Be a “Yeasayer”

I love Seth Godin. If you don’t know who he is, or you’re not sure, he’s actually many things in the marketing world. But for me, he provides daily inspiration to be a better creator – business creator, relationship creator, thought creator, positive energy creator – the list goes on.

Every day I get a short email from him about a variety of topics (I think the guys sits around all day thinking up cool stuff). Today, even his subject line got me…

“Be a Yeasayer”

Here are his actual words (since I can’t do them justice with paraphrasing):

As I look back on the way I run my business – and my career as a whole – I’m starting to think I’ve had a lot more “nay” than “yea” in my approach.

Maybe you have too…

I know for me, I’ve often played “Devil’s Advocate” when someone would approach me with a new idea (whether it was a new idea for me or for their own business). It usually sent my brain off into calculating what could go wrong. I saw it as a “warding against the worst case scenarios”. I thought this way of thinking would protect me against making bad decisions.

But playing Devil’s Advocate is destructive. It never saved me from bad decisions – in fact, it kept me from making any decisions at all. It gradually turned into a “nothing is going to work anyway” mindset.

Be a yeasayerAfter reading Seth’s email, it got me thinking about the steps I need to take to become a “Yeasayer” – both for my personal and business relationships.

Here are some of the steps I’ve already put into place.

Three Steps To Changing Your Mindset and Becoming a Yeasayer

Step 1 – Identify – I’m not sure that I would have felt the same way if Mr. Godin’s post had come into my Inbox 10 years ago. I would like to think that it would have given me pause and set me on a more positive path, but I’m not so sure.

But… I do know that I’ve had other people in the past tell me that I “always looked at the negative” (but like I said, I thought that was a positive, protective measure). So, if someone is telling you that you’re always “going negative”, stop and take that to heart. Examine your intentions – and see if it’s starting to negatively impact your mindset for success.

Identify what triggers your “nos”. Is it every time someone presents you with something new? Is it every time your kids ask you a question or advice? Both personal and professional naysaying is equally destructive.

When you identify those times you “go negative” then you can take the first step in turning things around.

Step 2 – Plan – Becoming a “Yeasayer” isn’t something that just happens overnight. Especially if you’re like me and you’ve been naysaying for years (and, even worse, you’ve convinced yourself that it was a good thing).

If you need to break your negative habits, it’s going to take discipline and practice. But… it certainly doesn’t have to be painful.

For example, I enlisted my friend and colleague to help. Every time someone approaches me with a request at work, I will listen, and then immediately come up with 5-10 reasons why that request would be a great addition to our products and services. Or, reasons why a new task to my workload will allow me to discover new skills and push myself to new boundaries.

If I complain to my colleague about the¬†latest request, she just has to remind me to “write the 5-10 things why it’s great” down – and that gets me back on track.

That doesn’t mean that every time someone comes to me with a new business idea or a request to do something new at work I’m going to execute on it. But approaching everything from an “it can be done” attitude first will help open my mind to whether or not it really COULD make sense to pursue.

When you start from the negative you have a much tougher hurdle to conquer for success.

Step 3 – Execute – Every morning I wake up and remind myself to “be a Yeasayer” for the day. Like I said, this is not a natural state for me, so it takes a lot of reminding.

If you’re going to change your mindset it’s important that you commit to working on changing things every day.

So far I’ve put my “yeasaying” into practice two times in the past 2 days. I have to say – I REALLY felt it made a difference (and I didn’t even speak my “Top 5-10 things” out loud). I just wrote them down, and slowly I can feel my mindset starting to change.

How about you? Are you a naysayer or a “Yeasayer”?