How the Word No Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

“If you lose today, win tomorrow.” ~Daisaku Ikeda

From the moment we learn to walk and touch things, we hear the word no far more than we will ever hear the word yes.

“No, don’t touch that.” “No, that’s not for you.” “No, you shouldn’t eat paint chips.” OK, maybe that last one was just me, but you get the picture.

We are told no so much more than we are ever told yes during the course of growing up, so why is it as adults that hearing the word no can be so devastating? Shouldn’t we be used to it by now?

As a rookie salesmen every time I heard the word no I got discouraged and thought I must be doing something wrong. I would constantly beat myself up.

“What am I doing wrong?” “What can I do different?”

These were great questions to ask myself; however, it’s the answers I supplied myself that turned out to be misleading.

I figured that if people were saying no, it was because the process was failing me. How wrong I was.

With sales, as in many aspects of life, there is a process—a start and a finish. Whether it’s setting and achieving goals, getting dressed, or cooking dinner, everything has a process, whether we consciously think about it or not.

Like a naïve cocky rookie, I decided to abandon the process and started to do things my own way. Much to my surprise, I now heard no twice as many times.

I just could not understand what was going on, so I got even harder on myself.

“Maybe I’m not cut out for this.” “Maybe I’m no good.”

My manager pulled me aside and sat me down to ascertain what was happening.

I explained my thoughts and he laughed. I was puzzled until he had this to say:

“You’re looking at this all wrong. Life is a numbers game. It’s just the law of averages kid.”

He continued to explain, “You can’t let every single ‘no’ into your head. You better learn to use it as fuel to keep you going instead of letting it slow you down. You will hear a thousand more nos than yeses in this business. Get used to it. If everyone was as hard on themselves about hearing the word no as you are right now, the whole lot would have a rain cloud over it.”

After our talk it made sense to me I didn’t need to change the process but my outlook and perception of the word no. Every no I get puts me one closer to the yes I‘m looking for.

It’s that simple. It’s a numbers game. You just have to change your perspective. Why not turn hearing no into a positive?

I’ve heard no six times today—my yeses are coming any time now. Or you could prepare yourself ahead of time for the whole day: I may have to hear no at least 24 times to get the 6 yeses I need today. Then start counting down—play the odds.

Stop fearing rejection and instead view it as simply part of the process.

It’s time to start seeing it in a positive light rather than a negative one.

This best part is that you can apply this outlook to anything in your life because it’s just perception. And as we all know, perception is reality.

Whether its sales, job searching, or asking someone out on a date, you need to find a way to take rejection and turn into drive. Drive is the difference between those who achieve their goals and those who don’t.

Remember how when you were a kid and you wanted something, nothing would stand in your way? If you can channel that same drive, speed bumps don’t have to turn into brick walls.

If you have the drive to ask or try enough times and get through all the failures and let downs, you can get on with the triumphs and victories that come after all those nos you worked so hard to get.

How do you cope with nos so that they don’t keep you from getting to yeses?

Photo by shoothead

About Mark Bryan

Mark Bryan is a salesmen by profession, a gentlemen by nature, and a proud volunteer with Safe Alliance in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also the owner/operator of the organization Keep Charlotte Boring. Connect with Mark on Linkedin.

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