Learn to be okay with NO

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This teeny-tiny, two letter word brings more fear and panic into the human heart than it deserves.

We hate hearing NO. We hate feeling rejected. We hate feeling like we’re not good enough.

This is true in business, our personal lives, family lives, and everywhere in between. No inherently makes us feel “less than.” And as humans – we’d rather live with mediocre, okay, somewhat comfortable situations than put ourselves out there and risk hearing NOOOOOO!

Here’s the deal. You need to learn to be okay with no in all areas of your life, but if you don’t master NO in your business – you’re in for a rough ride. I don’t say that to be mean or aggressive, I say it because it’s true.

You don’t have to learn to like no. You don’t have to learn how to NOT have your feelings hurt with no. But you have to learn to be okay with no, because the answer is ALWAYS no if you don’t ask.

What’s the easiest way to deal with no?

To realize that NO isn’t always personal.

I know, I know – sometimes it is. Sometimes no is personal and that makes you feel bad. If you’re human,  that won’t go away.

But, in MOST instances, no isn’t personal.

No says exponentially more about the person saying no versus the person hearing no.

Especially in business.

When someone isn’t ready to work with you – it typically truly means that they’re not ready. Nothing you can do about that.

When someone chooses another provider over you – it’s probably not that they didn’t like you. Maybe they felt the other solution was a better fit for their problem. Maybe they found you intimidating. Maybe the other person’s solution was more in line with their budget.

When someone can’t afford your service (like really, truly can’t afford it) – that’s not in your control.

When someone’s husband “won’t let them” invest in another coaching program – that’s not about you at all. And perhaps WAY more about her husband “not letting” her do something.

My favorite, when someone “ghosts” you that you thought you had an amazing connection with. You probably did have an amazing connection and she was just too chicken to say no.

We’ve all heard NO for all of those reasons and probably a few more. And each time it hurts. That part won’t go away, my friend. You’re human.

That’s the hard part of learning to be okay with no. It doesn’t stop hurting. It doesn’t stop being uncomfortable. You just learn how to bounce back a little bit faster. You learn how to stop. Feel whatever you’re feeling. And move on faster. Because that is all that you can do.

Feel it – then move on

When you get a no, especially for something that you really wanted (or expected) to happen – it can sting. And it can be hard to figure out how to move forward.

My best advice – feel it. Deal with it. Be sad. Be hurt. Be angry. Take a predetermined amount of time, be it 10 minutes or 1 day, to feel how you feel.

Find somewhere to channel your feelings. I recommend boxing – nothing is more gratifying than punching something when you’re sad/mad/hurt/angry/etc. Just find your thing and do that.

Then, it’s time to move on. When you’re predetermined time is up – you move on. You move forward. You start taking action again.

What if you expect it?

Imagine what would happen if you changed the narrative in your head around no. What if you started to expect it. Not in a negative way where you think that nothing is going to go your way – but in a realistic way that looks at things from the perspective of “the worst thing that can happen is that they say no.”

What if you keep in the back of your mind that no is possibility. And you realize that if you get a no, you’ll be okay. You’ll be bummed, but you’ll survive. You’re already thinking about what’s next, if this doesn’t work out. You’re already moving past the no.

I want to say this again, because I am an inherently positive person. I’m not saying you should be negative and assume the worst and be all gloom and doom all of the time. I’m saying that you should should look at all situations from angle, one of which includes hearing no.

When you’re already prepared and already have a next step – no doesn’t tend to hurt as bad. Plus, you get the added bonus of new ideas that you already brainstormed. Win. Win.

It gets easier

The more you hear no, the easier it gets. The more you experience “rejection” in your business, you’ll start to learn how to bounce back faster. It does get easier, like all things in life. With time and experience – everything improves.

In the meantime, focus on what you can control. Be mindful of your emotions. And realize that NO will never, ever kill you.

Again, this wasn’t written in an attempt to downplay anyone’s feelings or over simplify what it means to not get what you want. It’s to help you learn the mental game of hearing no in your business. It will happen (a lot) and the better you are at rolling with it and not letting it totally derail your whole day/week/month – the better of your business will be.

One Response

  1. Olivia Moore
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    This is amazing! I needed to read every last word. Thank you !

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