“No” is an invitation to try again

The last few weeks have been tough. 

You know that my beautiful mother-in-law passed away, I wrote about it last week.

I’ve forged ahead because I have to keep going and my to-do list is never ending (as is yours!).

I had to dig deep. And it made me reflect on my resilience.

Resilience is your ability to recover when things go wrong.

You’re focusing on your career and trying new things that push you outside of your comfort zone.

And sometimes it doesn’t go well.

You asked for a longer timeline and the Project Manager said no. You asked your client to get back to you by the end of the day and they didn’t do it. You asked a sales person to give you more lead time and they scoffed.

You may find your mind spinning all night over things that went wrong during the day. Then you feel shame about your mistakes or failure, which keeps you in a spiral of self-doubt, affecting your attitude and lowering your performance. 

Three things you can do to increase your resilience

1. SELF TALK

Everything starts in your mind, what that voice in your head is saying.

If an Olympic athlete doesn’t win the gold medal, they don’t give up. They don’t say, “Well, that didn’t go well, I’m never doing that again! That was awful!”

They think, “I’m going to practice more. I’m going to try a different way. I’m going to do it again.”

You already know that every time you take a chance, it may work and it may not.

You can’t control what the other person says, but you can control your own mind.

Resilience starts by recognizing that negative voice and turning it into a positive one like the Olympic athlete, “I’m going to practice more. I’m going to try a different way. I’m going to do it again.”

2. FIND SOMETHING GOOD 

Next, remind yourself what went well. Even if it’s, “I tried something I’ve never done before.”

The only guarantee when you try something new is that you don’t know what’s going to happen.

People are irrational and unpredictable. They may yell at you or lash out if they’re having a bad day.

The key is to find one good thing. Then remind yourself of that good thing whenever you start spinning (or obsessing) on the bad.

“I didn’t get what I asked for, but at least I tried!”

3. TAKE ONE SMALL STEP FORWARD

There’s something to be said for the “get right back on the horse” analogy. So you tried something and it didn’t work.

Try it again with someone else or on a different day.

Or find out more about what happened and why. If you got shut down with a no or said something you regret in a meeting, find a way to go back to that person and ask a clarifying question.

“I noticed that you didn’t like my suggestion, would you be willing to talk about what you’re thinking?”

“I shared an example yesterday and I got the sense that you disagreed. I’d love to hear more about your perspective.”

Make your question about the other person. We all love to talk about ourselves!

The Bottom Line

What would your life look like if you were able to apply that TRY AGAIN attitude to your life, especially when things get hard and you can’t immediately see a way around it?

In life, think of a “no” as an invitation to try again.

Warmly,
Melissa

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