Plug your ears and eyes for one moment if you aren’t into swear words. Have you heard of the “fuck yes” (FY) principal? Mark Manson morphed it to be applied to relationships from a practice entrepreneur Derek Sivers called “Hell Yeah.” Derek decided he would only pursue business deals that he and the client both said “Hell Yeah” to. If both people were not that enthusiastic, the deal didn’t move forward. Similarly, Mark Manson suggests that if two people who are dating do not reach a mutual FY place, they shouldn’t pursue something romantic together at that point.
When I first read it more than a year ago after beginning an experiment with dating, I thought it was brilliant. Not just for dating, but for so many things in life. My business. What I say yes and no to with friends. What teachers I study with. What practices I take on. What books I read. What happens when you surround yourself with a whole lotta FY? You say FY to life and it feels ahmazing!
How often do you find yourself saying “yes” when you’re not behind your “yes?”
How often are you trying to convince someone else to get on your FY bandwagon and they are at “I don’t know?” What would be possible if you tried an experiment and only moved new things forward in your life that your heart screamed FY to?
I started thinking about it recently as I faced a FY situation. As fate would have it, when I least expected it while picking up Thai food one late evening I met someone. As things developed I found myself feeling FY. Because I believe in honesty and transparency in any human relationship I knew I had to have a conversation around clarity as my feelings began deepening. What did I want? What did they want? The “timeline” that people recommend this conversation move forward is completely convoluted and complicated. Advice is always contradicting. So a long time ago I decided that when my mind is wondering whether I should have a clarifying conversation at a moment that feels like a turning point, I should just do it. Regardless of what others think.
Nervously I picked up the phone to call. The voice of fear in my head told me that I should just have “small talk” and see where it goes. I should wait longer for this topic. But my heart knew that this was all fear trying to keep me “safe.” So I finally mustered courage right before we were going to hang up to say “where do you want this to go?” “Where do you see this going?” I knew my heart was saying FY to pursuing something romantic. When I checked in with the other person they were not at FY, they were…unsure.
I faced a decision. I could either play the game of “don’t worry about it, I’ll wait for you to get to the FY starting line with me.” This is where I started. I told myself a good story about how everything is fine and we can just remain friends until they figure things out. Later that night after some personal reflection, a conversation with a friend on the phone, and a fateful reading of Rumi, when I sat with myself in silence I realized how ridiculous this was knowing myself well. It’s not like I could just stop developing deepening romantic feelings for someone suddenly. I was human after all. And when I reflected on it, I saw that in the past the idealist in me held out hope for longer than was healthy for me and over time fostered a sense of resentment. This wasn’t looking like a good option. My other option was to make the tough decision to take a stand for myself and decide that I’m only pursuing FY-FY matches like the pact I made with myself earlier this year which meant that how we were interacting was going to change. Was I going to “play it safe” and pretend I was ok? Or take a stand for what I believed in no matter how scared I was?
After acting like it was no big deal I called back and had a moment of truth with myself, them, and Spirit. That what my heart wanted no matter what, was a big fat matching FY. And if they were not at FY, then for the love and care of my heart, I needed to take space and shift our way of being with each other. There it was, out in the open, And there I was standing metaphorically naked and tall. Bearing my soul of what I want and not backing down. And it felt so FY good.
When I don’t follow through on this FY strategy in any area of my life, I find myself dangling in the middle between yes and no…in the space of I don’t know. I find myself over time feeling extremely resentful. Who am I resentful towards? Myself. For letting go into fear and stepping back from taking a stand.
In moments where I question standing for what I know is best for me, I hear the voice of fear telling me that it is far more risky to hold my ground. But what I’ve come to learn is that it is far more risky to not take a stand for ourselves. Because when we don’t stand for ourselves…no one does.
Wanna know what I’m FY about these days? Here are a few:
- My morning meditation practice no matter what.
- Pursuing a romantic partnership ONLY if both people’s hearts scream FY about the idea of creating something together.
- No matter how tough the tide gets, I will continue to pursue my business.
- My spiritual path trumps everything else in my life. Connection to Spirit keeps me alive and vibrant for everything else.
- The practice of loving kindness and compassion towards myself and others…always.
- Writing…until my last breathe.
- Cultivating vulnerable human connections. Sharing my feelings, asking for what I need, and having honest conversations even when it feels uncomfortable.
- Keeping my office hours for my business to support a strong work-life balance.
For this week’s Joy Tip Wednesday I wanna know, what do you want to take a stand for? What is your heart calling out FY to? Where are you saying “yes” to when it’s really I don’t know? To get clear start by making a list for yourself much like I made above. Set a timer for 10 minutes and write a list based on the following prompt: Right now, my heart says FY to… Take a stretch break. Come back and set a timer for 10 minutes again and write a list in response to: Right now, I’m saying yes, but really mean not FY to… Then, choose ONE action to move forward that brings more FY into your life. That can be taking an action in support of one thing on your FY list or saying “no” to something on your “not FY” list that you otherwise were saying yes to.
While I’ve ebbed and flowed in my commitment to FY based on how much fear is creeping up, every time I take a stand for FY in my life, it feels that much brighter. More alive. Because I’m courageously honoring my heart. Only you know what your heart longs for. Are you willing to take a stand for it? Big and small? I’m here to tell you it’s worth it.
PS. After teaching earlier this week a friend asked me with much excitement to share exactly how I practiced “FY” in this romantic encounter. She said, “Please write your step-by-step process in your joy tip for me to bookmark any time I’m too fearful to follow through on FY!” So, for your reading pleasure, below is a step-by-step process of what I did.
How I Stood Up for FY in A Murky Romantic Situation:
- Get clear that I am at FY without a doubt.
- Pick up phone to call said person with the intention of getting clarity about whether they are at FY.
- Explain the FY theory and practice.
- Share that I’m at FY. Ask them where they are.
- Upon hearing it’s not an FY-FY match, tell them things have to change for the health and happiness of my heart and thank them for their honesty. Seriously, that takes courage and they could just give me a resounding yes when they mean I don’t know just to make me smile. Share that I can’t continue the same level of connection and not develop deepening feelings. In the end, I see that this can only lead to some conflict.
- Declare that I’m taking space. I have no intention, nor do I want to cut off contact, but don’t want the same amount of interaction as present since my feelings have been deepening and I’m looking for a FY-FY connection to build a partnership from. Also, space creates the opportunity for clarity to see if they are at FY or not given at present they are “I don’t know.”
- Tell them that in the future if they come to realize they feel FY about moving something forward with me, to come find me and see where I am. After all, I’m at FY without a doubt today, but I have no idea what the future holds.
- Clarify that the ball is in their court. So if something is going to happen in the future, it’s because they are making it happen.
- Hang up call and take a sigh of relief for standing up for what I want. Feel grateful for honest and mature conversation between two people. So rare!