Finding your complete “yes” opens the door to passion and purpose.

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Have you ever felt a feeling of restlessness? A hint of anxiety? Or what about the fear of the known or the unknown? High achievers know exactly what that feeling is… it’s the anticipation of something big that’s about to happen. But it can also be our Achilles heel, the hole we fall into when we are in a moment of weakness. I have been on this quest for fulfillment for most of my life. And sometimes I got it, only to slip away as what was once magical fades back into the light of the mundane. The quest for greatness is a slippery slope. It’s one that requires an ability to push yourself into uncomfortable territory time and time again. This is often interpreted as restlessness. But I argue that there is a different path – a path that doesn’t look like burnout but rather freedom. The freedom to choose our FULL “yes”.

Related: The One Life Hack Every High Performer Masters

How do you introduce yourself?

During my recent self-exploration, I realized that I was trying to be somebody. I tried to be a great mother. I tried to be a great friend. I tried to be a great executive. The list goes on, and like most successful artists, I play a lot of roles for different people in my life. And instead of appearing as myself, I discovered that I was modifying myself according to the room. I would be a person with my children. I have a different demeanor, tone of voice, and energy when my kids are around than when I’m in a team meeting. These unique situations require different sides of me, that’s for sure. But what I discovered was that instead of being all these versions of myself, I wanted to show off, I was trying. To try is the death of being. It pulls you out of your natural state of flux and exerts effort where there can be none. To be is effortless. However, most of us have built a life of effort that begins with the character we adopt each morning.

Instead of focusing on who we show up in the room like, we can focus on How? ‘Or’ What we show in the room. Are you showing up as your whole, centered self? Are you hungry? Are you happy? Are you putting all your energy and attention forward? Once your needs are met, you can ask how best to serve those around you. We can ask, “What gifts do I have to offer this person? “What do they expect of me?” “What are my limits for giving these gifts? Getting in touch with how we present ourselves and how we can be of service to the room takes our self-centered focus away from the role we are supposed play and what we are supposed do and let us fall into the moment of connection that life has presented to us.

This simple change in how you approach the play gives you the knack of freeing yourself from a sense of obligation and eliminating impostor syndrome. As a result, I started putting more focus and intention on how I present myself in the many rooms of my life. For example, after work and before going home with the kids, I can take 10 minutes to do a mindfulness exercise or meditation to relax my nervous system. Before jumping into my team call, I picture our last big win and show up energetically ready to celebrate again. When I’m strategizing, I can put on my running shoes and run for an hour or focus on solving problems on the track. Ask yourself how you present yourself in the room and what changes you can make to present yourself more intentionally.

After focusing on how I showed up in the room, I focused on why I showed up in the room in the first place. It can be a rabbit hole of epic proportions. First, look at all the rooms you show up in out of obligation. In my experience, it was my relationship in my marriage, with my children and with my family. I felt responsible for showing up and providing for my family, being a good example for my children, and being a caring daughter for my mother. Although they all looked noble, the truth is that the responsibility sometimes felt like a burden. When I lost my business and couldn’t show up and support my family like I imagined. I crashed and burned. I felt like I had failed as a mother, wife, and daughter. It was a triple whammy that hit hard.

Obligation sets us up for failure and is also a natural byproduct of how our society is structured. You will find that you have a sense of obligation to something and the weight of that obligation. Pay particular attention to things and people where the obligation is too high and costly for your own sense of being and health. It is an unhealthy relationship and it will be necessary to align and even sometimes end it to regain its balance. But also notice where you have a healthy relationship and instead of obligation, feel a sense of pride and healthy responsibility. These are two areas worth exploring and expanding as they provide a great sense of relief when resolved.

Related: 7 Ways to Go From Exhaustion to Balance

Make decisions with a total “yes”

After approaching the parts, you feel have be, it’s time to look at the pieces you want to It was then that I discovered the concept of a total “yes” in a book called Become by Ben and Azra Bequer, though they admittedly use more flowery language. I believe we all have an innate intuition that can guide us on our journey to be our best selves. There is this piece inside of us that just knows when we are on a mission and with a purpose. And that triggers a slew of neurochemicals that reward us over and over again. However, I have also found it equally difficult to determine when I am in this flow and how to stay there. In fact, I had assumed that it was not possible to stay there. Until I was really attuned to the concept of a complete “yes”.

Here’s how it works: Every day, we make thousands of micro-decisions that determine the course of our day. For example, in the morning we make a decision between coffee and water. We’re going to be hydrated. We are going to be dehydrated. So, in essence, we choose how we start our hydration for the day. Equally important, we each choose the activities we will undertake for the day. We fill our to-do lists and work to accomplish it, whether we like what’s on that list or not. We decide what music we listen to in our car and set the tone for the day. As your experience of the day continues, you make choices, and those choices impact how you will experience your day.

When I discovered the complete “yes”, I began to focus on every micro decision I made, no matter how small and inconsequential. And I would ask myself, am I a FULL “yes” to that? For me, a FULL “yes” meant I was a “yes” without a moment’s hesitation. That my whole body said “yes”. And that was often accompanied by a wave of excitement and anticipation. Those “yeses” made me feel more alive, when sometimes I was just a “meh…yes…okay”. Those “yeses” seemed to have added a drag on my day. I noticed that I could feel the energy deflating in the room. Then there were times when I wasn’t a “yes at all” on a scale from “absolutely no” to “not really.” The absolute “no”s were a gut reaction, and the “not really”s were more of a shrug.

Understanding that I had this range of “yes” and this range of “no” was helpful. I had a scale and with this scale in hand I could measure it. But it really clicked when I started tracking only my FULL “YES”s and saying “no” to everything else. My theory was that if it wasn’t a FULL “yes”, it was a veiled “no” in a story of obligation, fear or responsibility. And something interesting happened, each day was filled with a lot more COMPLETE ‘yes’s, and the list of ‘no’s started to shrink. I had to make tough choices, don’t get me wrong. But with each difficult choice came a sense of relief that made the gain worth the fear that came with it. I refocused my energies on pursuing a romantic relationship and the fulfillment I find in friendship, career, and family.

I assessed my relationship with discipline and noted when I was disciplined and how much more alive I felt at those times. And then I started choosing them. In all areas of life, I have begun to align with my FULL “yes” and I notice things flowing effortlessly. And interestingly enough, more opportunities for even more of my FULL “yeses” started popping up and knocking on my door. It was like, just by opening the door and choosing my FULL “yes”, I got even more FULL “yes”. And it all begins and ends with a series of seemingly inconsequential micro-decisions that add up to turn a practice into a lifestyle of “yes.”

Finding your FULL “yes” is the key to finding your passion and purpose. It hides in plain sight right under the last micro-decision you made. Did you choose your FULL “yes?” Or another version of “yes?” Or did you say yes to one of your “no’s?” This is when we feel most out of alignment and can find ourselves in a place of resentment, so pay attention. If you’re looking to deepen your passion and purpose, start paying attention to your decisions, big and small.

Figure out what your FULL “yes” is and start following it one decision at a time. That doesn’t mean the journey will be easy. Sometimes your FULL “yes” will conflict with your sense of obligation, responsibility, and your vision of what it means to continue showing yourself as you have always been. If there’s one thing you take away from this article, recognize the freedom to take off the mask, show up fully in every room, and follow through with your COMPLETE “yes.” It leads you down a path of deep intrinsic fulfillment that cannot be matched by any accomplishment we achieve according to the outer world.

Related: The Freedom Mindset