How many times have you been told NO in your last few days?
I get so tired of people telling me NO! Maybe you’re the same way.
It comes from everywhere, all the time. But now days, the no is a creative negative. It’s not that people are telling you no, they are telling you some rendition to get them out from what you are asking.
“I’m too busy”.
“Maybe you should look over there.”
“That’s a great idea, but I’m not equipped to handle what you’re asking.”
All versions of the word NO.
I’ve come to realize that one person’s “NO” is another person’s opportunity
We have come to feel that the word NO is our impenetrable barrier and as soon as one “authority” in line offers their barrier it becomes our stopgap at which all productivity ceases.
Maybe your experience hasn’t been this way, but it took me a LONG time to realize that just wasn’t true…It just meant, they would do it.
I remember the first time this became a sudden reality for me, and my wife still makes fun of me about it. It was when we were purchasing our last home. It was a dilapidated property and it would be the largest risk we had ever assumed so naturally I was nervous.
I brought in every professional I could think of to help me asses the property and with every new authority, I grew more and more fearful of the risk downfall. I turned the property down like 8 times, but thankfully after every conversation, there was my wife reminding me of two super important things: OUR POTENTIAL and THE PROPERTIES POTENTIAL
Don’t ever neglect the positive appraoches in your life that are necessary to remind you of the potential that exists around you, in you and through you. Without those things, we will always hit early barriers that will prevent us from reaching new heights.
Sometimes those voices are void from your life. I’ve read so many books, stories of people who have only become that for someone else because they didn’t have that voice speaking into their lives.
I can’t thank her enough now for not stopping to believe even when I would everyday. She talked me back into the deal more times than I can count.
Honestly, take a look at the people around you who are inspiring you, speaking life into you, and refusing to allow you to give up on less than your potential simply because someone told you NO.
I would take that a step further and make it a point to send them a message. Gratitude is everything and they know they helped you level up your life, and you need to acknowledge that too.
I wrote about that more extensively in this post– The People Who Got You There
One of the great reasons why we buckle at the towering potential in front of us is simply fear of the unknown. Fear is a beast and one that will render any person useless, unless they have some experience with fear and know how to navigate through it.
I’m not a soldier in the military sense. I’ve always wanted to be. I believe that one day one of my kids is going to be in some branch of the military. I’ve always said that my son, Ryder, will eventually be a Navy Seal. He’s always been on the light side of things. He’s currently battling a nutrition deficiency where his body refuses to absorb nutrition properly, so even just growing for him is a huge problem. My prayer is that the Lord will fully heal him from this and give him the strength and determination to become a mighty warrior.
While I’ve never been a soldier, I have studied a lot of what it takes to become a soldier. And I know that a huge part of their initial training is to force them to face fears they would not otherwise confront. The purpose of those situations is to give them experience with fear and help them see their own power to overcome it. They have to begin to understand that the fear they face in training will be multiplied 100X in a real battlefield.
We need that same experience and exposure!
Naturally, we are going to avoid and navigate around fear, but for most of us, not on a warriors battlefield but on the battlefield of your career, your parenting, your marriage, your dreams, fear is a hollow threat.
We stand captivated that something might go wrong and that fear builds. It simply inflates.
You’ve got to get to the point where you see the potential of the success that could come beyond the fear.
What could you accomplish if you confront and move beyond the fear?
What reward lies in potential if you can fight the feeling of cowering in front of this beast?
It can be a thousand different things.
For us, it has been a house that we bought on the cheap, fixed up and sold for max profit.
It also was 4 children that we have adopted.
The last was a private adoption that I allowed to restrain me and hold me hostage for nearly 2 years. My problem was not that some one else was telling me no, it was ME telling ME no!
Finally, when I confronted that fear and changed my NO to MAYBE SO, new life began to form and it resulted in a beautiful little girl that fills my heart with so much joy.
Before you put your desire to death, before you load that thing into a casket and line up your pallbearers to carry your dream to death, maybe you should give it one more shot and think objectively, positively about the potential, YOUR POTENTIAL TO MAKE IT WORK!
Steven Pressfield wrote an astounding book, The War of Art, and in it he goes for the jugular when it comes to the defeat of resistance. I love his approach, it’s genius and has me confronting so many things in my life that can succumb to the threat of lethargy.
Resistance, at its core, is that thing that seeks to alienate you and render you ineffective for everything that is productive.
It’s the thing that compels you to STAY IN BED when your goal is to get up and kill it in the gym.
It’s that unseen element that tells you to WAIT ANOTHER DAY before you start that project you’ve wanted to do for so long.
Resistance is the invisible enemy of an automated NO.
The problem is that it’s not able to be rendered ineffective once and for all. It’s an enemy that you must face daily and determine that as the sun dawns across the horizon, that you will, once again, determine your Yes’s.
Let me give you some keys that help your YES.
- Plan ahead– This is simpler than you think it is. It’s as simple as forethought. Tomorrow morning it’s my intention to get up early and do my morning workout. So before I go to bed, I’m going to eliminate some of the potential excuses that could hinder me from accomplishing my plan.
- I’m going to get out my exercise clothes and have them ready.
- I’m going to premake coffee. The smell of coffee literally has the power to get me up out of bed.
Transfer all this to whatever the situation you need to pre-plan and decide your own details.
- Determined your desired end– One of the glaring reasons why we allow our potential to be so undercut is simply because we don’t know when we will have arrived where we intended to go. So much of our lives is built around accidental success. Stop accidently accomplishing some good things and decide, with intentional thinking, of where you want to arrive and then figure out how to get there. It’s the age old illustration of you don’t pull out the map and just go for a drive. You decide where you want to end up and then pull out the map.
- Talk it out– A plan will only ever be a pipe dream while you keep it to yourself. Discuss your idea with people you trust and solicit their input.
Case in point. Last year we ventured out to purchase a property we had been looking at for a long time. It was something Crystal and I had long wanted to accomplish to own property we could eventually build on and we finally found our place. To make it work the way we wanted, we would need to purchase this tract of land but also sell off a portion of it. That was the only way we would even be able to think about fulfilling our dream. So my plan was to find a buyer that would commit to purchase before we even came to the settlement table.
My talk it out plan was to take it to my dad and ask his input. I boldly told him my dream and asked his input. His words were, “it sounds like a pipedream, but it’s not impossible.”
October 1, 2020 we sat down at the table with our Lawyer and bank officer to close the deal and as part of that deal I slide across the table, a signed intent-to-purchase agreement of 1/2 of the property we were buying to be settled at a later date. It was as good as cash in the bank to the people I was working with.
That would have never happened if I would have yielded to the negativity and if I gave in to the surmounting obstacles that were in front of me.
Your potential will be decided based on what you determine and what you decide you will overcome.
Your potential will be decided based on what you determine and what you decide you will overcome Click To Tweet
- Make a deadline- Deadlines are a psychological help to overcoming the things that you want to resort back to NO. When you put something on the calendar and sequentially, on your weekly to do, it becomes that glaring thing that reminds you, WORK ON THIS. Be intentional about it. You’re basically saying, you don’t want to get to another place where you allowed it to pass.
- Use the tools you know work for you– Only you know what these are. Because of that, I can only tell you what works for me, in hopes that it might get your brain moving in a direction of Yeah that’s my process, or I should try that!
- Full Focus Planner. I’d be lost without my Full Focus Planner. I’ve been using it for years now and it’s totally revolutionized my thinking, my determination and my productivity. I just get more done by having a tool like this to think forward.
- Google Calendar Integrations. It’s one of the tabs that never gets shut on my Macbook Pro. It’s one of the static apps on my iPhone and iPad. It’s aways within reach because it’s where I keep MY schedule so I know where I can flex and where I need to guard.
- Evernote. Evernote becomes the brains of the operation. It’s where I store ideas and thoughts and the beginnings of blog posts or sermon ideas.
- Dictation. This one is new to me, but I’ve been using dictation a ton lately when it comes to putting thoughts into wherever. I will pull up an app, push that mic button and start talking. It’s amazing what you can dictate and later revise, when you’re driving, and that becomes hands free!
- These are just a few of the things I use to keep myself on track and moving, but by far the most impactful one of these, Full Focus Planner. I know it won’t work for everyone and many will balk at the price, but, to me, it’s a worthwhile investment in my own productivity.
So you are armed for overcoming now! I’ve taught you want I know works, I’ve used it before and I’ll use it a thousand time again. But I’m also curious, What’s been your experience? What has worked for your when it comes to overcoming the obstacles of your potential.