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Don't Be Scared of the N-word!

Updated: Oct 2, 2022

How do you take no for an answer?

By Equalla Foster

We've all heard it. We've all used it at some point firmly or casually. We've all been on the receiving end of it. And when a person has high expectations regarding something and this word is presented, it can make you want to fade away. This word can help set healthy boundaries or carry a mighty rejection punch to the gut. This is a word that may create other feelings like helplessness, sadness, anger, or disappointment at minimum.

A word that contains only 2 letters but yet can be so powerful. The word is "no".

Instead of trembling in fear over being told "no" or shrinking back because you're trying to avoid being refused or halting on pursuing your God-given dreams because you are tired of the closed doors, try these tips instead to boost your confidence and graciously use the "no" to propel you forward towards the "yes".

Tip #1 - Stay Humble

Nothing will embarrass you more than operating in a prideful state. Be mindful of how you react or respond to the "no". If you are diligently trying to build rapport and creditability, displaying an improper attitude or performance will burn up that which you worked hard to establish.

Remember, scripture tells us pride comes before destruction (Proverbs 16:18). And also, God gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). I know that I share about humility quite a bit, but as leaders this can be one of our greatest areas of deficiency.

Tip #2 - Ask questions

There's always a lesson. If you are on the receiving end of a "no", make sure that you follow it with clarifying questions. It is important, if given the opportunity to understand why the "no" has been presented. By asking the right questions this will help you with becoming aware of any weak or blind spots that you can work on, but also allowing you to gain perspective from the giver's vantage point. The greatest leaders are not only able to train and empower, but also continue to learn as students.

"Starve your distractions, feed your focus."

Credit: Unknown

Tip #3 - What's your mission and vision?

As people that are career-focused, entrepreneurs, ministers, or even marriage & family-oriented, it is vital to understand and recall often your why-purpose. That is your mission and vision of what you are passionate about. On our journey there will be so many things to try to get us off-course. Don't give all your time and energy into the distractions but reset your gaze to focus on what's most significant and purposeful to keep you on the appropriate track. The destined doors will open at the appointed time.

Tip #4 - Chin up

I understand that your disappointed and the sting from the denial is lingering. That's normal. However, your confidence is not in yourself alone (though you have a responsibility in your life), it also should not be in those we deem more influential or authoritative, but it should be in Christ Jesus. He should be the secure foundation on which you build upon.

The "no" is connecting you to your "yes." It is a steppingstone and not a tomb stone. It may take more time, more patience, and more persevering, but it is coming. Stay in your lane. DO NOT fall into the pity trap of comparing your journey to someone else's. Keep consulting with the Lord and seeking wise-godly counsel from those who have the fruit produced or receipts to show that they can speak into your life in such a way.

Leader, time is precious, and a no can only be hindering if it's allowed.

So again, I ask "how do you take no for an answer?"

By graciously using the "no" as fuel to propel you forward towards the yes!

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