The Scary Yes

When we were younger, we might have been easily scared by things that weren’t real. But as we’ve gotten older, we realize that those fictional horrors are not nearly as terrifying as they once were. Instead, it’s reality that can feel pretty spooky.

In a recent post, author Light Watkins discusses the Scary Yes. He encourages his viewers to say yes to the things that might intimidate them, noting that the “hell yeses are easy, but what about acting on a Scary Yes?” 

Click below to view Light's post:

Think about this. What have you been putting off?

Moving to a new city? Publishing your book? Starting a new health routine? Going on that first date? Making a career change? Reaching out to someone you lost contact with?

Situations like these are often stressful because we are unsure about how they will play out.

Light Watkins acknowledges that “these kinds of yeses are scary because they force us to grow.” While we might be fairly certain that doing these things would be beneficial for us in some way, the unknown scares us and causes us to put it off for another day.

For more content by Light Watkins or to order his new book Knowing Where to Look, visit the page below:

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There’s something to be said about the hope of something, right? We like to keep hope on the horizon because that means we don’t have to face potential rejection. However - if a work in progress is lingering on the sidelines of your life, you aren’t definitively saying no, but you’re certainly not saying yes to the possibility of it turning into something great.

In Justine Musk’s 2013 TED Talk, she discusses the idea of the Deep Yes. To her, “the Deep Yes is the right to dream your dreams and live an authentic life as the hero of your own unfolding epic.”

We all have a story that’s uniquely ours. One in which we are the main character. However, we often forget this and let ourselves take a backseat to someone else’s dream.

Saying no to your own dreams is what you want to avoid, but in order to say that Scary Yes, you might have to say no to what isn’t part of your dream. Musk mentions that “behind every no is a deeper yes to whatever it is you do want.” When you say no to something that you don’t want, you are standing up for the story that you are narrating and allowing yourself to dive into that Scary Yes.

Click below to watch Justine's TED Talk:

How do we know when to say YES?

You might have heard the phrase: To not make the decision is the decision.

Keeping big dreams on the sideline is making the decision to exclude them from your story. That’s why we’re encouraging you to pull out some of your big life projects this Fall - get scared, get motivated, and start saying no to what does not serve you and yes to the things that lift you up, celebrate you as the hero of your story, and move your narrative forward.

Shonda Rhimes, in her book Year of Yes, describes how she chose to say yes for a whole year. She writes that “the point of this whole Year of Yes project is to say yes to things that scare me, that challenge me. So in order to YES a problem, I have to find whatever it is inside the problems that challenges me or scares me or makes me just freak out - and then I have to say yes to that thing” (178). 

The Result of YES

The result of saying yes? Following through on a Scary Yes liberates you from the fear of the unknown. Regardless of the outcome, you learn that the process wasn’t as scary as you thought. You become stronger, bolder, and more confident. The Scary Yes then turns into an Empowering YES!

Journaling Questions

  • What are your Scary Yeses?
  • What is it about each YES that scares you?
  • How would saying YES change your life in a positive way?
  • What are some smaller things you can say YES to in order to build up to those scarier yeses?