Are you saying ‘yes’ to the universe? Are you grabbing every opportunity given to you or are you refusing to see the blessings in life? The former is known as being an optimist i.e. you see the glass half full. The latter is known as being an pessimist, i.e. you see the glass half empty. Which one are you?
Susan Jeffers mentions saying yes to the universe a lot throughout her book ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’. The idea is that by saying yes to the universe you are utilising an important component to overcoming fear. Remember that value can be created from anything that happens.
When you think that everything that comes your way is for your own good, for your own growth, you will have nothing to fear.
I know this one person who did not say yes to the universe. Let’s anonymise her as ‘Jane’. Jane grew up in a very conventional generation where unfortunately women did not receive the same opportunities as men did. Jane was not allowed to get a higher education, but instead had to hurry up and abide by an unhappy arranged marriage and bear children. Jane’s life soon revolved around motherhood and childcare and soon this consumed her, she refused to move forward with her life, she feared her own evolution. Soon enough, her husband left her, her children grew up and left the household to work away, and now she was alone – or so she thought. She used all of these seemingly ‘bad’ situations to always victimise herself and punish herself:
‘Poor me, I had to endure an unhappy marriage,’
‘Poor me, I had to give up my career for my kids’
‘Poor me I did not get the opportunity to go to university’
‘Poor me, my husband left me, now I am all alone’
‘Poor me, my children have left the house, now I am all alone’
‘Poor me, poor me, poor me’
Notice how Jane’s language is centred around the negative ‘poor me’. Instead of using any of these situations as an opportunity; to finally educate herself, to improve her career, to find a new hobby, to find a new partner – she refused. She decided to use this as an excuse instead to further validate her ‘bad luck’, to complain that life is not fair to her. She lived her life continuing to ruminate the past negative experiences and thus saying ‘no’ to the universe.
A little reminder of how to say yes to the universe, for Jane, and for anyone else who needs to read this:
There’s life after a heartbreak – you’ll find another love. Use every opportunity to get yourself out there, the world is a big place.
There’s life after you don’t get that job opportunity – you’ll find a way to another interview, to use your experience to understand which characteristics you prefer in your job and then comfortably land yourself a better job position.
There’s life after your children leave home – you’ll find yourself through a new hobby, through a new friend, through your partner, through loving your grandchildren, through using this time as an opportunity to be selfish and work on yourself.
When life hands you these difficult situations, that on the surface seem like this will set you back: get into the habit of seeing it as an opportunity for yourself. Why not use these dead ends as opportunities to explore another avenue, to improve yourself, to test your boundaries? You do realise that the power lies in your hands on whether you react to these ‘negative’ situations in a fearful way or in a powerful way. This leads me nicely to one of my all time favourite quotes that I found in ‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’:
We cannot control the world but we can control our reactions to it
There’s a life out there ready to be lived – all you have to do is say yes to the universe.