In the world of improvised comedy, there is only one rule: You must live the phrase ‘Yes, and…’. To live ‘yes, and…’ is to be open to the unexpected, always agree to its possibilities, AND add something to it by offering your own ideas and knowledge. If you’ve ever seen the television show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”, you may have marveled at the performers’ ability to read each other’s minds and come up with brilliant retorts at the drop of a hat. They make it look so easy! And it’s because they’ve been practicing ‘yes, and…’ for years.
In real life, we often ‘yes, but…’ because it’s safer and our inner-critic is so loud.
“I think I’ll go to that 8am spin class. But the kids are always running late, which will make me late. I hate going into class late. That’s so embarrassing.”
“We should take $25 out of our checks each month and put it into savings. But Netflix just raised their fee, and Shen Yun is in town. Have you seen them dance??”
To ‘yes, and…’ is to not only agree but build on it:
“I can see why you’d say I’ve been on edge lately, honey. I think I’ll go for a walk and listen to Dan Fogelberg before we eat dinner.”
“Yes, Mom, I can call you in an hour and listen to you talk about the various species of birds you fed today. Then I can help register you for a social club of some kind!”
Saying ‘yes, and…’ is to jump into something in order to discover what comes next. When you say ‘yes, and…’ there are no mistakes. How freeing! It can be scary AND it can be an adventure, create opportunities, challenge you to express your true self, make your relationships run more smoothly, help you accept change more easily, boost your confidence, etc. So are you ready to try it?