“Now that’s the Right Kind of Yes Man.”
The words spilled out of my mouth with pride and excitement as I watched my friend nervously approach his longtime role model, having just spotted him entering the café we were sitting in that sunny Saturday afternoon.
For my friend, this man was a local celebrity of sorts, someone he admired on Instagram for years because of his distinct imprint on San Francisco’s biking community. My friend, who is an avid bike enthusiast himself, was visibly apprehensive to walk up to him, but the rest of us at the table emphatically encouraged him to bite the bullet and just go for it.
He could have easily cowered and said, “No.” Instead he did the right thing and said, “Yes.”
To our delight, the man appreciated our friend saying hello and even invited him to check out his company’s work space sometime to talk shop over some beers. Score! My friend was happy that he mustered the courage to say something, having forged a new friendship with none of the regret that wallflowers on the sidelines know all too well.
We never know what the outcome will be when we put ourselves out there in potentially awkward or uncomfortable social situations, and that uncertainty can be paralyzing to many among us. Anyone who’s ever asked out a date to prom, approached someone at a bar or shown up to a party alone can relate.
As intimidating as it may be, it’s important for all of us to embrace these situations with trust in our open hearts. If we don’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable, how will we ever know true connection? At the end of the day, isn’t human-to-human connection what life and fulfillment are really all about? I think it is.
Next time you find yourself in a similar spot, teetering back and forth in your head between action and inaction, think of all the positive potential outcomes that could come from doing something out of your comfort zone. More often than not, you’ll find that saying, “Yes” will only expand your comfort zone, bringing you closer to your fullest potential. Now who wouldn’t want that?
Guest Author Chris Macdonald is interested in human behavior and positive psychology. He studied Public Communication and Mandarin in college, which came in useful when he studied abroad in China.
Traffic light on green image courtesy of Shutterstock