The problem with “HELL YEAH or no”

Derek Sivers famously uses the “HELL YEAH or no” rule to decide what’s worth doing:

If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, say “no”.

When deciding whether to do something, if you feel anything less than “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” — then say “no.”

When you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to really throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say “HELL YEAH!”

Derek Sivers

My stress level has plummeted since I started using this rule, but I’ve found a problem. Sometimes the thing keeping it from being a HELL YEAH is fear. Fear of failing, fear of embarrassing myself, fear of awkwardness, fear of people not liking me, fear fear fear.

I can’t feel that HELL YEAH feeling if I’m scared, but I can’t let fear be the reason I say no.

So I’ve altered the rule. Now, if the answer to “do you want to do this?” is not HELL YEAH, then I have to ask myself a second question: “will this make you grow?” If the answer to that is a HELL YEAH, then I need to say yes.

That has helped me avoid avoiding and chase growth rather than happiness.


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