How the Power of No Leads to Success

How the Power of No Leads to Success

Do you hate being rejected?

I do.

Who doesn’t?

I used to suffer from it a lot. From not being invited to certain events to being overlooked for a job to not having the person you like, like you.

When people say no to you it feels like they are saying no because you suck, you’re not good enough, you don’t deserve it. You cringe at the thought of being rejected.

The reality is that when people say no, it’s not always about you. When I look back at times that I’ve said no to people or things, it’s not always because I’m not interested. I just know what I want or I have other obligations. 

Don’t Take It Personally

So if someone says no to you, it’s easy to take it personally and let our thoughts begin to spiral. Remember, there can be a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with you. For example, you went for a job interview and it went fine. You thought you aced it, but the company never called you back. 

It could be because they decided to go with someone else and you’re not a good fit. But it could also be that the company decided to re-organize and not fill the position.

The point is sometimes a part of the no has nothing to do with you. It’s circumstantial, it’s timing, sometimes the situation is out of your control.


Consider Yourself Lucky

Dalai Lama once said, “Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”

And this is true. When I look at the things that didn’t work out for me, I’m so grateful they didn’t. So nowadays, I’m better at dealing with the ‘no’s’, Don’t get me wrong, I still get disappointed and I let myself dwell in it for bit but I’m better at getting over it.

The Game and the Power of No

“If you don’t go after what you want, you never will. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you are always in the same place.” – Nora Roberts 

A big part of voice over is building your client list. You have to reach out to potential leads and voice over agents ask if they have an internal voice over roster or willing to accept you as a talent. 

The Game of No can be played in various aspects of life. Be it personal or professional.  i.e. freelance writing, partnering and collaborating with brands, finding your life partner. So I started playing the Game of No.

I first heard of this game through Rich Litvin, author of The Prosperous Coach.  The concept behind this game is to get out of your mind and to get out of your comfort zone.

You work beyond the fear of rejection – the thing that so often prevents you from taking action to create whatever you want in your life.

How it Works

The idea is to get out there and get started.

  • Make pitches, proposals, reach out, etc.
  • Ask for information and leads
  • Do the task you need to gain momentum

The more you do, the closer you get to a Yes. You start to focus on the things you can control – the task you have to get results.

Because lets face it you have little or no control over how people will respond, so be prepared for lots of ‘no’s’. And by collecting the ‘no’s’ it becomes a game.

You start to feel numb when people say no to you. And you start to see no’s as a win because every no you get becomes like a point. And as the points add up, it inches you closer to a Yes. This is the power of collecting No’s’.

The Progress

The best part is along the way, as you start taking action you are also practicing your skills.

You start to make progress. According to Harvard Business Review, making daily progress with meaningful work is one of the most important things to boost internal motivation. 

James Clear, a researcher in behavioral psychology, wrote an article on how improving every little thing by one percent can lead to extraordinary long-term improvement that will help you achieve your goals.

He talks about Dave Brailsford’s approach behind the marginal profit pooling concept in 2010. It helped him lead the British cycling team to win the Tour de France a few years later.

Under Brailsford’s leadership, he looked for one percent improvement everywhere, from cycling-related areas to other aspects that could affect the cyclist’s overall well-being. Every small gain led to the team’s success. Every effort you do will lead to your voice over career success.

Make Better Every Day Decisions

As Clear puts it, “It’s so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making better decisions every day.” 

While improvement by just one percent may not seem to make a difference on a daily basis, the overall outcome of choosing to develop and practice successful daily habits compounds and can be astonishing.

Success is a few simple disciplines that are practiced every day; while failure is just a few errors of judgment that are repeated every day. – Jim Rohn

It takes time to achieve success. It does not happen overnight.

So take action and practice the daily habits that are important to get you closer towards attaining what you want. If you find yourself getting stuck or not making progress, ask yourself what else can I do to change something? Or what can I do differently?

Look for the one percent improvement that you can make that gets you better results leading you to success. And keep collecting those ‘no’s’.

Photo by: Guille Alvarez




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