The Myth of “The One Big Thing” and Saying Yes

by Cathy on October 15, 2010

I’ve been thinking about this topic for a long, long, time and I could probably write a 300 page dissertation on it but I need to start somewhere and that somewhere is here.

There’s a big myth floating around out there.  Let’s call it the myth of the “One Big Thing.”  And let’s say that waiting around for the “One Big Thing” is paralyzing and a dream killer.

Remember the story behind the musical 42nd Street where Peggy Sawyer goes in a chorus girl and comes out a star?   Such a romantic notion, such a big lie.  It perpetuates the myth that you can have one big break, one big thing that catapults your life or career from oblivion into the stratosphere.

There’s no such thing as a big break, as that one big thing that changes everything.

What About Oprah?

People like to use the Oprah Winfrey show as an example of that one big thing that can “make” a career.   I have news for you–no one who goes on Oprah is unknown or unsuccessful.  No one gets pulled from obscurity and gets discovered on Oprah.  They’re already book authors, business owners,  running a charity or whatever it is they do.  They’ve already made their way, they’re already doing the work, and being on the show just allows them to play a bigger game.

And yet so many of us are waiting for “the one big thing” before we really step out, before we start taking chances on our own behalf. We want someone to see and recognize what we’ve known about ourselves all along…

We want someone to discover our genius; see, hear and witness our greatness in a way that tells the world:  look at her, she really is special, she does know, she is great at what she does.

We’re looking for the permission slip from the Universe that says: Yes, you can do it.

The most powerful Yes is the one you say to yourself.

Waiting for the outside YES is just feeding the hungry ghost.  There are never enough of them and you need to keep seeking the Yes over and over with each new situation that you’re in. I’m not saying that support and people who believe in you aren’t important–they most definitely are.  And I’m not denying the effect of big recognition, but if you haven’t said yes to yourself, the yes you receive from the outside has nothing to resonate with.

There comes a time in life when you have to commit to getting on your own team, to taking a stand, to  stepping out for yourself.  And
I’m not saying that it’s easy.  It’s hard.  I wish I had the 5 easy steps for saying yes to yourself download that I could give you.

But I don’t.  All I have is the learning from my experiences which I will happily share with you here.

And a little bit of advice:
Practice saying yes to the small things, it helps to build you up for saying yes to the big stuff.

Who are you to say yes to yourself?  Who are you not to?

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as a seed goes to the next as blossom and that which came to me as blossom goes on as fruit.

– Dawna Markova

Just say Yes.

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  • Marie Fontaine

    I love the poem at the end. It's wonderful. I think I'm going to paste it on Facebook, if that's OK with you.

  • CathyWilke

    Glad you liked it, it's from one of my favorite life handbooks of all time: Moxie by Kobi Yamada. It's not my poem so just be sure to put the author's name.

  • Gerrimg

    For some reason it's always easier for me to say “yes” unequivocally to my friends and loved ones, and just as easy for me to say “no” to myself with the same unequivocal fervor. I don't know why that is. But maybe I can start thinking of myself as a friend, and treat myself accordingly.

    Thanks, once again, for centering my thoughts on what's important in the world of self-preservation. As always… you provided the clarity I needed to do things differently.

  • CathyWilke

    It is so much easier for all of us to say yes to others and no to ourselves. I do it all the time–now I'm just questioning the NO and why it shows up so much and I'm glad that you're going to do the same…:)

  • Ourlady1122

    I also so posed it to my profile, hope you don't mind…thank you

  • CathyWilke

    I don't mind at all! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Gblau

    This is so empowering, because I'm not sure why certain things hold me back (maybe fear?) from saying Yes! Thanks for writing this–It will help me think again to take the leap!

  • Carol Prieston

    More power to us! Cathy is simply the best! The power of yes is just incredible

  • CathyWilke

    You of all people know the “one big thing” is basically the culmination of years of hard work. Having your company mentioned by Sarah Jessica Parker on Oprah came after 10 years of blood, sweat and tears. I know it gave you a bump but by no means did it change your game.

  • Gblau

    Yes! I feel inspired by you even saying the word Yes! I think waking up every day and simply saying “Yes!” encourages you to not fear and do more, even just by saying that one word and by not saying the word “No.”

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