raise your hand if you like being told 'no'. i know what you're thinking... 'you can't see my hands.' yes, but what i'm actually thinking is that no one is going to raise their hands. no one wants to be told no. finding the courage to ask for what you want, let alone be denied it, can be brutal. trust me, this past year in business alone i've heard my fair share of no's. with that said, i'm starting to realize that asking for what you want and hearing the word 'no' is not the hardest part.
not even close.
that is the moment you are defined by.
let's pretend your 7 years old. it's been one hot day out in the sandbox and you go running inside because you desperately need a popsicle. your tongue is so dry it might fall out of your mouth. you run in screaming 'MOM' as the door slams behind you and demand that popsicle. she looks at you and sighs,
'not now. dinner is almost ready.'
you look at her like she's crazy and then most likely, 1 of 3 things shook out;
you felt a physical rage as you fell to the floor begging and screaming with sandy tears pouring out your eyeballs like lava out of a volcano, kicking until she shoved that popsicle in your mouth just to shut you up.
you stand in front of her staring, frozen by her evilness unable to speak to her.
you wonder where you dad is... how could he love such evil?
you immediately start telling her how hot you are and how many castles you built and then REBUILT because so and so didn't know what they were doing and if you didn't have that popsicle your tongue was going to fall out and you wouldn't be able to tell the kids how to build the sandcastles the right way and your barbies would die because they wouldn't have shelter from so and so's G.I. Jo's.
the world would end.
P L E A S E, you'd insist.
i neeeeeeed that popsicle you would say.
i want to say that being told no when you're a child vs being told no as an adult is vastly different. that your livelihood didn't depend on it when you were 7. that your life wasn't contingent on that popsicle.
but you didn't know that when you were 7. you truly believed that your life depended on getting a getting that popsicle.
the first few no's are expected and they suck, but they don't quite hit you like no's starting after 15...
that's when the doubt kicks in.
you begin to wonder, 'what's wrong with me?'
you start to take it personal.
you want to give up.
i'm here to tell you, this is the 'adult side' of overcoming no.
i've spent so many years wrapped up in the adult self-doubting side of overcoming no that i've almost blinded myself into not moving forward.
to ending it all now
finding a new career
and holing up in my room to listen to sad, sad music.
the process of overcoming no like an adult is depressing.
you need to overcome no like that 7 year old.
most recently i found myself in New York, a day spent on the phone hearing no after no after no.
some of the no's were not heard because calls were not returned or answered.
and i will tell you,
by the end of those calls i could feel the tears welling up. not like the 7 year old throwing a tantrum on the floor making demands, but like that of someone feeling crushed, defeated. and as quick as it started,
i stopped it.
told myself clearly...
do not get in your own way.
and know this:
hearing no allows you to look at the situation and approve upon it.
to make way for more conviction in your voice.
to make way for YOU to believe in yourself.