Everything You Need to Know About Hearing ‘No’

What do you hear when you hear no? Does it stop you in your tracks? Are you offended? Do you feel rejected? What do you tell yourself the other person really means when they say no?

Here’s what some people hear:

“You’re not good enough.”

“I don’t like you.”

“I’ll never want to work with you.”

“You shouldn’t have asked me that.”

“I don’t believe in your cause.”

“You’re ridiculous.”

“You’re not valuable to me.”

“You cannot have what you want.”

Do you tell yourself something similar to the words above?

I’ve been there! You know what I call those voices? The Itty Bitty Shitty Committee. They come from a place of fear–fear of how you’re being perceived and anxiety over what will happen next.

Allowing the other person to say no is one of the most important ways to maintain your relationships. But this can be such a challenge. And who can blame us if, when someone says no, we’re really hearing something else?

What would change if you heard no differently?  What would you ask for if you weren’t afraid of being turned down?  Would you dare more?  Risk more?

What if this is what the other person meant when they said no:

“Now’s not a good time, and I don’t think I could fully commit.”

“I’m scared to do this.”

“I don’t really want to make a decision right now.”

“I’m not clear about what you’re asking.”

“Please keep me in mind next time.”

“This project isn’t right for me, but I love working with you, so let me know when you come up with other ideas.”

“I need to think about it.”

When I hear no, it only means one thing to me.

It’s time to have another conversation to explore.

Imagine how freeing it would be if you were able to speak independent of the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee. Imagine if, when someone said no, you didn’t feel the sting of rejection but instead walked away feeling like you did something amazing just by asking in the first place. Because you did!

Here’s what I want you to do: Take something in your life that you’ve been unwilling to ask for and give it a shot. The only way to discover how you hear “no” is to first hear it!

Rather than imagine, now is the time to act and put what you’ve learned into practice. Just make one simple request, and make it so crazy you expect to hear a no. Hang in there. Let me know how it goes!


Categories: confidence, money, resilience

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The belief that opened doors for me? Discovering I could serve others through making the right requests. The request itself became a vehicle for personal transformation. I became more courageous and more confident.