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Is It Okay to Say ‘Okay’?

Do you feel you are living to your fullest potential or do you believe that your life can be much better than it presently is? Let us identify the reason that is holding you back – your ‘okay’ mindset and take steps to overcome the same

From the time we have learnt the word ‘okay’ we have been marveling at its versatility. It has such a wide range of implications that we can use it in many contexts. We can say that the word ‘okay’ can carry us through almost all sorts of scenarios.

However, with changing times and with the world becoming more result-oriented we have come to realise that saying ‘okay’ no longer gives us freedom. On the contrary, it holds us back; making us feel uncertain, hesitant, doubtful, low on confidence and confused.

When we say something is ‘okay’, we stop thinking

Referring to something as ‘okay’ usually keeps us from providing a valuable assessment of the thing in question. Not only that, it also keeps us from thinking about how to make that thing better. So, instead of trouble shooting and finding solutions, we check the ‘okay’ box and move on to other pursuits. Even when someone comes to us looking for feedback, telling them that something is ‘okay’ does not give them any idea about how to improve.

Labelling everything as ‘okay’ makes things boring

Something which is just ‘okay’ is usually average and needs more work. But when people start labeling things in this manner they are providing a lazy answer and this does not motivate any improvement. Giving a feedback like ‘okay’ is a boring answer to a host of interesting questions and it is entirely up to us to do better.

Communication is a two-way street. A person who asks for an honest opinion about a subject does not want to hear that something is just ‘okay’. Being concrete with feedback always helps more rather than a vague ‘okay’.

‘Okay’ connotes lack of ideas or a general unwillingness to contribute something substantial to the conversation. If everything is just okay all the time, the people who talk to you will get bored and disinterested. They would feel like talking to the wall. You have made it their sole responsibility to keep the conversation afloat, which can be tiresome.

Give concrete feedback instead of saying ‘okay’

When an idea is taking shape, you want all kinds of feedback and some push-back so that you can create something par excellence. Anyone who says that something is ‘okay’ is simply saying that they do not have a strong opposition to the idea. They may not love it, but it is not worthwhile enough to improve.

You may also think that you are being nice when you label things as ‘okay’, but you are not doing anyone any good in the process. ‘Okay’ can be downright dishonest instead of being helpful, if you do not like an idea that much. A person who comes to you with an idea would love new insights or constructive feedback. It already takes so much to ask for feedback. Do you think it is right to deprive someone who values your opinion or appreciates the perspective that you could offer?

In giving an honest feedback, you may feel you will offend someone but when someone asks for it, honesty is the best policy. Giving an actual feedback may feel risky but when you make a non-committal remark like, “It is okay,” you have revealed your overly cautious mindset and always play it safe attitude.

Give concrete feedback instead of saying ‘okay’

‘Okay’ does not help in communication skills. We need to work on offering a true opinion which helps the other person or the task at hand. It may take some practice to feel good about this new way of expressing yourself, but your friends and colleagues will appreciate your honesty. For example:

Boss: “How’s the candidate?” Team Leader: “She passed our initial evaluation and her philosophy aligns with our core values, but I’m not sure if she will be able to keep up in our fast-paced environment. It took her longer than expected to complete her test.”

Now for the question above, ‘okay’ as an answer would have been way too vague to be helpful. You will notice that the respondent not only took a stance but also gave additional information to support the opinion.

Don’t accept ‘okay’ for yourself either

If saying ‘okay’ is not a good enough response to someone else’s question, it should not be an acceptable answer to give to yourself either. Saying that you or something in your life is ‘okay’ means that you feel adequate about it, but it does not demonstrate motivation or potential for a major breakthrough.

People are more likely to tell themselves that they are doing ‘okay’ when they are facing big challenges or pursuing difficult goals. Sometimes this defense mechanism can make you feel better about the situation when things are overwhelming, but saying that a situation is ‘okay’ in real does not push you through the task. “It’s okay,” quickly turns into, “I will worry about it tomorrow.” It drains motivation.

Remember that successful people do not go through their lives ‘okaying’ every challenge that comes their way. They tackle these things head-on and become stronger in the process. They doggedly pursue their dreams until they achieve them.

If you are repeatedly okay with the way things or situations around you are, you shall not be able to come out of it. Break the shackles of being okay and take the first step of your transformation from being ordinary to becoming extraordinary. It is not always okay to say ‘okay’.


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#SadguruWhispers The disciple loves the Guru,seeing His spiritual height. The Guru loves the disciple, seeing his yearning for it.