Pushing back on the automatic “no”

A few years ago, I declared the month of September to be about blogging the bright side. Having found myself mired in a negative outlook, I decided that for one month, I’d choose to see the bright side in any situation. It worked! Years later, I end most bad thoughts or situations with the comment, “On the bright side….” One month of blogging and my outlook was repaired.

Now, I find myself automatically reaching for the “no” answer. Partly because I’m paid to limit risk (and ship product on time) and partly because it is in my nature, when given an option, I react like a two year old who has just realized she can refuse, often without considering the benefits of “yes.”

Example: when first told my son would be transitioning to the next infant class, my immediate reaction was negative. After some thought, though, I really liked the idea and am looking forward to it beginning next week.

Example: my initial response to almost anything at work is, “No, sorry.” Again, I am paid for this, but still, it leaves out any opportunity for awesomeness when your goal is to have minimal change. I want us to have bigger dreams.

Example: my husband dreams big and is the eternal optimist when it comes to house projects. With a week before my peeps were scheduled to arrive, he decided to upgrade our electrical system and run new circuits. “But why?” I asked. “What if it doesn’t all get finished?” He was right, and two days before they arrive, we now have like fifteen circuits whereas before we had one. I tamp down on my negativity when it comes to his projects, but I’d really like to have a greater capacity for believing.

Not only does my automatic “no” sometimes affect the people around me, my efforts to keep that minimized make me sad and give me more practice than I’d like at keeping my mouth shut. Rather than not piss on someone’s party, I’d like to join in the fun instead, you know?

So, for one month – April – I am going to choose the yes option in any situation. It will be interesting to figure out how to marry that with my need to prevent increasing scope and risk at work and desires to prioritize and spend our limited time on the right things at home, but that’s the point: I’ll have to figure it out.

Now all I have to do is find a more catchy title! Wanna join?


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