My children were shy. Teachers used to tell me that they rarely put up their hands to answer a question, and they rarely volunteered for anything.
Often they didn’t get special opportunities like camp leader, or hall monitor, just because they held back, and there was no question of them playing the lead role in the school play.
As adults they have changed. One was in a stage show and played four parts. One is in the Philippines, living in a new culture and learning a new language. It took them time to realize that there were so many interesting things in the world that they could do.
For many of us life is busy and we can feel overwhelmed. It could be that we are not saying “no” often enough. We may have agreed to look after other people’s children, or taken on extra responsibilities at work.
The other way to look at it is to say “yes.”
“Yes, I will look after my friend’s children but in return I will have an afternoon off.”
“Yes, I will take on extra work that will increase my skills” or “I will concentrate on my core job and deflect work that will distract me.”
“Yes, I will help that friend who needs me, but I will do something fun on the way back.”
One way is negative and limits us from doing things. The other is positive and will increase the happiness in our lives instead of the stress.