When the answer is NO

“I never lose. I either win or I learn.” Nelson Mandela

What happens to you when the answer is NO? What do you hear and how do you feel? For some of us hearing ‘NO’ can cause us to be trapped in what Miguel Ruiz calls “personal importance”. This is another way of saying taking things personally or assuming that things are about you.

In our interactions with other people, sometimes the answer will be NO. Adopting a growth mind-set will help you get beyond falling into the trap of assuming that things are about you and thus taking it personal. Instead a growth mind set will allow you to view outcomes as either winning or learning.

Adopting this mind-set means:

• you will never lose,
• you will accept other perspectives and attempt to understand them,
• as a result you will relate better to others,
• It will remove the fear of getting things wrong,
• boost your confidence and encourage you to keep trying.

As Ruiz tells us “nothing another person does is because of you” equally nothing you feel is because of someone else, rather, it is just your reaction.

To find people who say yes may require us to meet many people who say no. A curious mind and a robust sense of purpose borne out of a growth mind-set, will enable you to hear things differently and hopefully prompt you to do things differently in the future. So, for example, instead of hearing NO, you now hear – not now but maybe in the future. This change in perspective prevents you from taking things personally.

Adopting a growth mind-set of win or learn will help you navigate uncertainty and stay motivated and curious when the answer is no.
So instead of being fearful of hearing NO and therefore not trying at all, get stuck in to winning and learning. This will guarantee you stand out from the crowd and keep you moving towards your goals.

Ruiz, DM. (1997). The Four Agreements. California: Amber-Allen Publishing. Inc.

The views expressed by contributors in this blog series are those of the contributor and not necessarily of the MRII.