I first learned about this response from an improv class that I attended. It is way of staying attentive to what the other person is saying or not saying then responding accordingly by receiving what is given. It is acknowledging and accepting what is offered and building up on it. That is why it is a “Yes and” reply.
I encountered it again in the context of dealing with fear and uncertainty. The typical response to both would be hesitation or downright avoidance. Often times it is a statement that starts with a “but”. Just like when we say “I want to run but it’s raining” or ” I want to create something but I don’t know how to start .” In both cases the lid has been set. The mere replacement of “but” with “and” opens up possibilities. I want to workout and it’s raining so perhaps I can just look up indoor workouts I can do instead or maybe I’ll just run in the rain, that seems like a lot of fun. I want to create and I don’t know how to start so maybe I can ask someone who has started something or I can start with what I am curious about. Such a small tweak in language that spells a whole world of difference. I have always been a fan of this type of change.
I would like to interact with the world with a yes and attitude. I have always been open and curious but I think I can still dance with my fears and self doubts better. There is always room to improve and grow. Moving forward with perpetual curiosity, saying “yes and” to all that comes my way is my way of being everyday.