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freedom 2

 

I remember a time where I spent most of my life living in my comfort zone. That meant saying “no” to new experiences and “no” to change. I was stuck in the familiar. I noticed that this attitude was affecting me in another important area of my life- my relationship. I wanted things to stay the same and didn’t know what to do when they started changing. I don’t know when the turning point came. Maybe it was when I realized I would soon be single if things didn’t change. This was just the beginning.

I hadn’t realized that constantly saying “no” had turned me into a selfish person. I was unwilling to share new experiences with family and friends because it made me feel uncomfortable. I was forcing people to participate in my activities, my thoughts and my hobbies without trying theirs.  Saying “no” wasn’t only limiting my experiences but also the experiences of others. I wanted to become a better person and open myself up to opportunity. I had always thought of myself as someone who dealt with change well, but I didn’t . As we all know, without change we prevent personal growth. Change is going to happen anyway, you will be forced along life’s journey whether you like it or not.  It’s better to choose the direction of your life rather then just accepting what you are given.

I have learned the freeing power of “yes”. Relationships can be transformed and the mundane becomes exciting. In this blog I will explore how saying “yes” will set you free and change your life.

Say “Yes” to a limitless career

When I first started working I was determined to keep my personal and professional life separate. After a long year of trial and error, I realized that this was impossible. The connections you make at work can be the most valuable part of the job. Your staff team is diverse with a range of cultures, opinions and personalities. I found this really hard to deal with at first but I have learnt that “making friends” isn’t important. Your colleagues  don’t have to love you- just appreciate you.  You should establish yourself as a valuable member of your team through a strong work ethic and personality. The moment I stopped obsessing over maintaining a work/life divide everything got better. It’s important to for colleagues to know you on a personal and professional level. How much you want to share is up to you.

As I have grown into my role (student advisor) I see myself as part of a movement rather then just doing a job. I want to know more about the issues facing students in higher education and I am always reading. I am the first to volunteer for conferences, seminars and to attend meetings. I am gaining a picture of the student movement and my role within it, rather then just sitting behind my desk. If you want to develop a successful career you have to be prepared to go above and beyond your job role. I don’t like job titles much, I think they limit potential. If you have an idea that is outside of your area, take it to your manager. You could run a project outside of your area. Anything is possible.

Say “Yes” to amazing relationships

I am a emotional person and relationships are very important to me. In last few years my friendships have changed a lot and I was becoming quite negative about them. I couldn’t understand why things couldn’t be the same. I started distancing myself from friends because I was so unhappy. I would avoid social events and focus on the things they did to upset me. My relationship with my fiancee was also going through a rough patch and I didn’t know how to make it better. After some thought I realized my communication skills were poor.

It’s amazing how most of use pride ourselves on our communication skills on CV’s but struggle with the people closet to us. I decided to open myself up again. This hasn’t been easy and I still struggle. The main difference can be seen in my attitude. I have decided to stop dwelling on past issues and move on. This is allowing me to become fully present in all my relationships and communication is improving daily. The first step in creating amazing relationships is believing that you deserve them.

Say “yes” to new opportunities

How many of you are scared of change? We are all guilty, it’s fear of the unknown. I used to battle with change and did my best to keep everything the same. As a writer I constantly compare myself to others. This was making me feel inadequate and I refused to acknowledge my ideas . I was scared of failure. We have all experienced failure many times. It’s a part of life. I decided that I wasn’t going to let fear stop be from developing my writing and my ideas.

Opportunities come in many forms and not all of them are life changing. The point I am trying to make is you should always pursue your passions. What is important to you? That’s the best way to decide if an opportunity is  worth taking or not.

I am committed to my personal development and getting others to recognize their potential. We are all a lot more powerful then we realize but chose to ignore it. We should stop allowing others to define us. What does freedom mean to you?

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