Jul 30, 2020 in Career Coaching

When You Stop At 'No' and Don't Ask 'WHY'

"No" is a strongly negative word. Don't limit yourself by that, ask WHY instead.

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What happens when we receive the answer "NO" when applying for a job, asking for a raise, or applying for a loan?

An article on Psychology Today by Andrew Newberg M.D. and Mark Waldman says that hearing or seeing the word "NO" releases dozens of stress-releasing hormones and neurotransmitters which disrupt the normal functioning of the brain. And lingering on "no's" and other negative words can damage key structures that regulate memory, feelings, and emotions.

Hearing "NO" in response to a question or application is something everyone, everywhere has and will experience throughout their lives. Asking your parents for an increase in your allowance when you were young, applying to your first job, asking for a promotion, applying for a home loan... No is an inevitable part of each of our lives.

If no's are inevitable, what can we do to combat their negative effects, both emotional and mental?

I once heard a very wise man say:

 

"People stop at NO without asking WHY"

I think the solution is simple. Far too often when we receive the word no, we make that the conclusion of the story. How many times have we turned back and asked why after someone said "NO" to us? Why can I not get a raise? Why did I get declined for the loan? Why am I not eligible for that promotion?

By stopping at "NO", we are limiting ourselves to the lessons, growth, and pivoting moments that happen when we get denied or declined. I put to you, that if we did not stop at "NO" but rather sought out to discover why, even if we are fearful, we have the opportunity to learn from each experience, restrain the effects that the word no has on our lives, and move forward with an even better outcome than if we just accepted the word.

What happens if you were just a few chores away from receiving an increase in allowance, or maybe your manager wanted to see how'd you react to a no when you asked for a promotion, or maybe you were just a few credit points short of receiving the loan? There are so many lessons to learn from receiving no in a situation that you only benefit from when you ask why.

So, I challenge you - when life hands you "NO's", ask why!

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