How to step outside of your comfort zone
3 Key lessons from my real Yes Man Experiment
Each year, I choose a new experiment to live my life by. Can you imagine completely giving up control and saying ‘Yes’ to every opportunity that comes your way, regardless of the consequences?
Lesson 1 – The Universe constantly provides opportunities
…But we are too stuck in our own routines to notice. Take a moment to imagine that you have just given a gift to your friend. To your shock, they act disinterested, or ungrateful or, worse, it causes them to worry even more than usual. Would you want to ever give them another gift again?
How about if, when you imagine the same scene, they receive your gift with warmth instead? They marvel at it, and watching them take time to fully enjoy the experience brings a smile to your face. The art of giving becomes a gift in itself. You can’t wait to do it again.
Opportunity is allocated in exactly the same way. How do you receive the opportunities that life gifts to you? Do you seize them with joy, or do you begin a debate? Do you exhaustively weigh up the pros and cons, whilst considering each potential outcome and, on occasion, talk yourself out of making a decision at all?
Yes Man releases you from this internal conflict because there is only one possible answer. You can be free to fully immerse yourself in the experience. You become aware that opportunity surrounds you. You let go of your need to constantly control the outcome. After all, the consequence is no longer linked to your personal decision or choice. You just enjoy the ride. With this approach, you will be rewarded with more gifts than ever before.
Lesson 2 – The Earth is your training ground
As you begin to pay attention to the opportunities gifted to you, you will begin to develop a natural curiosity. What does this ‘yes’ mean? Will it have a positive outcome? If not, why did this happen to me? What is it trying to teach me?
The mysterious nature of the universe will become obvious. You will be provided with all of the resources, people and lessons that you might need to guide you along the path of becoming the person you were meant to be.
I lay on the sofa, facing upwards, looking at the ceiling. The dog felt my pain and tried to lick my feet, to heal me. I couldn’t risk the infection. Second-degree burns blazed across the soles of my feet following a firewalk. I searched for a meaning as to why I was in this position. Why I had been left my most vulnerable, reliant on another human to lift me naked into the bath and help me use the toilet? I would still try to be independent. In the hour and half, it would take me to walk the 8 minutes to the grocery store, I had time to stop and chat to homeless people. I would choose to feel blessed, and feel abundant, and ensure to provide to make sure that they had a warm bed to sleep in that night. I vowed to myself that when I was able to walk again I would treat my health as a priority, as without that we are incapacitated in many areas of life. I would later trek 2-3 hours per day as I felt so lucky to have my legs back.
Your inability to control the outcome, or feel that you can control the outcome, will place a demand on you to trust the process. Everything is unfolding exactly as it’s meant to be, exactly when it’s meant to be. You will frequently find yourself in the right moment, at exactly the right time. I would find myself running into old friends in bizarre locations, such as walking through the back streets of residential Bangkok. On these occasions, I would hang on every word the person said – trying to understand what I was supposed to learn from this chance occurrence.
I became alive and switched on. This high level of presence improved my memory and I was able to make people feel more special as I learned to truly listen to them.
Lesson 3 – New possibilities can change the direction or focus of your life
Letting your fears rule your path is a sure way to miss out on life. If you ask me now what my deepest fear is, I’m most afraid to never have truly lived.
My YesMan experiment somehow led to me becoming a location independent digital nomad. I write this, sitting in Florence. It had always been a dream of mine to live in Italy, and this is truly one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen. I also became deeply contribution driven which inspired me to start a social network in North Thailand, designed to be a platform to showcase the most talented members.
I learned to open my mind, and as I was forced out of my comfort zone, I was led to my soulmates. During this experimental year, I met the two loves of my life. If I had met them in any other moment, there’s no way that I would have let them anywhere near to my heart. One because he was my opposite. He embodies Chaos, while I was Law & Order. It turns out that he is my perfect balance. He is wonderfully creative, an artist, and completely covered in tattoos and piercings. The other was practicing an open relationship, which I’d never heard of at the time. He showed me what it means to be a powerful, feminine force as we became the best versions of ourselves in each other’s company. Thanks to this experiment, this is the most loved I’ve ever felt.
About the Author
Serena Rach is a British entrepreneur and Chiang Mai’s #1 Events host, who founded the widely popular Digital Nomad networking group – CNX Social. Experienced in course creation, Serena built the newly designed product for IGotAnOffer: McKinsey PST & Case Interview Preparation, downloaded by 20,000 students from over 180 countries. Serena is the host of the Course Creators Conference 2019.