Confession: I was never a huge risk taker. In preschool, I was that kid who would panic when my classmates would run to the playground because I was afraid of tripping and scraping my knee. In college, I was that groupmate who would always have back-up copies of papers and presentations just to make sure we wouldn’t screw up.
What can I say, I’ve always been a bit of a segurista. If I didn’t have assurance of the outcome of something, I would rather sit it out. (I know it makes me sound like a killjoy, but it did save me from the stupidest blunders once or twice!)
In 2015, I made a life-changing promise to myself that I would say “yes” more. That is, to say “yes,” even without the assurance of an outcome that I am comfortable with. The decision came after I realized I was looking for something more in life. Don’t get me wrong—I was happy with what I had, but I just felt like there was still so much more out there for me. I figured that maybe, a change of attitude was what was in order.
So I started saying yes more—and it changed everything. Here, 7 of the best things I learned when I started doing so, and why you should probably try doing it for yourself, too:
1. Doors and windows start opening up.
Having the right mindset and attitude really changes everything. Saying “yes” more means being open to whatever life decides to throw at you. People see and feel this openness, and great opportunities arrive. And because you say yes, more doors and windows are opened.
2. You become braver.
Saying “yes” almost always means going out of your comfort zone. I realized that the choices I made in the past year were all pretty brave. From wearing lipsticks that I would have NEVER even picked up a year ago to publishing two books when I knew nothing about making them, I, in my own little ways, have become bolder about making decisions without the assurance of a quick and positive result. And that’s something that I’m very proud of.
3. You make smarter choices.
Part of the deal that I made with myself is also learning when to say "no" when I know that I have to. Saying "yes" is wonderful, but knowing that you can make smarter choices feels even better.
4. You learn to work harder.
Opportunities will come—just you wait. Of course, this means that you will have to step up and work harder. I helped published two books this year, which is HUGE for a girl who works in digital. I’ve become comfortable with what we do in Cosmo.ph: write, edit, publish, promote, done. For print, it’s totally different! There are proofs, prints, revisions, signatures, and other publishing jargon that I didn’t know about until this year. Clueless as I was, I kept reminding myself that all the hard work I put in will be worth it—and it really was.
5. You build better connections with people.
Positivity is infectious. Radiating positivity leads to better friendships and relationships, because guys, no one wants to be around people who are always nega.
6. You get to know yourself better.
Because unless you try, you will never know what you are truly capable of achieving. Don’t let your fears get the best of you!
7. You really do become genuinely happier and more content.
It all goes back to getting a better sense of yourself. Being open to everything—to change, opportunities, love, happiness, sadness, literally everything!—means that you no longer have to live a life filled with “what ifs” and regrets. I once read on Twitter that while the “nos sting, only the yeses matter.” Let go of all that negativity and be fearless this year—you deserve it!
If you feel like you, too, need to learn to say “yes” more, I say go do it! Everything else will follow.
Happy New Year, Cosmo girls! Wishing you all a year filled with love and lipstick!
Retty Contreras is Cosmo.ph's Assistant Beauty Editor. Follow her on Instagram.