The Power of Words: Why Hearing No Can Be a Positive Thing

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Chances are you'll hear 'no' more than once during the span of your life, but here's why it doesn't have to be a bad thing.

“I regret to inform you that…”

Those six words can hit like a sledgehammer. Over the past few weeks, I've seen them pop up in my inbox more times than I care to count. But, let me tell you why those multiple “No’s” can actually be a good thing.

Over the course of the past semester, I've had panel discussions with amazing people, ranging from successful entrepreneurs, bloggers, presidents and vice presidents of companies. They may have all had different titles but they all had one thing in common about their story. They’ve all heard “No” over and over again.

Being told no can be extremely discouraging, especially when it’s something you want badly, but you have to define what no means to you. To me, no means I’m one step closer to a yes. Having a mindset like that sets me up to use my no’s as motivation to work towards my yes rather than sulk and be upset about being turned down.

At this time of year I have been having a lot of conversations with my peers who are stressed out about finding an internship. Either they’ve received plenty of no’s or no response at all. Although it is challenging, I remind them all of my philosphy: no is one step closer to that amazing yes.

I've applied to several internships thus far and getting accepted to my first few felt great, but when I received my first no it was a wake up call. See, hearing yes back-to-back can create a feeling of entitlement, almost like being spoiled into knowing that I am going to get something. Now, I take no’s and I understand that it was not meant for me, however I know that it is a test to see how bad I want it and how hard I will go for it.

So, to my girls searching for internships, jobs, or even those who are already out in the real world— don’t take no as a bad thing. The next time you get a no just smile. Yes, I know it’s challenging, but it’ll make you work for that yes.

In the words of Beyoncé, “I dream it, I work hard, I grind ‘til I own it.” Word hard and grind until those no’s turn to a yes, and when you receive that yes, know that you’ve earned it and you will do everything to prove that you deserved it. 

Asia Milia Ware (@missasiamilia) is a junior, Strategic Communications major at Hampton University. She is a journalist that is a fashion and fitness guru.

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