An embodied yes

Published on Nov 3, 2020

Back in the day, I often find myself saying yes to everything, just because someone asked. Sometimes they didn't even ask and I would help. Probably out of naivety of being a naturally an agreeable and helpful person, the lack of street-smarts to tell if someone genuinely needs help or just taking advantage, the desire for approval from others, or even just out of plain old social obligation.

I would say a hesitant yes and then give myself reasons posthumously that I can get something out of it. Very often, the initial—almost subconscious—hesitation comes back to haunt me and I would whine or complain about doing said task or helping said person. So I'd come to learn that I can't really trust the logical reasons that I give myself when it comes to work, projects or collaboration. 

In fact, I found that my gut/heart tends to have a better sensing in such situations. If I'm not compelled to say "Hell yeah!" to it in my body, I probably shouldn't go for it. "In my body" can mean any combination of heart skipping a beat, unexpected enthusiasm/excitement, and a total lack of hesitation.

An embodied yes, instead of a hesitant yes.

Well now, as a general principle when it comes to decision-making in life, that doesn't sound very strategic, reasonable, practical or even possible. On the surface. But going with an embodied yes can be very strategic actually – think about the benefits of going into anything with more enthusiasm, optimism, motivation and overall positive vibes. That's gotta count. More drive and motivation equals being able to persevere, sustain and see things through even with setbacks, which then brings more likelihood of success. Enjoyment and delight brings optimism which makes us bring a different energy level to a project, attract more good energy, the right kind of company or collaborators you want, etc. An embodied yes is a great way to live, and very meaningful way to filter out things in life. 

Of course, to caveat all this: this works for me and my personality. Might be partly due to the context that I say way more hesitant yes-es than hell yeahs. Your mileage may vary, especially if you're not like that.