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Saying 'Yes' Fosters Growth and Opens Doors to Opportunity Life never follows a straight line. The decision to learn or try something new is likely to bring benefits you could not have predicted.

By Jacqueline Whitmore

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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By the time we become adults, we have developed patterns. We become comfortable in our routines and the way we do things, from how we make our bed to what we eat in the morning.

However, do you remember when you learned a new way of doing something? I try to learn something new each and every day because I don't want to become stagnant, bored or lose my enthusiasm for life.

Whenever you break out of your comfort zone and try something new, you open the door to opportunities. Sure, it's easier to fall back into the "I always do it this way" pattern. But if you keep an open mind and take a chance, here's what might happen.

You'll discover something about yourself.

It's sometimes scary to try new things, but if you seek a new opportunity or try a new activity, you might find that you like it, or you're good at it. For example, the first time I conducted an etiquette webinar for the public, I was impressed that I could manage the technology and teach an online etiquette course, record it and offer it for sale afterwards. My curiosity eventually opened up a whole new revenue stream for me.

Challenge yourself both personally and professionally to learn or try something new each and every month. Take an online course, try a new sport or develop a new product or service. You may learn some valuable skills, expand your contacts, increase your self-confidence or even your bottom line.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Learning Anything Faster

You'll stretch your abilities.

Some people won't try something new because they worry that they might fail. In reality, chances are that you won't fail. You just need to be patient with yourself as you tackle the learning curve. And there are plenty of people and online resources to help you, if needed.

In today's business world, it's not always the amount of knowledge you have that's important to your customers and clients. It's how you present your knowledge and, in turn, help others achieve their goals. Expanding your own capabilities enables you to transfer those skills to real-life applications that will increase your worth in the business world.

Related: 5 Ways to Foster Learning in Your Workplace

You'll grow.

Every time you learn something, you grow—either personally or professionally. Think back to ten years ago in your career. How were you doing things differently then, as compared to how you are doing them today? Several years ago, I was hesitant to start blogging. I wondered if anyone would read what I had to say or if they would gain any value from my articles. Eventually, my blog won several awards and I became a better writer because I committed myself to the practice of writing on a regular basis.

There will be times when you might want to enhance your personal brand, start a new career, or learn a new skill in your chosen field. Whatever you decide to pursue, you will be a wiser person than you were before you started—just because you were open to new experiences.

So when life presents you with opportunities, say "yes" instead of "no" and watch what happens.

Related: The 9 Growing Pains Entrepreneurs Need to Overcome

Jacqueline Whitmore

Author, Business Etiquette Expert and Founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach

Jacqueline Whitmore is an etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach in Palm Beach, Fla. She is the author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals (St. Martin's Press, 2011) and Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work (St. Martin's Press, 2005).

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