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Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Posted May 16, 2010

Published in Lifestyle

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The Positive Aspects of No

Read More: abundance, confidence, Edison, no, persistence, prosperity, success, yes

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It can be very frustrating, depressing and discouraging when we're selling a product and we get one no after another. But it doesn't have to be that way. The reason why we feel bad when we get a no is because we either take it personally as a rejection of who we are or we turn the no into a catastrophic thought that we'll never get where we want to go.

Both of these thoughts are choices we make in our minds that influence our actions and behaviors. A better choice is to decide that there is another way to look at it, a way which empowers us rather than deflates and defeats us. This other way to look at it is to appreciate that every no we get brings us closer to a yes. If we remind ourselves of this when we get a rejection, we need not send ourselves into emotional turbulence.

Consider this example: Using a hypothetical number, since I am not aware of the statistics involved in car sales, let's assume that for every ten prospective customers that walk through the showroom door, one will be converted into a sale.

That being the case, a car salesman can expect to get a no from nine people before he closes a deal. Consequently, when he gets one no after another, there is no need for him to get depressed, anxious, or angry. He doesn't need to take it personally by interpreting it as a failure on his part. He doesn't need to get discouraged or demoralized. He doesn't need to perceive it as a setback or an obstacle. He doesn't need to look at it as the universe giving him a hard time.

He simply needs to remind himself that it's all part of the plan, that it's all part of the law of averages, and that every time he gets a no, he should actually be celebrating, because it brings him closer to the statistical number that equates to a yes.

Oftentimes, we get frustrated by things not happening on our timetable. Rather than seeing each no as one step closer to our goal, we interpret the no as a delay holding back our success. This speaks to our desire to control the universe so that it will do our bidding as we think it should and when we think it should.

The problem with this is that we can't control the universe. People and circumstances that will eventually cooperate with us have their own timetable that we need to accept. Any attempt to manipulate and accelerate the process is oftentimes a mistake in the sense that it can lead us to either burning a bridge that could have been an appropriate path or finding ourselves heading down a path that, in the long run, will prove to be a road to nowhere.

It is better to accept that it takes time for people and circumstances to come together in a beneficial way for all concerned and to not try to force outcomes. Sometimes it's best to accept the ebb and flow of things. Sometimes it's best to not paddle furiously but rather to row our boat gently down the stream. Sometimes it's best to let things happen at their own pace and have faith that when things don't happen the way we think they should, it doesn't mean that they never will.

Bottom line: We needn't be afraid of rejection and failed efforts. Take Thomas Edison, for example. Every time the universe said no to one of his attempts to invent the electric light bulb, he saw it as a help rather than a hindrance. He saw it as an opportunity to put aside an ineffectual approach he was taking so that he could redirect his attention to an alternative approach that might yield the success he was looking for. Every failed attempt brought him closer to success by enabling him to eliminate a wrong way so that he could eventually find the right way.

There is a right way for all of us, regardless of what goals we have set for ourselves. But we will not find it if we get derailed by perceived setbacks, obstacles, rejections, delays, and outright failed attempts. Best that we be okay with every no we get and every failed attempt, seeing each as a positive steppingstone to our ultimate success.

Best we stay true to our vision. Best we stay confident and positive. Best we be flexible and stay open to alternative paths so as to modify and adapt our plan when necessary.

Above all else, we don't give up. We keep on trucking. We remind ourselves that it's never over till it's over.


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