You Never k“NO”w

You Never k“NO”w

We do not know which of our efforts will produce the breakthrough or success we desire. But the fear to hear NO should not stop you from trying because of never know which of those efforts will be a yes that changes the whole story. I got so many no since I started applying for programs but I have not allowed that to stop me from applying. We keep moving

I have received many No’s but what has kept me going is an abundance mindset,  the belief that for each no, more doors are opened. I may have truly wanted a yes but then the No, when you look back to them in the future, have contributed to the person and opportunities you are able to access.

Stanford researchers recently found that a person’s “basic beliefs about personality can contribute to whether [they] recover from, or remain mired in, the pain of rejection.” Their studies revealed that individuals who have “fixed mindsets” and see personality as more set in stone are more likely to blame themselves and their own “toxic personalities” as a basis for NO. When they experience rejection, they tend to second guess and criticize themselves and regard future engagements as less hopeful. On the other hand, individuals who have a “growth mindset” see their personalities as something that can be altered or developed. They’re able to look at the No as an opportunity to grow and change. They’re hopeful that their future endeavours be it relationships, scholarships application, job etc. will improve, and get better. If we can embrace this idea that life is flexible and that losses offer us an opportunity, we can grow more within ourselves and suffer less when we experience rejection.

In addition, be mindful of your inner critical voice when you get a no because it’s the filter through which we interpret and view the circumstance. That critical inner voice can be destructive in the sense that during that period of receiving a no, you are quick to say “see I told you, you will not make it” or give you bad advice of never trying a particular thing again for fear of rejection. Challenge this inner critical voice with actions that strengthen your resolve even amidst no.

While we shouldn’t allow our feelings to take over how we behave, we shouldn’t try to shut them off entirely. Feel the pain but don’t dwell on it. A more adaptive strategy may involve allowing ourselves the freedom to feel our feelings while remembering that feelings come in waves.

In conclusion, we never understand life moving forward but only when we look back do we see the whole picture. I don’t know how many no’s you have received. Personally, I have so many that in my email box I have tagged them open doors. Don’t allow the “nos” stop you from being your best self but allow it to spur you to greater height because you never know which no changes the whole equation of your story. Keep acting on your dreams.


  1. Joanna Asiimwe

    A wise friend once told me that God provides for us even through what He withholds. She sighted the story of the lame man at the beautiful gate, saying that if Peter and John had had silver or gold (for which the man was begging), they would have given him that, and he would have remained lame. But their lack of silver and gold enabled the man to get something of much more worth than silver and gold! They left him able to walk (and the blessings that come with the use of legs!)

    Thank you for your article, Stephen. You truly never k(no)w!

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