Challenge Yourself to Say Yes More

In yesterday’s post, we talked about taking risks and how that relates to creative thinking. Toward the end of the post, I encouraged you to take a few more risks. One way to do this is to say “yes” more often. “Yes” is a powerful word that can have a huge impact on your life and your thinking.

Don’t just take my word for it. One of my favorite quotes about success is from, none other than, Sir Richard Branson:

“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”

That’s the kind of strategy that gets you thinking creatively in a heartbeat. But, how often do we actually do this? Most of us have been raised to be cautious and prepared. We don’t like to stick our neck out there and say yes unless we’re fairly certain that we’re able to do what we’ve said yes to.

Sadly, that’s a very limiting attitude. You don’t know what you might miss out on by not saying yes. We already talked about avoiding negative words. The next step is to start embracing the yes and going for it.

Yes, you should accept opportunities even, and especially when, you’re not quite sure how you’ll get it done. Saying yes allows us to get more done and come up with solutions that will surprise even ourselves. We’re capable of so much more than we think we are. Saying yes more often will prove that to us.

Saying yes will help you with both positive and creative thinking. Getting in the habit of saying “yes” as your default response instead of “no” or “maybe”, gets you into a positive frame of mind. As soon as you start to say yes, your mind starts to work on figuring out what it will take to make what you just agreed to happen. It’s a good place to be.

The next question is, of course, how to get in the habit of saying yes more often. As with any new habit, it takes practice. Become more aware of the opportunities that are offered to you. Pay attention and make a note of every question you’re asked. Promise yourself to say “yes” more often. You don’t have to take it quite as far as Jim Carrey in the movie Yes Man, but give it your best shot. See how far you can take it and what sorts of opportunities start to open up to you when you challenge yourself to say yes more.

Most importantly, pay attention to how this one little mindset shift and habit affects your creative and positive thinking.

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Taking Risks Sparks Creativity

I have an interesting concept to share with you. It’s the idea that risk taking and creativity and creative thinking, in particular, are connected. The basic idea behind creative thinking is to go beyond the obvious, beyond the norm. That takes courage. That takes putting yourself out there with an unproven concept and an idea that could possibly be ridiculed. In short, thinking creatively and voicing those thoughts means taking a risk.

The reverse is also true. When you allow yourself to take risks and step outside your comfort zone, you start to think more creatively. Taking a risk means going all in. It means that you’re fully committed and you’re probably a little excited as well. That gets your brain fired up and helps you make connections that you wouldn’t see otherwise.

Taking a risk also means that you have something to lose. Our minds are very good at avoiding pain. This could be physical or mental pain. That means that if you take a risk and put yourself out there, your mind will do everything it can to reduce or eliminate the pain or risk of pain. This is again where you get creative and find yourself coming up with solutions you wouldn’t have come up with otherwise.

Here’s the perfect example. Let’s say you’re running your own business and you risk your income by investing in a new marketing course or hiring a business coach. The expense may be a stretch and, if it doesn’t pay off, you may not have the money you need to pay your employees or yourself. That’s a pretty big risk.

It’s also the type of scenario where you find yourself going through the material in record time and implementing everything you learn. It’s the time when you work closely with your coach and hustle to grow your business. The risk is lighting a fire under you and making you work harder, and more importantly, making you come up with creative ideas to make up the expense.

When we take risks and tap into this creative thinking ability, we see huge growth in our business, in our personal life, and in ourselves. Isn’t that worth getting a little uncomfortable for? Start thinking about where you want to see growth in your own life. What problems are you facing? Don’t be afraid to take a risk. Stop playing it safe and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what your mind will do to reward you for the risks taken.

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