“Tell him yes. Even if you are dying of fear, even if you are sorry later, because whatever you do, you will be sorry all the rest of your life if you say no.”
Of course, Gabriel Garcia Marquez is talking about a marriage proposal in this masterpiece; but the quote has always appealed to me for the way in which it tackles fear head-on. I am fearful. My tendency is to say “no” or “maybe” instead of “yes.” I calculate the risk, and, 9 times out of 10, opt for safety and security.
My father argues with me and insists that I’ve always turned risk into success, but I’m not so sure. “What risks, Dad?” I have seldom had to operate without a safety net, either personally or professionally. I have been successful in the small pond within which I swim. My “yeses” come only when I am sure-footed and feeling safe.
In the past few years I have been given more opportunities to stare into the face of fear (my own). I took on a job for which I had no formal training, just my life-skills and the confidence of several people who “knew I’d be great.” I launched this blog without a clear idea of what I wanted it to be or any end game in mind. Both of those choices turned out well.
More choices await. In the next days, months and years, I will be presented with new opportunities and asked, “Yes or No?”
I do not want to spend the rest of my life regretting saying “no.” No matter how terrifying, I am learning to say “yes” to risk.