This past summer I have been going through some rather intense spiritual development and healing. After what seemed like an entire year of solitude, desolation, and contemplation, God was finally calling me to action. One of the most striking rules I learned this year was my new found ability to grow and mature purely on the basis of saying “yes”.
By allowing myself the opportunity to try and fail, I was also giving myself permission to succeed. There is something very powerful about the word “yes”, not only in the resulting action but especially in our ability to say “yes” and to choose “yes” for our lives.
Through these reflections I kept thinking about the 2008 Hollywood movie “Yes, Man” with Jim Carrey. After attending a seminar, Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) takes on the challenge to say “yes” to everything in his life. By this small action throughout the course of the film, he is able to overcome the stagnancy that was robbing him of his life and in it’s place create a vibrant life, a life he never could have imagined.
I believe that God’s Grace works very similarly in our lives, we need to be willing to give up our lives for that of God. We need to be willing to take opportunities even if we are unsure. It is in taking that leap that we can discover who we really are.
When stepping out and say yes, remember to “not be afraid” the Lord is holding all things in the palm of His Hands.
He wants us to be fearless in pursuing our hearts for His Glory!
Here are the things I learned by saying “Yes!”
1. It pushes you out of your comfort zone
This summer I did things I never thought I would have been able to do. I said
“yes” to going to the gym and running. I was always so intimidated by people who were incredibly fit. As a self-proclaimed nerd, I felt as if I was not welcome at the gym. Even worse, I felt that even if I went that I would fail. I learned that that was a lie.
Through my journey of “yes” I went from being terrified of the gym to loving it. Whenever doubts flooded my thoughts I would reconnect back to why I chose to do it: I wanted to be healthier, I wanted to be active, I wanted my clothes to fit better. There were so many reasons why I decided to do this for myself and I didn’t want my fear of new things to keep me from achieving my goals.
Re-connecting to why I chose something for myself made me push myself out of my comfort zone and into a place where I could learn and do.
2. It helps you realize what you want
While saying “yes” to running and outings and classes, I realized that there were so many things available to me that I previously hadn’t allowed myself to experience.
I’ve never considered myself much of a chef so I took a cooking class. I was never much of an artist so I took a pastel class. During that time I was so happy to push myself.
But, I found out something unexpected by pushing myself out of my comfort zone- I was able to see what I actually wanted. I realized that I had been holding myself back for years out of fear, out of shame, out of people pleasing instead of living fully.
In saying “yes” I was allowing myself to go after what I wanted, even those things I initially thought were “not me” or unrealistic. I now have a deeper sense of who I am as a person and everything that I am capable of. This would not have been possible without “yes”.
3. You learn in ways you never would have imagined
I was alone and self-conscious when I entered the cooking class by myself. I had never but myself in that situation but I knew that it was necessary for me to do this in order to gain this skill that I wanted to learn. Surrounded by strangers, I was able to have a great time, learn new skills, and drink great wine. It was honestly so much fun. Who could have imagined that I would have been so happy to do something that I initially thought would be so difficult.
Looking around my art class, I noticed that I had never placed myself in a scenario like that. I was the girl taking courses at the local museum! It was actually incredibly.
4. It gives you a deeper appreciation of your innate power
Crossing the finish line to my first ever 5K felt like an all encompassing victory. It was absolutely incredibly what I achieved, especially since I was a non-runner at the beginning of the summer.
What started off as a crazy decision when my friend texted me to ask if we should do the local 5K soon became a new found hobby!
In doing this I was able to gain a more profound appreciation for my body and its capabilities. I would have considered this feat far beyond my capacity. And, surprisingly, that was not true. If I could push myself in this way, I realized that maybe I was capable of far more.
5. You are forced to grow
When I had reached a plateau at the gym I thought I would just give up. Why should I keep trying if there isn’t anything to show for it. I then learned that in order to achieve something more I would have to learn even more than what I had originally intended. I had to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone and in doing so I was learning something that I previously had no knowledge of.
By saying “yes” I was teaching myself that it’s okay to not know all the answers all the time and that trying is
6. You’ll be tempted to abandon your quest
There were times in this journey that I just wanted to give up. No, I didn’t want to go to the gym. I didn’t want to wake up early to go to a painting class. I didn’t want to go out of my comfort zone again and again.
Humans are creatures of habits, we want what is most comfortable and easy. It’s not easy getting out of your comfort zone or trying something new, but that is the only way to grow and learn.
When I was tempted to give up I allowed myself some time. Sometimes even an entire day or two and then repeated all of the reasons why I wanted to do these things. In doing so I discovered that there is more strength in overcoming obstacles than not having obstacles to begin with.
Even in grappling with my temptations to quit I learned just how strong I am in deciding to keep going.
7. Your Identity will blossom
I can honestly say that I am more myself than I have ever been. I have discovered parts of myself that I did not know existed. I’ve learned that I actually love running, who knew?, and that I am a “natural” artist, again- I had not the faintest idea.
Oftentimes, we close ourselves off to our identities because only parts have us been fully developed or accepted. You may be a great singer but not know it. You may be a sculpture but you’ve never given yourself a chance. We have to shake off our own or others expectations of ourselves and be free to learn everything there is to learn about ourselves.
Give yourself the chance to be who you are, if you don’t no one will.
You deserve to be fully yourself, without fear.
In doing this, stepping out without fear, you give yourself permission to be fully yourself.
So then, what does this all have to do with God?
In saying “yes”, I was able to see so clearly just how God only wants what is good for us.
Even if I’m scared or nervous, He can bring these situations to help me learn about myself. In trusting myself more and learning more about myself I was able to learn to rely on God and the way He is leading me.
How can you leverage the power of “Yes”? Do you think you could take a “yes” challenge? Let me know in the comments or share on Social Media!