What Does ‘No’ Mean To You?

It’s funny how much power two little letters can have.

Take ‘No’ as an example.

Get a ‘Yes’ from someone and the whole world is our oyster.

Get a ‘No’ and the world feels a little colder and seems like it’s turned against us.

Go back through any memory from your childhood and those ‘No’ moments are probably still there.

  • No, you can’t have a new bike like the one your neighbor’s riding around on.
  • No, you can’t have a dog, even though you tried your best to be mature enough to have one.
  • No, you can’t grow your hair, or shave it off.

And later on in life….

  • That girl/boy that said no to that dance or going out with you.
  • No, you can’t have the car, you’re not old enough.
  • No, you didn’t get that job.
  • No, you can’t have that bank loan.
  • And on and on it goes.

For most of us,  hearing the world ‘No’ usually means there’s something wrong with us. We’re not good enough, we’re too stupid, we’re too tall, small or a million other things.

And we look for any explanation to give us a reason for that answer.

  • Was it my bad breath?
  • Was it my lack of talent?
  • Was it that skirt I wore/or didn’t wear?
  • Was it that stupid snorting noise I made when I tried to laugh?
  • Was it that I didn’t make enough eye contact/or less eye contact at the  interview?
  • And on and on it goes.

On the other side, that person never considered any of those things to come up with that answer.  The same way when you say ‘No’ to someone’s request, you never think along those lines, it’s just a simple, ‘No.’

But as writers and content producers, that ‘No’ feels like there’s something wrong with us.

  • That ‘No’ we got from readers on that new book series that didn’t sell well. – Means we’re a terrible writer.
  • That ‘No’ we got when that blog post we spent hours on vanished into oblivion because no one read it. – Means we’re not a blogger worth reading or promoting.
  • That ‘No’ we got when no one responded to that email we sent.  – Means that no one on our list likes us. Now what did we do to make them feel like that?

Whereas the answer could be much simpler.

  • We’re writing in a genre that doesn’t suit you.
  • We picked a weak blog title that wasn’t enticing enough for people to click on.
  • We had a weak email subject line, and sent it at the wrong time of day.

So what do you hear when you hear the word, ‘No?’

Do you look for everything that’s wrong with you?

Or do you just take it as just two letters that don’t have any reflection on who you are as a person?

If not, then maybe it’s time you should.