No, you didn’t get the job of your dreams.
No, you’re not going to go on a second date with the dreamboat who restored your faith in humanity.
No, your best friend doesn’t want to go to the same restaurant as you for dinner.
No, your child is not going to just do as you say. No, no, no.
No can be very hard to take. It sometimes feels like a denial of our inner selves, as if who we are is not good enough. It can also mean that something we desire very strongly is not going to become a part of our lives. No can invoke a sense of loss, loneliness and desperation.
My life has been filled with the word no. There have been uncountable times when others have said this much feared word to me, or implied it through their actions or lack thereof.
I hate the word no so much that I have sometimes had difficulty saying it to others, especially when I was younger and more eager to please. Do you want to take advantage of me? Sell me something I don’t need? Waste my time? Sure, go right on ahead!
Despite the negative associations we may have with the word no, there are many beautiful gifts revealed every time we say or hear that strong little word. Think back on all of the moments when you were handed a no. I know that for me I feel a sense of relief and gratitude that at least 80% of those things which were so important to me at the time did not materialize. No to one thing means yes to at least 1,000 others.
Every door that closes in our face forces us to explore further and further down the hallway of our lives. It is only through this process of searching that we can discover the most valuable gift of all—ourselves. The word no not only makes us stronger and more resilient, it brings us closer to who we really are, what we need in our lives, and our most authentic life purpose. The more we hear no, the more we are able to carve out and define that unique special area where only we can flourish.
Author: Jessica R. Dreistadt
Editors: Travis May