“No”. Only two little letters that carry not only meaning, but a charge of emotions bigger than we want to let in. So, let’s talk about it a little bit.
Lately, my personal surroundings have been full of “No”. It was more of a transaction-type of “No”, similar to karma, where my family or I would have a huge gain on one side, but the next day something else would happen that would turn that happiness into a little stall or fail. At some point, this pattern of good-bad would inevitably create the idea in my mind that putting too much effort into something you love would somehow manage to bring you down by a ruined circumstance somewhere else. I realized that the effects of a bad occurrence had a bigger and longer emotional impact on me, than the positive ones. And so, I decided that I will take the power away from “No”, and transfuse it back into it, but with new blood. And because we are all struggling with our daily “Nos”, I want to help you see them through a different perspective.
Now, I want you to take a moment and think about all the load of the meaning of “No” in your life. Be that you got rejected by someone, that you received a refusal in a job interview, that you couldn’t get approved for a bigger credit at the bank, that you didn’t get the house offer for your dream home, that you couldn’t place your kids in the daycares/schools of your choice, that you simply couldn’t get a return at your local store for whatever you have bought, or your ideas were rejected at work – all of these situations and so many more weigh you down more than you can actually realize. What do you feel in those moments? Do you feel like you’re fighting with ghosts? Do you feel like the world is against you? Do you feel like you’re never going to make it to the other side, to be approved? Do you feel like your effort was all done in vain?
Many times, we counter-play our feelings of joy and happiness, because there are many more rejections we experience on a daily. The emotional whirlwind goes from self-doubting oneself to feeling powerless in front of an army of “Nos”, and, worst of all, those who bring us down unwittingly through little phrases like: “Well, I’m not sure this is for you”, “I don’t know if you can do this”, “Do you really need this?”, and others of the sorts. In our unsure minds, we already form safe reactions hearing these phrases, convincing ourselves we will fail in the end. But how about we take all of these little “rodents”, we look them in the eyes, and we tackle them like they should have been tackled long ago.
OK, try to think now about all the reactions you get when you receive a disappointing “No” in your life (you see, there’s a hint I already gave you in that adjective 🙂 ). Now, think about how often do you feel all of those feelings? On a daily, every other day, a couple of times a week? Think a bit harder, because this exercise will increase awareness upon your own life. If it’s an often occurrence, I want you to ask yourself: “Why do I give away the power to all of these negative feelings and let them dominate my day? How can I make them work to my advantage?”. I think I have a partial answer for you – get Comfortable with it!
Yes, you heard it right – let’s all get Comfortable with the “NOs”! If they are such a big part of our lives and there’s no way for us to avoid them, as well as the negative emotional tide coming along, why don’t we just shift our perception towards them?! Instead of becoming numb from a “No” we were so afraid of, how about we set our minds to the radio-wave of, for example, “I’m going to go into this meeting expecting that my idea might be approved, or it might not. Let me think of a plan B in case it will be rejected.” This little exercise will help you develop a more strategic thinking and will radically decrease your disappointment level in case of a negative outcome.
Another good mindset would be to try your best, but expect nothing in return. If it’s harder for you to adopt this attitude, it’s totally fine. Just try thinking about it in a way as if you’re doing volunteering, where you go to help others (even if that “others” is you, personally), and you do your part, and then don’t expect anything to be given back to you. While it sounds a bit emotionally detached, it will help you in the long run to see any “No” as just another situation in your day, which will save a lot of your sanity and will reduce you overthinking or over-analyzing a situation. Trust me, been there, done that.
In those especially difficult moments, when you put your 1000% of effort and passion into something, did you research and your rehearsal, ate your bread and drank your water, felt it with your whole heart and was sure it will turn out into a fairy tale for you in the end, but it came out as a huge and heartbreaking “NO”, it’s OK to feel down. You know what, it’s very normal for you to even cry your eyes out and cry from the top of your lungs how much you feel down. Go ahead and get drunk if you want to, but, the following day, I want you to wake up and think only this:
All of this was not done in vain. I worked my ass off – it made me an expert. I did my part better than I expected – I discovered a side of me I never knew existed. I got rejected and it brought me to my knees – well, I accept it! I accept this defeat because something bigger and better is waiting for me, because it will make me stronger by the end of today, and because it will teach me a life lesson I was probably looking for, even if I can’t see it clearly now!By the famous Me, Myself, and I (aka YOU)
My gorgeous reader, I’m in pain myself now from a “No” I received 5 days ago that overflowed my cup, which I choose to keep private. But what I strongly believe in, is what goes around comes around. And I’m not talking about the other people involved, I’m talking about us, those suffering from the deceptions of life. What we put into the world will come back to us in a better and more sophisticated form. Don’t you ever doubt it, and never-ever do you dare to doubt yourself!
The way I chose to deal with this recent big “No” was to feel my explosion of defeat, but pick up myself from the ground and look into the positive outcomes of the whole situation. I chose to see the good in everything, rather than the result itself. I chose to be grateful for the opportunity, because it humbled me, but it also allowed me to see how much more I am capable of achieving.
I chose to share this story, because we’re all experiencing similar things, but we were never taught how to handle them properly. I might be a weirdo in a way, but I choose to psych myself up about all the possibilities still waiting for me out there. Then share them all with you, and then support you in your journey. If at times it feels masochistic to chase the positive in a wrenching situation, then it most probably is. But what it isn’t, it’s not a put-some-pink-glasses-on-to-hide-your-pain type of situation (although we need to talk about this one too, but it deserves an entirely separate blog post), which is temporary and self-destructive.
The power of “No” lies in the make it or break it moment. It can light up that perseverance in you, or it can dull you to the core, until you feel like you can’t take it anymore. However hard it is to actually learn to persevere in those moments of “No”, it will grow your resilience in unimaginable ways.
So, my wonderful reader, sit back, do some work, and enjoy all the magical paths laying out in front of you!
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