shonda rhimes on oprahOne of the areas in which women tend to operate differently to men is in the use of two short and frequently used words – yes and no.

Let me explain

When a man is asked whether he would like to do something that might push him a little (or a lot) out of his comfort zone he will probably say “yes”. Examples could be to give a presentation to his team, go for promotion, represent the company at an upcoming event, travel abroad to meet a potential client, speak at the national conference…to name but a few.

A woman however is far more likely to say “no” to these requests – for a myriad of surface reasons such as childcare, too busy, not relevant, not interested, someone else more suited…you get the picture. But fundamentally its because she comes up against that old saboteur Fear and its henchman “I’m not good enough”, subconsciously if not consciously, and so she misses out on the opportunity to be seen as stepping up, to be seen as a leader, to be seen…period.

So, what to do? Well, challenge yourself to start saying “yes” to the bigger things – not all the little things that we tend to say “yes” to and then regret because they make us too busy for the important things. No, not those, but the bigger things that can lead to real opportunities opening up, to more fulfilment, to a more rewarding life, more successful in fact – in whatever way you define success. For sure shrinking and saying “no” will not bring the same results.

Feel the difference in energy between yes and no. When you say “yes” its an in breath, opening up, drawing in opportunity and bringing a smile. When you say “no” its an out breath, closing down, a sinking feeling – perhaps an underlying knowing that an opportunity has passed, gone forever. Try it. Now!

I have a favourite quote by Margaret Shepherd “Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith”. So go for it! Be brave. Say YES and let me know what opportunities open up for you – I’m excited! I hope you are too (even though at first it may be tinged with a tad of fear xx)

Enjoy this clip from Oprah’s Supersoul Sunday with Shonda Rhimes when Shonda talks about starting to say Yes in her lifeĀ

with love

Karen xx

ps also check out my post on the Art of Saying No, or How To Say No…it’s just as important, in the right context!