There is Beauty in the Word “No”

There is and has always been something about the word “no” that I’ve never been to escape. It is a word that has held varying degrees of weight in my life.

We’ve all been told no. You know how it feels.

For the past few months, “no” is a word I’ve had to confront fairly frequently, and I don’t expect that to change any time soon.

If you’re 20-something and about to finish college like me, this is an odd point in life on many levels.

This is a time in which we are trying to figure out who we are as human beings more than ever. We are trying to decide who to include in our lives and who to distance ourselves from.

What A Time To Be Alive

And we are trying to decide what our passions are, what career paths to take. This is where we enter the danger zone; the risk of being told no goes up pretty high when trying to find work.

So, you work hard to minimize that risk. You prepare a resume that encapsulates your most marketable features and traits. You get your references in order because everybody needs a little help. You think endlessly about possible questions you’ll have to field when you’re in the hot seat, if you make it that far.

And even then, you may still face the wrath of “no.” And that’s a reality I’ve had to face.

Spinning this another way: when you’re sitting in the hot seat, the questioner — often a hiring manager or human resources professional — is also playing the game of risk. Nobody wants to pick the wrong candidate.

For a long time, the word after “no” that would stick endlessly in my mind was “why.” Why was I not picked? Why was I not interviewed? What could I have done differently?

There was this longing to figure out what interviewers and decision makers were saying about me behind closed doors. And I still wonder. That’s human nature, after all. We all want to be wanted and valued.

But what I’m trying to do more of is focus on one key word: perspective.

During a time when I was struggling with this concept, a good friend of mine stumbled upon a video called “The Terror of a No.”


Watching it really made me think about the word and the feelings we associate with it. What stuck out to me was the reasoning behind a lot of “no’s” we get: we don’t fit into people’s plans.

It isn’t necessarily that people want to hurt us or make us feel less than. The truth, unfortunately, is that the time wasn’t right for us. The fit wasn’t right for us. The organization or position wasn’t right for us.

And there is beauty in that.

“No” doesn’t have to be a negative or a blockade. Looking at it from a spiritual angle, a “no” from the Most High could be a setup for a more bountiful “yes” down the line.

It’s all about how you choose to look at the situation.

if I told you I looked at these often-negative situations this way, I would be telling a boldfaced lie. It takes constant effort. Sometimes, we are so sure we deserved that “yes” we doubt ourselves; we become insecure about what we bring to the table.

What I am saying is that we should all strive for that “yes,” but we shouldn’t get down on ourselves because of “no.” It is difficult. It is a process.

But it is not impossible.


How do you deal with facing the “no’s” of life?




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