In A Shot Of Optimism, Discover Your Passion, Uncategorized, What's Holding You Back?

Most of us are constantly looking for the Yes!!  We want success, a great career, enough money to be comfortable and enough time-off to have joy in our lives.

We want the YES . . .

Yes! I will fund your project.  Yes! I want to blast my list and tell everyone about you.  Yes! I will publish your manuscript.  Yes! I will offer you the job, make an introduction for you, buy what you are selling.  Yes yes yes!!!  If that yes isn’t instantaneous, it can be a huge blow to our lives.

But recently, I spent a few days with some other authors at Jack Canfield’s (of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame) lovely home in Santa Barbara, and I learned that getting to YES often has to do with a word that has a very bad reputation: NO.

Jack met with me and a group of other authors to help us grow our careers, our fame, our book sales.  And who better?  After all, he’s a world-renowned speaker, author and teacher.  He’s practically an empire in and of himself.  We wanted to know his secret.

And now I’m sharing that secret with you:

Most people, Jack told us, stop when they get a NO.  It’s understandable.  NO makes us feel rejected, embarrassed, unworthy.  We start to doubt our projects and ourselves, we slink away, back to where we came from, and never try again.

He told us to imagine we were at a dance with 100 available partners.  And we reallywanted to dance.  If the first one said NO, would we just go sit in the corner, or would we say NEXT until someone said YES?

Then he told us to think of one thing that would make a big difference in advancing our career.  And he asked us to go around the room and ask for that thing.  When we received requests, we were to say NO to the first nine people who asked us.

Something amazing happened:

  • Getting a NO began to feel comfortable
  • Getting a NO didn’t slow me down
  • I knew with each NO I was closer to a YES!
  • My request became more clearly articulated each time I made it, so I was learning from every NO I got
  • I got four YES’s

In the case of your career, getting a NO does not always mean No!  It could mean you are asking the wrong person, your request needs more clarity, it’s not the right time, it could mean you are just a hair’s breath away from the person who is about to say: Yes!!

Don’t let NO slow you down. Keep going until you hear the word YES!!

Let me know about a time you got a NO!!  Are you ready to try again???  Just say YES!

Until next Tuesday.  YIPPEE!



Showing 5 comments
  • Chris

    Thanks for a great reminder, Elizabeth. My younger daughter Carlee dreams of being a professional actress one day. An acting coach told her to be prepared to audition and be told “no” 100 times before she gets a “yes”. She looks at each audition as getting one step closer to her #100. Her first “yes” came at audition #8, so she started over. Onward and upward!

  • elizabeth

    Good for Carlee and good for you!

  • Todd Liebergen

    In addition to moving on from the “no,” it’s important to realize that a “no” at the present time may not mean no forever. People and situations change and the opportunity should be re-offered in the future because the future situation may yield a “yes.”

    • elizabeth

      Great point Todd

    • elizabeth

      Hey Todd,
      If you have a story to share about that happening to you, please do.

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