In a world of unlimited choices and limited means, choosing when to say Yes and when to say No can define our fate. Yes opens up possibilities and is closely followed by that wonderful question “how?” but No seems to be far more final.
For me, No is a feeling to be explored, examined and challenged. It gets to the bottom of who we are and can actually lead to some of the most wonderful self-realizations. There should always be a caveat behind it – we should ask ourselves “why not?”
Jobseekers have a dream to be successful in their careers, but to make this dream a reality they will have to say No to certain things in order to pave the way to Yes later on.
No doesn’t always mean No.
When we ask ourselves “why not?” there is (nearly) always a way to change the status quo.
You might be filling out an application form and realize that you aren’t quite qualified enough for the role. That could mean that you will be less likely to secure the role on the face of things. Telling yourself Yes to every such role would entail a huge amount of wasted effort – only a fool would do that. However, there are a number of ways in which your No could be turned into a Yes. For certain roles, you might feel such an affinity with the company that you feel that your initial lack of experience could be compensated by your passion. Alternatively, you might decide to go away and do some training and apply in a year or two. Passion and time are two factors that give your dreams a chance to unfold.
The path from No to Yes has many permutations – you simply have to believe that it is a possible outcome. The moment that you stop believing, No becomes an impassable brick wall and you will never want to face it again. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone in this life.
Having talked about the malleable properties of the word No, it also plays a useful role in creating boundaries for ourselves and those around us. There are certain behaviors where No most definitely always means No, and this is what makes us feel safe. However, as we grow and develop, our boundaries can also shift and what was previously unthinkable becomes a possibility. I call this divine inspiration, and it comes from a deeper part of yourself that knows you need to say Yes to this thing.
An example in my own life was with public speaking: I was always afraid of it, still not a big fan, but years ago I had to find a speaker for an association/group I belonged to. At the moment I accepted the task of finding one, the group leader suggested that if I don’t find one maybe I could do it. I immediately said No, and internally said No. But it clearly wasn’t a No, because several months later I stood up in a conference room of roughly 45 people and gave a talk on something that interested me and it was a great experience.
What happened between me saying No at the start and the end result of me saying Yes? I allowed the notion of “why not?” to sit with me. In doing so I think I gave it the space it needed to consider why not me, why not talk about something that is important and helpful to others? Eventually, I got over that No and I feel it made me a better person for feeling the fear but moving in the direction of fun while I tried to overcome that fear.
Believing that “No doesn’t always mean No” is a very provocative feeling. It tells me that something that wasn’t possible might be possible at some point in the future. No unlike a dream. I think that dreams have a poor reputation these days – if you are a “dreamer” then you are someone who is constantly reaching for unattainable goals. There is always a chance that they could come true, and that chance is helped or hindered by what we permit or prohibit in our lives, at any given time to suit our needs.
If you intend to feel good, you will be more likely to achieve that dream because, like water, your needs will find the path of least resistance to achieving that intention.
Turning our No into a Yes will help us to turn our dreams into our reality.