I have a confession. I am terrible at letting people help me in my business. Even with an assistant, I have to go over my list multiple times before I find the right tasks to offboard. My assistant is amazingly capable and can take on anything I give her. So this is all just an internal problem for me. I had this pointed out to me and decided to run an experiment to get better at accepting help. In the experiment, I had to say “Yes” to everything that was offered to me for 48 hours. It was a lot easier said than done. And I learned some valuable lessons along the way. Let’s dive into this 48 hour, Yes Experiment.

So here is the outline for the experiment. For 48 straight hours, I was required to say, “Yes,” to everything offered to me. This could range from a glass of water to a flyer on the street. I wasn’t required to buy anything, but anything offered free of charge from an object to an offer of help was to be met with a “Yes”.

On the first day, I was very aware of the experiment. I had an in-person meeting at a tech company in Boulder, and I made sure not to bring my water bottle with me so it would be easier to accept a glass of water during the meeting. Well, it turned out the receptionist simply offered for me to make my own coffee or tea with a Keurig. I didn’t really want either, but in the spirit of the experiment, I did make myself a tea. Later that day, I was already derailing a little. I met a friend who had asked to pick my brain about some marketing strategies for her and her partner. Normally, I would keep these discovery sessions to 15 minutes but I had agreed to meet with them for an hour. Upon entering the coffee shop, my friend offered to buy my coffee, and my reply was an instant, “Oh no, I can get it!”. Whoa, that was not in the spirit of the experiment. The next day and a half went by and I did a little better at saying “Yes”.

What I found from this experiment was just how often I instinctively say “No” to an offer. I knew I had a problem before, but this experiment really opened my eyes to how much I had closed myself off to receiving help. I try to run the experiment on a regular basis so I can bring awareness to this issue and work on being open to receive.

Do you have trouble asking for or accepting help. I’d love for you to run this experiment and share what you find out about yourself. Here’s the experiment:

  • Timeframe: 48 hours
  • Experiment: Say “Yes to everything.
  • Homework: Be aware of how this makes you feel, when you slip up, and what it opens your eyes to about yourself.

When we allow ourselves receive, we soften our grip of control, allowing our business to thrive. It’s not easy and you’ll have to fake it sometimes. But the more you practice, the more it becomes real.