12/02/2008

Are you saying yes or no? Which is it?

I once heard somewhere that, with every action we take, we are saying either yes or no to our goals. I felt a flood of emotion the minute the statement began to sink in. Everyone with identifiable goals can attest to the experience of saying yes to something we want. In fact, we are coming up on the time of year when we begin to think about all the intentions we are willing to say yes to.

Saying yes is an honorable first step, but you may be negating your yes with every ambiguous action you take, Not too long ago, I was going through a period of frustration because of the lack of progress in one specific area of my life. I had this weird reaction whenever I was put on the spot to speak in front of others. I'm not talking about getting up in front of a large audience, I'm referring to simple exchanges such as speaking up on a conference call. Whenever the opportunity arose, I would experience stage fright type symptoms. One day after one such event, I took some time to dig into the root cause of my nervous behavior. After several moments of contemplation, I realized that what I was doing was a result of my subconscious programming.

Because I was not faithful in the little, I was somehow sending my subconscious the message that I could not be trusted to speak intelligibly in front of a group of my peers. Around that time, I began to slack on some of my morning routine rituals. I let my morning personal development activities suffer because I would begin work earlier in the morning. By doing so, what I was actually doing was breaking a promise to myself that I made to protect my morning development. Consciously, I felt that I was doing the right thing to get ahead at my job. Subconsciously, my mind interpreted my actions as me saying "no" to my development. By spending the first couple of hours of my day working emails, I was sending the message loud and clear that other stuff was more important than my growth.

It was almost as if my mind was telling me that I could not be trusted to carry out what I am capable of doing. As a result, something so simple as speaking in front of others became somewhat of a gamble. I felt kind of like a person who was exposed as a fraud when one learns that he tried to fool the people around him. Since then I have been able to rebuild the confidence in myself simply by doing what I said I would do in the area of my morning routine. For some people, being in a similar situation would not resulted in the same emotions. Unfortunately for me, I've realized that I am a true believer in the "faithful in the little, faithful in the much" philosophy.

Since then, I've made it a mission not to go too long without carrying out my promises to myself. Sure there are times when I backslide but I quickly correct course as I am aware of the dire consequences. As you take inventory of your external reality, think about how much you are affecting it simply by saying "yes" with your mouth and "no" with your actions. Saying yes with your actions is way more powerful than you realize. So let your yes be yes and watch the direction of your life change.

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