by Jan Maisch, International Vice President of Collegiate Membership
I made a personal change when I was in college and started going outside my comfort zone more. I did this by saying “yes” more often. I was told I needed to say no more often, so I would not become overburdened with commitments. Saying no would allow more time for me, but I discovered more about myself when I said yes.
I started with one, and with that one yes it moved me ahead. I imagined I could and worked like I already knew what to do next. I put trust and confidence in myself, with the journey, and the process.
First, I discovered. I saw more places and said yes to more spur-of-the-moment things. When I was in college, I went to Atlanta, Nashville, and South Florida all without much notice or planning. Each journey was so much FUN. I noticed going on spontaneous, last minute trips ultimately led to meeting more sisters. It allowed me the opportunity to get to know sisters in my chapter, building friendships I still have today. Meeting more sisters enabled me to do more in the future. Saying yes to everything always led me to the next journey.
Second, I started saying yes to leadership opportunities as a chapter member and continued to say yes as an alumna. I experienced things I never thought. I made FUN memories with sisters I will always remember. I went to more workshops, conventions, leadership conferences, chapter recruitments, initiations, anniversaries, and reunions. There were trips to the beach, hiking up mountains, visiting sisters in their homes, and meeting sisters for trips around the USA and abroad. I experienced a lot in college but even more as an alumna member.
Saying yes led me to sometimes hear “no” in response. I fell from time to time, and experienced failure. Failure made me better. I am more appreciative when things work out in my favor now, and I am less afraid to take risks. There will always be people who are adept to telling you no or you are not good enough. These are individuals might not know how to be supportive or accept you unconditionally. While they might be entitled to their views and opinions, they do not have anything to do with you or me — none of us need anyone’s approval but our own.
Third, taking more risks and seizing more opportunities allowed me to learn about myself. If I stayed in my comfort zone, I would not have discovered those things. It enabled me to find out what I enjoy, like using a selfie stick to take group pics, always wearing a piece of ADPi jewelry, or finding out I love to throw ADPi DIAMONDS! It made me comfortable with myself, and I developed and learned new things.
Fourth, saying yes to opportunities led me to say yes to more possibilities. I would start by saying yes to a trip, then I would meet sisters, not from my chapter and say yes to trips with those sisters. Even while venturing on these trips, I would continue to try things on each journey. In California, for example, Theta Gamma Chapter asked me to join their chapter retreat in San Francisco at the House of Air, an indoor trampoline park. I said yes to bouncing, jumping, and flying across trampolines! I realize I was saying yes to things now I would have never agreed to do before.
Fifth, I found all these factors made me a happier person. Through saying yes more, I did more, saw more, and made more sisters friends, not only in college, but throughout my life. As a person, I am happier and have more FUN. It allowed me to seize more opportunities and worry less. Overall, saying yes more has probably been the best thing I have ever done.
It is saying yes that brought me many opportunities to test my skills and interests. I encourage you to say YES to things. Say YES to do whatever it takes to help your chapter move forward. Say yes to meeting new sisters. Say yes to learn to rock climb, jump on a trampoline, paint on a canvas, or sing karaoke. Yes, is how I got my first job, and my next appointment. Say YES to your next ADPi leadership opportunity even if it is out of your comfort zone, because it means you will do something new, meet new sisters, and experience new possibilities. You will find it will make a difference in your life and others’ lives as well.
YES, is a small word that can-do BIG things. Say YES often. Saying yes requires work, commitment, and accountability, and sometimes that’s scary, especially if you feel unprepared or unmotivated. But the reality is a YES will always give you more than a NO. A no is guaranteed failure. Nothing ever stays the same, so a no is usually backward progress. Sure, there is no risk in a no, but there’s no FUN in it either. Saying yes can be very FUN, and in FUN is where you find success.
Be open the next time someone asks you to say YES. Say YES to new ADPi opportunities, leadership openings, and new experiences that get you out of your comfort zone and attain personal growth. You will find it empowering and gain more confidence in yourself. You will also develop an even stronger relationship with your sisters. Say yes and dream about the possibilities, because the potential you have is limitless!
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Jan, your zest for life and your love for our sisterhood is contagious! Thank you for saying yes over and over again — you have inspired and touched many.
Thank you Pamela!!
Jan, thanks for modeling enthusiasm for life and individuals in all you do!!