These are the half chances that you look back on later in life. Can you trust your instincts? If you can, then follow them. You’ll never regret it.

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“First you jump off the cliff and you build wings on the way down.”

Ray Bradbury

So go ahead. Take a chance. If it’s one of the seven and a half chances above, then what do you have to lose?

Because there are just some chances you won’t ever regret, no matter what the gods decide.

Featured photo credit: Geralt via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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