We hear NO - our courage sinks and disappointment rises. We feel hurt, our hearts break and our dreams go kaput. NO is a powerful word and may herald major change, and often, change is difficult. Yet, we shouldn’t be afraid of hearing NO because it doesn’t always mean that we should stop or give up. In fact, as powerful as it might be, it may not ask us to make major changes that disrupt our lives, strain or fracture our relationships, change our career path or sideline our dreams. It may ask something simple of us. NO may ask us to shift our perspective, adjust our attitude, fine-tune a plan of action, re-analyse and re-commit to a relationship or tweak a goal.
Here are 4 things NO may be saying to us -
1. Be flexible. Getting a NO response to a question or proposal may frustrate us. Nevertheless, all it may be asking is for us to be flexible - willing to shift how we think, feel and act in unforeseen circumstances. Often, just the willingness to look at another viewpoint, listen to a different voice or consider a new way of doing something, can provide just the information and inspiration we need. We never know how being flexible can positively affect the quality of our personal lives, our relationships, our careers and our dreams.
2. Improve. We hear NO and we cringe and ask, “What now?” We agonise about what we will do. The next time we hear NO, we could save ourselves the worry by improving the way we manage our day-to-day responsibilities, how we relate to people, how we set and maintain personal boundaries and how we take care of our health. Sometimes, that’s all NO is saying to us. Our lives, relationships, careers and health can always use some improvement. NO may come at just the right time to make that improvement happen.
3. Pause. NO may mean we should slow down and take things easy, take things slow. It may ask us to pause because, even as we’re swirling in busyness, we are exhausted, confused, on the brink of burn-out or about to take a step that scares us. NO may offer us the opportunity to pause in order to refresh ourselves, renew our energy, regain our sanity and find a comfortable balance in the melee of daily responsibilities and overwhelming professional demands.
4. Persist. NO can be the whiff of inspiration we need to persist on the paths we are treading. When negativity swells around us, NO may be just the spark of inspiration we need to hang in there and not give up. NO may be just the push we need to:
a. Stay focused on our long-outstanding goals, which have become a burden.
b. Strengthen our resolve to work harder to realise our dreams.
c. Keep our passions alive and ablaze by fanning and fueling them daily in spite of discouragement, disappointment and distraction.
d. Avoid toxic relationships and nurture those that are mutually loving and supportive.
e. Continue eating nutritious meals and exercising to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
f. Let go of old fears and self-sabotaging attitudes, beliefs and actions that stifle our creativity and suffocate our dreams.
How does hearing NO affect you? Do you feel disappointed, dejected and depressed? Do you toy with the idea of giving up? No doesn’t always say that you should stop or give up. In fact, its message may be dripping with information, instruction and inspiration. So, listen carefully and take notice of what NO is truly saying to you.
Weekly column (since 2006):
Wright Words of Wisdom