Make "No" Your Best Motivator

A guest post by Scott Dinsmore of Reading ForYourSuccess

“Don't waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think for a second about what lights a fire in your belly? What motivates you to be your very best?

We all need things that push us to be extraordinary and we can never have too many. Most of us have these things we can do to put us in our peak state. Maybe a favorite song, movie, speech or poem. Perhaps it's just a gesture or a fist pump. Whatever works for you is all that matters.

Those are all positive triggers we've associated with putting ourselves into action.

But what about when we are at our darkest hour? That's when we need motivation the most. What if we could make what is to most of us a very uncomfortable and scary situation, into our best motivator?

I propose we make “No” that motivator.

What place does No serve for you right now? Probably not the best. If I ask you to think back on a time you heard No or felt severe rejection, my guess is it wouldn't be difficult. We seem to have a knack for recalling our toughest times and even labeling them as normal occurrences. All of a sudden our worst rejection is how we define any rejection going forward. Not too helpful is it?

What if No was the word that triggered us into overdrive to do our very best? Picture the possibilities.

How many times have you been told No throughout your life? If you're anything like me then it's more than you can count. After all, every one of us is a salesman or woman, so we've gotten all too used to that two letter word.

As entrepreneurs, writers, men, women, husbands, wives or any member of a society, No is simply part of the territory. We can either fear it or embrace it. For many of us No has become a trigger. A trigger to shut down, question ourselves, give up and move on. Imagine the effect this can have on someone's success throughout their lifetime.

Rejection is a part of everyone's life. We cannot escape it, which means there's no real choice but to allow it to serve us.

Looking back, were any of those No's really that bad? Despite past rejections, look where you are now. I bet you have plenty to hang your hat on. If they didn't kill you then they must have made you stronger. Those No's are what allowed you to have the experiences you've had since.

For years No has fed our natural fear of not being accepted.

Well I'd say it's time to get over it. No may be one of the single best inventions to life.

Why is No such a great thing?

1. It refuses to let us slack off. If we don't give something our all, and we get a No as a result, we know it's time to crank the discipline up a notch. No is a signal to wake up, learn, modify our approach and go after it again.

2. It makes us grow. Yes's make us lazy. Every No is a signal that you need to work harder either to better understand your prospect or to better understand yourself. Usually both. We learn with each No. If all we got were yes's, the world would be full of laziness.

3. It get's us closer to yes. Any seasoned salesman will tell you that they love getting a No because it means they are that much closer to a yes. That's an empowering meaning if I've ever heard one.

4. It clears out the competition. No's separate the committed from the uncommitted. Everyone would be doing everything if there was no rejection. If you are committed to your path, all the No's along the way will keep the less-driven competition off your heals.

Next time you get a No, get excited. You are becoming a better human being.

Thank your prospect. Genuinely ask to understand their objection. This is your chance to learn the real story behind those two letters. Leave knowing you are all the sharper for having been through it.

Viktor Frankl discovered that the last human freedom is the ability to choose our thoughts and what life's occurrences mean to us. All of us have the freedom to redefine what No means in our lives.

Realize how powerful and fundamental No is. We are the sum of what our rejections have taught us. Internalize it.

Decide today to change your meaning of No from rejection to empowerment.

If you're at all interested in doing something remarkable with the years ahead, I assure you there will be plenty more No's. Rejection is not going away. Welcome to life.

So is there really a choice?

Imagine how you'll approach your days and your life if No's begin to light a fire in your belly instead of pouncing that fire out.

There's nothing to be scared of. No can motivate us to be better and stronger. We just have to allow it.

Let it be that stepping stone to take you to a level you didn't even know existed.

Have fun with it. Go out today and look for some No's. Odds are before long they'll turn into resounding Yes's.

Read more inspiring articles from Scott Dinsmore at Reading For Your Success where he is committed to making your life and career a success, on your terms, through “action-based reading”. Subscribe here to Scott's future articles.

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  1. Scott McIntyre says:

    Hi Scott,

    this is an interesting point of view… turning the ultimate negative word – ‘no’ – into a positive basis for action.

    When other people have said ‘no’ to me, it’s always spurred me on to try harder. Sometimes, we just HAVE to say ‘no’ ourselves… and we shouldn’t feel bad about it.

    Being a ‘yes’ man or woman is often a sign of insecurity, a need to always please others at the expense of ourself . It’s a liberating experience when you accept you’re allowed to say ‘no’.

    • Scott Dinsmore says:

      Thanks for the comment Scott. Sounds like you are well on the right track! It can feel pretty liberating to say no to something you know does not fit with your long term vision. When looked at the right way, no can really get you fired up!

      .-= Scott Dinsmore´s last blog ..The Most Dangerous Word in The World =-.

  2. Hi Scott,
    A terrific way of thinking, if you can do it. But you know, you are right. In the past I have allowed the no response to close doors to what I was trying to do. So, thanks for the advice. From now on I will embrace the no responses as being part of my growth!

    • Scott Dinsmore says:

      Thanks Maria. It can definitely take some new training to get No to be a good thing in the eyes of the receiver, but once you do, few things will hold you back. That’s a pretty powerful feeling.

      Have fun with it!
      .-= Scott Dinsmore´s last blog ..The Most Dangerous Word in The World =-.

  3. Scott,
    Thanks for this perspective on the word no. I, too, have taken the word to use as a force for good, not as the negative connotation it so often engenders. In fact, just recently, in my regular column for the international online journal All Things Girl, I wrote a piece called “Getting to Yes by Way of No” you might enjoy it 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Scott Dinsmore says:

    Thanks Shanna. I will have to take a look. Sounds like we are thinking along similar lines. No is not a bad thing. It’s a powerful and important part of our development. It makes us better people. We should all embrace it!

    .-= Scott Dinsmore´s last blog ..The Most Dangerous Word in The World =-.

  5. I share your love for all the good that comes out of a No! Love how you expressed it so wonderfully!
    .-= Wendy Irene´s last blog ..Pleeeeeasee Let Me Survive This Mommy Gig! – Survival 4 Moms =-.

    • Scott Dinsmore says:

      Awesome Wendy. Thanks for stopping by!

      .-= Scott Dinsmore´s last blog ..The Most Dangerous Word in The World =-.

  6. Andrea DeBell - britetalk says:

    I like your silver lining for rejection. I’ve never seen NO in such a nice light. I specially like to idea of changing NO from rejection to empowerment. Nice concept of making NO our motivator. I’ll try my best. 🙂
    .-= Andrea DeBell – britetalk´s last blog ..One Single Step to Happiness =-.

    • Scott Dinsmore says:

      Glad I could paint the picture for you Andrea. Have fun with it! Once you change the perception a bit, the difference can be amazing.

      Thanks for the thoughts.
      .-= Scott Dinsmore´s last blog ..The Most Dangerous Word in The World =-.

  7. What a great encouragement Scott! I’ll keep this attitude in mind, especially as I embark in a journey with unclear path.

    I would like to add though that there are some legitimate “no”s and sometimes it is a time to reflect if we are indeed in the wrong path. Quitting prematurely is not a good thing, neither not quitting when it is time to quit.
    .-= Maria (Adventurer101)´s last blog ..A Lullaby Of Comfort and Hope =-.

    • Scott Dinsmore says:

      Totally agree Maria. The first thing a No ought to get you to do is reevaluate things. Are you taking the right approach? Do you need a new skill or to try something differently? Are you focusing on the right target. Assuming all that is correct, I say let the motivation run wild!

      Great point,
      .-= Scott Dinsmore´s last blog ..The Most Dangerous Word in The World =-.

  8. Very interesting post. Not everything can be framed in the positive, so why not take make “no” a catalyst for success. I agree that with each no we are actually getting closer to our goals. We can strive to learn something from hearing no. We can ask ourselves, “what can I do better next time?” of “what did I learn from this situation?” No’s make us push past limits to achieve the yes we’re striving for. Thanks!
    .-= Joe Wilner´s last blog ..Grow to Greatness- Five Principles of Successful Self-Growth =-.

    • Scott Dinsmore says:

      Nice thoughts Joe. No can be super powerful–it is super powerful. It’s on us to decide if it’s going to empower or disempower us. The more tricks we find to get us feeling the former, the better.

      .-= Scott Dinsmore´s last blog ..Dressing Your Mind And Body for Success- A New Look for RFYS =-.

  9. antyramy says:

    do you really think like that? because i`m not sure at all.