What do you say yes, say no to for greater agility and success? Picture yourself at a threshold, a gateway. What are you leaving behind, what are you stepping into? Most of us have full lives, schedules, homes. In order to say yes to something new, you almost have to say no to something else. 

In coaching we have a “say yes, say no” exercise to gain clarity, agility and open up to new possibilities and success. 

I started this blog in 2014 with an “untether for the journey” series, starting with “bookend” invitations for 3 months in Asia Pacific, not knowing yet how the middle would fill in, yet willing to step out and say “yes” to a new adventure, while saying no to some of my other responsibilities, which included stepping out of a board position.

My usual ideas of how to fill in the middle were not working! I needed to let go of some of my familiar ideas and say yes to tapping further into my creativity and resourcefulness, my network, and trust.

We know the failure of organizations such as Nokia and Kodak that didn’t do that, that stayed locked into a specific product or approach and failed to quickly move, to say yes to another product or approach, or that made public pledges to support women, to increase diversity, inclusion, belonging. Many have fallen short of their targeted goals because they have not done the deeper work necessary, according to Chris Womack, Southern Co. CEO. Do not let it be you! 

Let’s look at what we can say yes, say no to open up to new possibilities.

I ended up saying yes to being in Bali for half of my journey, with new cultural groups, deepening my awareness and agility of when and how to shift from control (saying no to control) to (saying yes to) trust through Peter Wrycza’s Transformational Coaching training, where I provided integration with the International Coaching Federation’s coaching competencies. Trusting the process and partnership is part of masterful coaching. It can be fun and exciting to let go and trust, especially when the yes aligns with your values, vision and purpose!

How this is showing up for me now: I am in the process of clearing out, letting go of what is no longer needed in order to open up to new possibilities. I trust that will include “say yes!” to new leadership, team and mentor coaching clients; new adventures, new relationships. This clearing out is a commitment to myself to have my home and business lean so I could easily move or sell tomorrow if I choose.

Where could this take you? Where this letting go, saying no to the old to make way for the new has led previously for me was to Asia Pacific, Ethiopia. I don’t know specifically where else it will take me yet beyond my stepping back into leading retreats and licensing my culturally intelligent mentor coaching materials. I am excited about clearing out what is no longer needed from my home and schedule to make way for new business, relationships, and adventure.

Agility is a key word in leadership and organizations, coaching. We live in a VUCA world filled with the uncertainty of rapid, complex change. In order to stay agile, to move quickly, we need to have things cleared out, simplified, lean, to say no to some approaches, perspectives and systems we no longer need, and to say yes to increasing cultural intelligence to stay ahead of change.

I’m remembering how I had one carry on suitcase and one laptop backpack for three months in Asia Pacific. I heard about taking one backpack for the 40 day Camino de Santiago. How that really opens us up when life is that simple, when I choose between the two pairs of pants, three shirts. It creates space for new possibilities, more time for those in our business and life, and leads to less attachment to what is no longer needed.

What do you say yes, no to? What are you letting go of to move ahead? What is essential for greater agility and success, to unlock your potential? 

Want an external thought partner with fresh perspective to support your decision making of what to say yes, say no to, let go of to open up to innovation and new possibilities, to increasing cultural intelligence to meet market demand? I invite you to apply for an Unlock ALL Potential strategy session through my website

To your full potential, prosperity and peace (and our success, we are in this together!),

Marilyn O’Hearne, MSW, MCC, LLC; CQ MCC

PS For the back story of my Asia Pacific journey in my first blog, you can read the original May 29, 2014 post below. Updated as I now come back to clearing out my home after a very full past few years. How challenging do you find saying yes, no with our world in such drastic change? I am extending grace to myself, as well as asking for support, during these huge global transitions. I invite you to do the same. Please find the say yes, no video below the earlier blog.


How My 3-month Asia Pacific Journey Began: Lessons Learn-ing

January 2014, my colleague Josie McLean (Australia) and I submitted a proposal for the Oct. 6-9, 2014 Asia Pacific Coaching Conference in Seoul, South Korea. I had heard wonderful things about this conference from colleagues; plus one of my two daughters, Amelia, lives in Busan, South Korea; and it ties into my deep dive into cultural competence and coaching. An opportunity for me to renew my own PEP! (People, Energy, and Prosperity)

March 29, Josie and I were delighted to hear our proposal was accepted.  Amelia, who is coming home (Kansas City, US) June 18, invited me to travel with her in Asia Pacific before the Busan Foreign School, where she works, summer session starts the end of July. Sounded very exciting, and what would I do between July and October?

My daughters (Claire and Amelia) and I have dreamed of a New Zealand tour together, and with my son-in-law Adam joining the family January 2013 and volunteering to be the “other side of the road” driver, this could be our opportunity! No. Adam and Claire are not able to take that trip this season. I could teach for a University! I had taught for Ottawa University in Hong Kong and Malaysia previously. No again. Ottawa no longer has that in-person international program. Webster University, where I taught for 7 years, does have programs in Asia Pacific for graduate programs-perfect timing! No again. They had chosen their faculty a year ago for this August.

I would need to untether from my familiar ideas and tap further into my creativity and resourcefulness, my network, and my spiritual trust, as I do feel called to make this journey. We talk about Kansas City, a metropolitan area of 3 million, being like a “big small town”. Most places I go, I run into someone I know or who knows someone I know. I found this same system at work in the coaching community.

As I untethered, trusted Spirit and utilized our international coaching network, I connected with Peter Wrycza and his Coach Training Program at a retreat center in Bali, where I will stay through August, and have booked my flight. As I let go of all I have known and step out in faith, I am being provided with opportunities beyond my dreams.

What about September? Several opportunities are popping up. I am still open and trusting, and I hope to have it planned soon, as I continue to untether (how/where I am choosing to let go) in preparation for this three month Asia Pacific journey. Stay tuned each step of the journey with me through this blog!

How are you being called to untether and trust in new opportunities opening for you?