It’s Not Your Job to Say No to Yourself
Have you ever said no to yourself? I definitely had. I’m talking about thoughts like “Why bother applying? I doubt the school will ever accept me “or” This business idea will not work. I’m too old / too young / too inexperienced. “
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Or maybe, “He never met me. With the same success I can move on. ” Or, “My boss won’t promote me anyway. Why would I ask at all? “
As far as I can tell, we all doubt ourselves from time to time. The problem, of course, is that if you say no to yourself, it doesn’t stop you from getting started at all. When you choose not to act, you give up opportunities.
Once I figured it out, I started to follow a simple little rule that helped me stick to things and persist, even though I would normally give up. This is how it works and why you should use it.
Don’t give up at the first “no”
Most of us will do our best to avoid failure. (Why do you think celebrities, congressmen, and athletes say and do so many stupid things to cover up scandals of all sorts? They desperately want to avoid failure for as long as possible.)
I think this is natural. Nobody wants to lose. On a smaller scale, you and I also want to prevent failure. That’s why we come up with reasons why we shouldn’t do what we want to do. And that’s why we give up our ideas as soon as we receive any negative feedback.
But here’s the thing: No rarely means impossible. “No, rarely means never.” Usually, if someone says no to you, what they really mean is not now or not.
With this in mind, I started to follow a simple rule that helps me overcome negative reviews and gives me a little more persistence when I usually call it quitting.
Here’s a rule: don’t give up on the first no.
Maybe you are saying no to yourself. Maybe someone shot you. In any case, don’t stop when you first hear “no”. Negative feedback is a signal to correct your idea, not abandon it. There is no reason to act like you are destined to fail. Instead, use the word “no” as a trigger to change your approach.
How to overcome your fear of failure
One of the common reasons we say no to ourselves is because we don’t think we’re ready yet. “I’m not experienced enough.” Or: “I need to know more.” Or, “I need to come up with a better plan first.”
We do this because we want to be successful from the very beginning.
But I’m beginning to realize that it’s time to let go of the need to be amazing and start taking action. You don’t have to be fantastic from the start, you just have to be there from the start .
If you set your bar to “awesome,” it will be terribly difficult to get started. – Seth Godin
When you start your first business, you are likely to make thousands of mistakes. When you write the first draft of your book, it will probably be awful. When you first ask someone out on a date, you will probably say something stupid. When you first go to the gym, you will probably feel out of place. When you surround yourself with people who are better than you, you probably feel incompetent or unreasonable.
If you are in this for a long time, then this will not be the only time you will do it. You will have a lot of time to get amazing. Anything can happen when you start, but only if you start .
Of course, if you really want to, you can come up with reasons why now is not the right time, this is the wrong place, and you are not quite ready … but I don’t think this is your job.
It’s not your job to say no to yourself. It’s not your job to deny yourself opportunities. It’s not your job to hinder your own progress. There are enough people in the world who will do this for you.
Your job is to accept, not ignore. Your job is to chase, not prevent. Your job is to tell yourself yes, not no.
This is your job.
It’s Not Your Job to Say No to Yourself | James Clear