Getting the first “yes”

A friend was recently telling me about her 8-year-old daughter’s evolution from shy and timid to confident and bold.

“She used to hide behind my leg,” she said. Now, she’s excitedly performing in piano recitals and pageants.

What inspired the change in her daughter? My friend attributes it to one very specific moment.

After joining Girl Scouts, her daughter set out to sell cookies. And the very first person she asked told her, “Yes.”

This made all the difference, my friend said. And I totally understood what she meant.

It’s so validating to hear yes for the first time. It gives us momentum and helps us establish a firmer sense of purpose as we continue on our way.

I remember so vividly the first time I asked for a raise and was given a yes. I remember the first client I landed out of college and the first time someone paid me to speak. In each instance, I felt hope, and a strong sense of I can do this!

I think about this a lot as I go after new goals. When I launch a new group coaching program, for example, I set up a tracking system—a way to measure my progress by crossing off milestones as I go. I don’t expect to fill the program the second I open the doors to it, but noting the milestones along the way helps me to feel successful in the pursuit of filling the space. And that first yes I get seems to have a snowball effect. Suddenly, another comes along, and another—until the group is full.

Working toward that first yes isn’t always easy, of course. We may hear a few (or many) no’s along the way. We may encounter doubt and fear. But every new no gets us one step closer to our first yes.

If you’re still on the hunt for your first yes, I encourage you to take it day by day. Set up your own tracking system—a group of smaller goals within your larger goal. That way, you’ll be able to see forward movement, even if it feels like you’re stagnant.

Once you get that first yes, treasure it. And send me an email so I can celebrate with you.

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