The Trade-Off: Why Saying “Yes” (also) Means Saying “No”


Every time we make a decision for something in our lives, we also make a decision against something else. But somehow that simple and basic fact seems to fly in the face of today’s popular wisdom.

Living in a world where “The Secret” and its many step-siblings accost us at every turn, and where there is a “Live You Best Life” moment  for every opportunity and occasion, the temptation is great to succumb to all the hype and view the Universe as nothing more than our own personal giant self-service supermarket. No matter what sector of our lives we feel a need to improve or transform, there is a magazine article, book or self-appointed “guru” telling us we can have it all.

  • You want a new love interest in your life? All you have to do is ‘claim it’!
  • You’re looking for a new job? You just have to visualize it!
  • You want a healthier lifestyle? Just think about the changes you want to make!

According to some, yes, we can have all that – and more – without giving up anything but our own frustration and unhappiness.

I personally believe that we can choose to change things in our lives. That our lives can be richer and more joyous and more exhilarating than they are at this moment. What some of us prefer to forget, however: Manifesting concrete and positive change in our lives is not as easy as wishing – or even willing – something to happen. Real change is the result of conscientious decisions about our  thoughts, behavior and lifestyle. It’s the willingness to walk-the-walk each and every day, and not just to talk-the-talk when the spirit moves us.

Every time we truly choose to transform a heartfelt dream into a goal, and then turn that goal into a series of tangible actions, we have acknowledged the over-riding importance that goal has in the larger scheme of things in my life. Because of its importance, we are also more than willing to let go of something else – something of (much) lesser importance – to  make room for whatever manifesting that goal will mean to our lives.

  • So while “claiming” a new love interest in your life can’t hurt, working on your social skills and socializing in the places that people like that special someone you want to meet congregate are also an unavoidable necessity. That means letting go of some old personal habits and socializing routines in favor of new ones that can take you closer to your goal!
  • Visualizing yourself getting that promotion or new job can help shift the way you see yourself, and help you project the kind of aura you will need to make the move. But without the proper skill building, networking and willingness to self-promote, your visualizing will be in vain. To be more successful, it’s time for you to familiarize yourself with the newest developments in your field, liaise with opinion- and decision-makers, and stop expecting other people to do the promotional footwork for you!
  • Thinking about making healthy changes in your lifestyle is important, because any change you make has to harmonize with your personality and your circumstances. However, once you’ve identified solutions that fit your lifestyle, nothing is more important than actually living the change you want to make. So, it’s time to reconsider the staples you have in your refrigerator  (and on your shopping list), walk instead of taking the car, and ditch any other habit that goes against the lifestyle you imagine for yourself!

With 2010 drawing to an end and 2011 almost here, what do you plan to say “yes” to in the new year – and, because of that “yes“, to what are you prepared to say “no“?

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Filed under Affirmations, Coaching

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