How to Stretch Without Snapping

image of a pegboard with rubber bands in all different states of being stretched

Image credit: Shebeko


I was sitting at my desk, trying to wrap a too-small rubber band around a too-large stack of index cards.

Stretching, stretching, I almost had it when, SNAP, the rubber band broke.

And whipped me on the finger…ouch!

Rubber bands are interesting that way. They stretch and bounce back, over and over, until, one day…SNAP! Eventually you stretch it too far and it breaks. 

Unless, of course, you go the sensible route and grab a slightly larger rubber band.

Then I thought, “doesn’t life work the same way?”

I see this with a lot of people (including myself). Life stretches us, and in our overwhelm and stress we say “yes, but” to many things, just try to maintain control and bring things back to where they were. 

Then it happens again. And again.

Until finally we “SNAP!”

When that happens, we often try to use a giant “yes, and!” in an attempt to finally change things.

We might:

  • Yell at the person who is annoying us.
  • Quit our job.
  • Set a huge goal and make a giant proclamation to the world.

And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of those things, decisions made in high emotional states are often not the wisest, and can cause even more stress.

What if, instead of repeatedly resisting the stretch with a “yes, but,” we periodically chose smaller “yes, ands?”

What if instead of stretching and then returning to our initial state, we stayed stretched?

This would be the equivalent of getting a slightly larger rubber band.

Little “yes, ands” along the way are much easier to implement, much less stressful, and keep us out of the high emotional states that can lead to big problems.

The next time life stretches you, try to avoid jumping back to your initial state. A lot of little “yes, ands” can go a long way!

If you'd like to bring the power of “Yes, And” to to your organization or team, let me know!

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