Why You Should Have a Year of Saying YES

I decided in December 2020 that 2021 was going to be my year of Yes. 

I wanted to say yes to experiences and opportunities that I might have previously said no to because they are outside my comfort zone, make me anxious, or are inconvenient, either time-wise or geographically. 

So I started saying yes. And I said yes a lot.

I said yes to meeting with a retail consultant, even though family members told me I was wasting my time.They were wrong. Although I did not end up opening a brick and mortar store, through this consultant I made contacts that have helped me on my current path of working as a stylist and launching this website and blog (plus more dreams, coming to reality soon – stay tuned!).

I said yes to volunteer opportunities, dates, stand up paddle boarding, beach days, and experiences. I said yes to photo exhibits, restaurant openings, walks with friends, classes, and trips down to Homestead (for those not from Miami, Homestead is an hour south of my neighborhood) to buy plants, orchids, and gardening accoutrements. I said yes to dog park play dates and dinners with new neighbors and to watching my beloved Miami Hurricanes football team lose with friends. I said yes to yoga classes and I said yes to group meditations. I said yes to someone who wanted to try Reiki on me from afar. I said yes to learning about how to manage my finances, an area in which I was and still am woefully inept, especially for my age. I said yes to Bar Mitzvahs and weddings, even though I would be attending alone. I even said yes to experiences in Broward county, which, if you know anything about Miami, is probably the most outside my comfort zone I have been in a long time. 

I said yes to joining a local writing co-op, and then I said yes to a lot of creative writing classes. In one of those, a songwriting class, I met an amateur music producer in the Bay Area (near-ish to San Francisco). He has since become my songwriting partner. I write the lyrics, he writes the music. And he’s become a dear friend. I am certain we never would have met him if I had not started saying yes. As a creative person, I have found that it is imperative for my mental health and well-being to find ways to fill my proverbial creative cup. As I have told this friend so many times, our weekly songwriting sessions fill said cup in the most beautiful and unexpected ways. Maybe those songs will never see the light of day. Maybe they will. I don’t know. But writing them has been a catharsis, and turning a blinking cursor on an otherwise blank page into actual *music* has been beyond rewarding. 

And with each yes, I would encounter 1000 reasons and excuses why I should have said no and why I should continue saying no. But I did not. I do not. I have kept saying yes. And the more I have said yes, the more I have realized that doors can only open when you’re willing to unlock them.

Self-doubt can be a plague: it can overtake everything that is good in your life and make you question everything you know to be true about yourself. Forcing myself to say yes and holding myself accountable has helped combat said plague. I’m human; I will probably always have some self-doubt. But learning to trust myself by honoring my agreement with myself to say yes has done wonders for my self-esteem. And out of all the myriad benefits I have reaped from my year of yes, learning to trust myself and re-learning to love myself have been by far the most valuable and the most important.

7 Things to Help you Build Your YES Life

And finally, say YES to a styling session with the Capretto Girl herself, Leigh! Email me at caprettogirl@gmail.com to get started!

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