What do Lucille Ball, Emily Dickinson, Marilyn Monroe, J. K. Rowling, and Oprah Winfrey all have in common?
They have all been told “No.” It hurts so bad, but can be oh so good for you. No can leave you feeling vulnerable, embarrassed, or pissed off. Whether you are asking someone for date number two, pitching an idea, or going after the life of your dreams, it still can feel like a swift ninja kick to the heart when you are denied.
But you know what prefaces that big fat negative? Courage. And that is one of the most honorable traits you can exude. Some of the biggest success stories start off with “I was told ‘No’ a million times….” Especially if you’re starting something new, it really pays off to get comfortable with both the polite and not-so-polite declines. I was reassured many times that I would never be a professional dancer, and of course I had to prove those nay-sayers wrong! Having the guts to put yourself on the line is often what it takes to achieve what you want. Think of courage like a muscle, and the best way to build it up is to flex it against a handful of “No.”
At first it can be scary though. Oh the shame! Worry not my friend, here are a five tips to remember as you collect your No’s:
- It’s not personal – although it might feel like it. We all have to say No sometimes. If you’re on the recipient end, keep that in mind. That other person likely has other commitments, view points, or doesn’t yet see the value in your offer.
- “No” means you said “yes” to what you believe in. The fear of getting declined can really hold you back from saying or doing what you want. Congratulations! By being rejected it means you put yourself out there. That bravery is completely admirable, and what it takes to make things happen.
- It is great fuel! Do you get angry or annoyed when you get told you can’t do something? Use that No as motivation to kick it into high gear. Rather than letting it stop you, plug into that energy, and use it to fuel you to keep going.
- A yes is right around the corner. If you ask enough you’re bound to get a yes eventually, especially if it’s something you really believe in. So be patient, stay determined, and that exactly perfect yes will be yours in due time.
- It saves you time and struggle. When someone gives you a direct No, you can direct your energy towards the next Yes. Don’t spend time convincing people that just aren’t going to jump onto your side of the fence. Thank those givers of No for honoring your time, and respect them for their honesty and authenticity.
What action are you avoiding because of your fear of No? If it’s something you want badly enough, I challenge you to get five rejections around it this week. Chances are as you try to get a No, you’ll actually land a fulfilling Yes.
Have you ever received an uber disappointing “No,” only to later realize what a huge gift that was? We’d love to hear your No glory stories! Share them below.