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How To Deal With Hearing "No"

Posted on October 19 2015

My job requires me to say “no” a lot. As difficult as that is, I also get the opportunity to say “yes” quite often.  I think about the people that I say “no” to and then I think about how many times people say “no” to me. It always seems a bit harsher being on the receiving end. The interesting thing is that it’s never really about the “no”. It’s what you make of it that counts; what you do with it and most importantly, what you do after it.

Have you ever been so sure that your life was meant to go in a certain direction yet when you moved forward to make things happen, all you hit was a dead end? Have you ever pursued a dream that you felt so sure about, yet at every corner you turned, there was a big “no” waiting to smack you in the face? It’s hard to continue pushing forward when your spirit keeps getting crushed. It’s certainly incredibly difficult to stand your ground when you are consistently being knocked down.

“I have not failed seven hundred times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those seven hundred ways will not work. When I have eliminated all the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.” Thomas Edison

I don’t think that one ever gets accustomed to hearing the word “no”. It doesn’t sting any less the 100th time because you’ve heard it a hundred times. What I like to focus on is what I’ve discovered about myself between the first “no” and the hundredth “no”. I’ve learned that hearing “no” will never take anything away from who I already am and hearing “yes” will never add anything to who I already am. Having another person validate or say “yes” to my dream or vision doesn’t make it more real. My dream becomes real the moment I take action. For example, I am a writer because I write, not because someone decided to publish my work.

This concept of self-validation above all other validation can prove difficult in a world where an event isn’t real to most people until someone “likes” it on Facebook or Instagram. It’s why knowing oneself is the key to the challenge of hearing “no”. When you know yourself, hearing “no” isn’t immediately tied to your self-worth. “No” simply means “not here and not now”. Your “yes” is just further down the road. It’s not rejection, just re-direction.

Complimentary reading:

How To Embrace Change

What Do You Think You’re Worth?

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