Let’s chat for a moment about the Fallacy of the full-body yes.
Lots of wellness gurus talk about the full-body yes. It is the idea that when you are standing in front of a decision, it is a no if it isn’t a full-body yes.
If your immediate reaction to something isn’t excitement, then you aren’t supposed to do that thing.
And I can’t deny that it is good general advice. Our bodies are wise, sometimes more than our brains, and knows what is best for us.
But, and this is a big but, there are a couple of caveats that are rarely talked about. And that is what I want to chat about now.
The Caveats to the Full-Body Yes
First, many of us, myself included, don’t always know how to interpret what our body tells us. I have learned a lot, but I still have difficulty distinguishing between full excitement and full anxiety about something. They feel very similar, so it isn’t easy for me to tell.
Add this on top of the fact that most of us aren’t taught how to feel emotions or name them properly, let alone trying to figure out where those emotions might land in our bodies. We can’t trust our full body if we don’t understand what it is trying to tell us.
Second, we often gloss over the fact that not every decision needs to be measured by this standard. The full-body yes is for big decisions, like deciding on a romantic partner, a friend, a career, or a business move. The same standard cannot often be applied to the process.
For example, one of my full-body yeses is I want to do more lives on socials. It is something that I want to do because I want it to be a fun way to connect with my community.
But the idea of doing a live makes my throat constrict and my heart race. That is not a full-body yes. That is a full-body this is scary, and I don’t want any part of that!
Another example: Say you are an author who dreams of doing panel discussions and book talks. It is a full-body yes to talk about books in front of people.
But, when you’re asked to sit on a panel, your entire body breaks into a sweat and your pulse quickens. That doesn’t feel like a full-body yes anymore. So, we listen to our body and turn down the panel discussion.
Afterward, you feel miserable because you feel in your entire body that you missed an opportunity to do something you dream of doing.
Lean into the Process
Sometimes, getting to the full-body yes feels more like, oh, hell no!
The process is where we practice leaning into discomfort. Be willing to feel the pounding heart and body sweats to get to the OH YES!
I’m not saying it is easy because I know firsthand it is not. I’ll write about my latest attempt to do a live in my Social Media Playgroup for people who join one or both of my Social Media for Authors Playdates (September 2023) to illustrate why sometimes we can’t wait for a full-body yes to do the things we want to do.
Sometimes we have to be willing to feel like crap for a moment with the understanding that it won’t always feel this way. If we can lean into the discomfort a little, it will get easier, and eventually, we might even feel comfortable doing it.