Most of us have been trained to think that yes and no are completely opposite constructs. The former usually has positive connotation, and the latter, negative. When we are told NO, by a partner, family member, boss, or even our higher power, most of us feel rejected in some way.
Trust me; I know first-hand how the resonance of No can viscerally and pervasively sting. It often feels like a blow right to our gut, our literal viscera, which happens to house our second, but equally as potent brain. A blow to our core, both our metaphorical center we are told to find in yoga class, and our basic belief system. Receiving a No response has an uncanny way of instigating our inevitable human neocortex nagging: the “I’m not good, worthy, deserving, lovable enough anyway” thought loop. Basically, what I’m saying is this: hearing No hurts. Like hell. Sometimes like more than whatever we think hell hurts like.
The reality, though, is that this is only a perceived rejection.
There is infinite possibility in the word NO. No lets us Know. No is a direct message announcing to us that whatever it is we had been hoping for was actually not right for us! Whether it was a relationship we thought we couldn’t live without, or a promotion we thought would make our work-life more satisfying, if the answer is No, we can be unequivocally certain that those things would not lead us to the fulfillment of our deepest desires, and would therefore not be in our best interest.
Sometimes we go from yes to yes because those yes’s are crucial to our journey. Without certain yes’s, we would not have, for example, dated the ex who made us realize we won’t accept being treated without respect. When the answer is No, not only do we learn to seek the right opportunities, where yes’s abound, but we clearly also don’t need that person, thing, promotion, to learn a new lesson or the same one over again.
The bottom line is that the perceived rejection of a NO is one of the worst feelings in life. In fact, some kinds of rejections hurt so much that they activate the same brain systems as physical injury does. There is no way to get around the pain.
But, one way to feel more peace of mind is to take a step back after that initial sting, and consciously remind ourselves that hearing No has Nada to do with our intrinsic worth. In fact, No is really a YES!…to moving onward and upward.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, insights, experiences, and guidance in the comments below.
Dr. Jen @BrainCurves