Less Excuses, More Learning To Say ‘Yes’


We hold ourselves back so much. Whether it’s something we’re afraid of, or a chance we’re unwilling to take, so often our biggest enemies are our own minds. We want to get somewhere, we want to experience something real, we want to be challenged and pushed, we want a life that we’re proud of—but we’re nervous about saying ‘yes’ to things that are outside our comfort zone. We’re hesitant to embrace a perspective different than our own. We’re terrified of change, so we keep making excuses, content to stay comfortable, yet still hoping somehow we’ll grow.

But you can’t grow if you’re always standing still.

You can’t become something new if you’re so opposed to shedding the skin you’re in. You can’t learn if you’re unwilling to open. You can’t change your life if you don’t allow yourself to say ‘yes’ to experiences, people, and opportunities.

If you spend your whole life making excuses, walking the same beaten path, listening to one tired song on the radio, you’ll never be inspired to become a new person. You’ll never be pushed to grow, to adapt, to explore. You’ll never feel the wealth of emotion this life has to offer. You’ll never be truly happy. And that’s no way to live.

The old quote speaks so much truth—“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”—it does, it really does. When you step out of the mold, when you break the barrier around your heart, when you chase things that make your eyes light up with passion, that’s when you truly experience. That’s when you grow and become and feel fulfilled and motivated and excited about who you are and where you’re going.

When you start saying ‘yes’: that’s when you truly live.

So no more excuses. You don’t have to wait until you’re making tons of money to explore the places around you. You don’t have pause your journey of self-love until you’ve found a significant other. You don’t have to put your dreams on hold until your life is perfectly together, until you’ve graduated, until you’ve paid off all your loans, until you’re settled in your job, until everything makes sense.

You don’t have to keep making excuses for why you haven’t followed your heart; instead, you can just start. Right now. Start believing. Start trusting. Start trying. Start saying ‘yes.’

Start saying ‘yes’ to people. Say ‘yes’ to a spontaneous date. Say ‘yes’ to a business trip with your work across the country. Say ‘yes’ to drinks in the middle of the week. Say ‘yes’ to a gathering with college buddies. Say ‘yes’ to a part-time job. Say ‘yes’ to writing that book you’ve always wanted to write, or coaching a Little League team, or being the Maid Of Honor in an old friend’s wedding.

Say ‘yes’ to things you wouldn’t normally say ‘yes’ to. Say ‘yes’ because you’ve been saying ‘no’ and it’s gotten you nowhere. Say ‘yes’ because life is too short to not experience things, to not change your path, to not rewrite your story again, this time with a more fulfilling ending.

Say ‘yes’ and stop making excuses.

Because you’re happier when you push yourself, when you exist outside of your comfort zone, when you quit trying to plan and organize your life and instead just live.

Say ‘yes’ because you deserve to be challenged, motivated, happy, and changed. Say ‘yes’ because if you don’t, you’ll look back and wish you did.

Say ‘yes’ because yes is a chance to start again.
Say ‘yes’ because it’s time you start living.

Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.