The Worst They Can Say Is “No”

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The Worst They Can Say Is “No”

It is funny how powerful a little two letter word can be.  The word I am talking about is “no”.

So many of us are terrified of hearing that word.

Consequently we strategize and manipulate our lives as much as we can so that we don’t have to risk hearing that word. “If I don’t ask they cannot say no”.

Sometimes when I speak, I’ll ask people to notice what happens to them when I say a certain word to them. Then I say, “no NO! nonononono no no NO! no.”

Typically the response is devastating. Postures droop. Faces look sad. People are looking down. The energy/vitality/aliveness has gone way down. All this from one little two letter word.

If we look at life, it is easy to see how this response got created. Think of all the times you wanted something, had your heart set on something and the authority person said “no”. This hurt and the natural thing is to want to avoid future hurt.

“Come on mom, I know I can jump of the roof using this garbage bag as a parachute. It will be so cool and sooooo much fun. This will be the coolest thing I have ever done.”

Mom, “I said NO! and I mean it.”

And just like that, the great idea, the exciting adventure, lies in pieces at your feet and your heart is broken.

So now as adults we often have this reluctance to ask so that we don’t have to risk hearing “no”.

Here’s two thing though: If we don’t ask, we have already said “NO!” for them. And, the aversion to the word “no” is just some head trash that can be easily changed.

Once we take care of this head trash, you can hear “no” and go, “ok, so what, who’s the next person I should ask”.

My friend Drayton Boylston, Rescue Institute, challenged me the other day to “reach out to offer service to a high level leader that I may have shied away from before”.

I took Drayton up on his challenge. I know someone who is good friends with George Karl, the coach of the Denver Nuggets. I asked her to introduce me to George.

(Any time an athlete is in a slump or is under-performing, they have head trash. So, I know that I can be useful to the Nuggets.)

What’s the worst thing that she could say? If she says “no” then I get to move on to what’s next or try a different approach or . . . If she says anything besides “no” then I have a foot in the door to possibly work with the Nuggets.

As it turns out, she said no. So what!!!! Asking gave me a greater chance of having this happen than not asking ever would have. Now I get to explore other options of getting my foot in the door.

Let me pass on Drayton’s challenge to you: reach out to offer service to a high level leader that you may have shied away from before”.

The very worst that could happen is they say a little two letter word, “no”. If you don’t ask, you have said no for them.

Intending great joy and success for you!

Jonathan Manske

Cerebral Sanitation Engineer

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