For most people, saying no to possibilities seems to be an ingrained response. "No, that won't work. No, that's not realistic. No, I can't do something like that."
In the last 10+ years of helping people create careers that energize and inspire them, here's one thing I've learned about that initial no:
It's often complete and utter bunk.
Frequently, when I challenge people to take a second look at their initial negative assumption, they discover that it wasn't accurate.
Maybe they are making a flawed assumption. "I can't do that, because nobody would want to help" becomes, "Wow, I reached out and there were people who were actually delighted to help." The assumption that nobody would want to help creates an obstacle that doesn't actually exist.
Or maybe they are wearing their black-n-white glasses (a prescription far too many of us wear). They look at something they want to do, don't see a clear path there, and decide that it's impossible. "Either I can see a way to do it immediately and directly, or it can't be done."
If they challenge that perception, they might discover that, while they might not be able to get there in a straight easy shot, they could if they took a different approach, or took more time to get there, or reached out for help in an area that blocks them.
Challenging that initial negative assessment opens the door to possibility. Sometimes that no really is accurate. But imagine if you make it a policy to challenge your no's and discover that 75% of the time you're right. The answer really is no.
That means every 4th time you say no, a door opens and a possibility that would have remained unclaimed finds its way into your life.
What kind of impact do you suppose that would have over the course of your lifetim?
Try this: For the next month, when you catch yourself responding in the negative to ideas or possibilities, stop and ask yourself, "Is that really true?" Challenge yourself to prove it wrong. Challenge yourself to find ways you could turn it into yes.
You have nothing to lose, and the potential upside is enormous.
If you liked this post, be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed.
Time for a career change? Launch it with...
The Occupational Adventure Guide:
A Travel Guide to the Career of Your Dreams
by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst