If I had to pick one word to define the attitude of successful people, it would be “yes.” It’s a small word that opens the door to big things. If you are willing to embrace a yes mindset in your career, you will discover your potential for success is virtually unlimited.

Attitude is everything. How you view your job and the opportunities it presents will determine what you get out of it. People who are fulfilled in their career view it as more than just work; it’s an opportunity to use their talents, achieve results and make a difference. They are people who derive a deep sense of satisfaction from a job well done. They are “yes” people. Yes, I can help. Yes, it can be done. Yes, I will find a solution. Yes, you can count on me.

Build the reputation you want. If you want to be known as the person others go to for insight and support, be that person! Make yourself approachable. Be willing to take on extra work when you have the bandwidth to do so. Not every project will be the one that shines the limelight on you, but your willingness to jump in and offer support when it’s needed will be the reputation that precedes you. 

Let your fascination trump your fear. No one begins their career as an expert. You have to step out and apply yourself in order to learn and grow in your vocation. If you let fear hold you back, you will be missing out on tremendous opportunities that will enrich your career. I once heard an acronym for fear that really puts it in perspective. FEAR is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real. Sure, some opportunities will scare the bejeebers out of you, but say yes anyway—then hang on for the ride. If you want to make yourself immune to career complacency, say yes the next time a terrifying task comes your way!

Let your yes be yes. Don’t say yes without careful thought and a conscious commitment. Evaluate your workload. Can you take on another project and ensure your existing work gets done? Count the cost. Saying yes to an opportunity may mean you have to put in extra hours. Are you willing to do that? Make sure you are before you say yes. There is only one thing worse than continually saying no—it’s saying yes and not following through on your word!

It is okay to say no, just don’t make it your M.O. It is unrealistic to say yes to everything. If you do, you will be expending your energy on too many things and not doing any of them really well. Be strategic in your decisions. Weigh the facts and the opportunities before you. Don’t set yourself up for failure, but don’t make “no” your default answer either. We all know workers whose standard reply is no—just make sure that’s not your M.O.!

Do you want a successful career? Say yes a little more often and watch what happens!