Stop Being Afraid of No

In life the word no is probably one of the easiest to say yet the hardest to hear, just ask a toddler. No feels so definitive. It sounds so final but there is a lot of character, life, and perseverance that grows from no.

I’ll be the first to admit that no can be intimidating. It hurts. It’s disappointing and it can be blinding at times. However if I’m honest I’ve heard no so many times I know I can’t count them all. Every time has had different responses. If I was strong mentally and emotionally no didn’t even bother me. If I was anticipating a difference response it at times knocked the wind out of me. No works that way. It builds character. Makes you work hard and sometimes line you up. It makes you re-think and come with a new plan!

This is why I definitely believe in giving kids a no answer sometimes. Just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should. Brats are birthed at the inability to hear no, adjust and keep moving. There are quite a few adult brats in this world.

Today understand that no doesn’t kill you. It doesn’t stop you unless you allow it. It doesn’t make you less of a person from hearing it either. No isn’t a total denial. There were times I’ve told myself no I wouldn’t make it through something and here I am standing stronger even with battle wounds. I’ve told myself no you can’t be a better person and here I stand working daily to make it through. I’ve been told no to jobs, relationships, and dreams. I’m still pursuing my goals. I’ve had to stop and wipe tears from my eyes but I kept going and I am still going forward. No doesn’t stop you unless you allow it.

Can you finish college? Yes. It may take you a few years but you can still do it. Can you get that dream job? Yes you can. Think about the Black Panther movie, tribe elder Dorothy Steel is 92 years young. She started acting at age 88. Stop and think about that. I don’t know her full story but to start at that age bracket and hit that goal is nothing short of amazing. So what if your goal wasn’t realized until later down the road?! I know of a friend who applied to the same field for 6 years and finally got it right at the deadline to apply. 6 years of frustration, pain, time and money spent and finally it happened.

What about the couple trying to have a child and finally after years it happens? What about the couple who has tried and it doesn’t happen for them?! They still have to keep moving in love regardless of this dream deferred. No is powerful! But no isn’t a joy-kill unless you give it power!

Don’t sit on a dream because of your initial fear of hearing the words, no. Know that it will sting but if something is worth it, you can push through and make it happen. When I first moved to Philadelphia I was settling into being a stay at home mom. I had a toddler and a baby in my belly. Then when I was ready to get back into the working field I found it hard! I wasn’t accustomed to hearing no. I was the type that could walk into an interview and get hired on the spot. But then with years out of the work world, priority changes, I heard no way more times then I thought I should. It hurt like hell. I could get all the way to a second interview and think I’ve nailed it only for another candidate to get it. Telling myself that maybe it wasn’t for me to soften the blow didn’t always work if I’m real about it! I wanted what I wanted and that no at times would make me want to give up. The thing about no is that it doesn’t care who you are, your skill set, etc. no is no until you take no and make something out of it.

Whatever no you told yourself, change it. Whatever no you have heard that allowed to stop you in your tracks, get up. I didn’t say it would be easy. I never told you that motivation was supposed to paint this easy picture. It’s not! Motivation allows you another deep breath to prepare for what you want and strengthens you in case no happens again. Sometimes no comes in certain seasons of life. Sometimes no comes in waves. Ride the waves and turn your no around. This is why the Mo’niques of the world have to find ways to make their own wave. No is hard but don’t take the world and burn bridges. Dust the sting of no and find your own opportunities!

Move past your no today!

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