Tiny Wisdom: Not Taking No for an Answer

“Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Many times in life we ask questions of people and then put way too much weight on their answers.

We ask people we admire if they think we have what it takes, and then consider their opinions fact. We ask people we respect if they think we should take a chance, and then follow their advice as law. We ask people if they’ll take a chance on us, and then interpret their response to be a reflection of our potential.

Other people can’t tell us how far we can go. They can’t tell us how our talents could evolve. They can’t tell us if our risks will pay off. Other people’s “nos” aren’t what limit our future–it’s our own “nos” that do that.

The other day, I read an interview with television producer and former American Idol judge Simon Cowell. He admitted that if Lady Gaga had auditioned for the show, he would have instantly rejected her because of her over-the-top persona. Like her or not, Lady Gaga has emerged as a force to be reckoned within the music industry–a bona fide record-breaking pop icon, who likely isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

Odds are she heard her fair share of “nos,” as does anyone with a dream.

Sometimes we hear “no” before we even get a chance to contact the person we really want to reach. We hear “no” from assistants, and publicists, and agents, and associates, and a number of other gatekeepers. Those “nos” are rarely final since a gate is made to be opened.

We can take all these “nos” and use them as proof that we shouldn’t move forward with our goals. Or we can learn from them, release them, and then keep moving ahead, driven by a deep internal yes that refuses to be ignored.

Today if you come up against rejection, remember: This does not mean “no.” It just means “not this way.”

Photo by Akuppa

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She started the site after struggling with depression, bulimia, c-PTSD, and toxic shame so she could recycle her former pain into something useful and inspire others do the same. She recently created the Breaking Barriers to Self-Care eCourse to help people overcome internal blocks to meeting their needs—so they can feel their best, be their best, and live their best possible life. If you’re ready to start thriving instead of merely surviving, you can learn more and get instant access here.

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