Get Used To Hearing No

Before you ever get into a field or a career, you’re probably going to hear someone say “no”.  No, that’s too hard.  No, you don’t have the credentials.  No, you don’t qualify.  No, it’s never going to work out.  No, people like us don’t do that.  No, that’s just not how it works.

Once you get into a field, you’ll continue to hear “no”.  No, that’s too advanced.  No, you need to learn this before you can try that.  No, you don’t have the credentials.  No, you don’t have the expertise.  No, you don’t have the experience.  No, that’s never going to work out.  No, that’s just not how it works.

Even once you’re a respected member of your field, you’ll continue to hear “no”.  No, you can’t do that!  No, don’t jeopardize your career with something like that! No, people like us don’t do that!  No, that’s not how it works!

Eventually, you’ll become skilled enough that people around you will start saying “yes”.  Yes, you can handle this project.  Yes, we can try that.  Yes, see if you can make that work.  It’s nice to hear “yes”, but it’s also a sign of trouble.

At first, a majority of people insisted that what you wanted couldn’t be done, even if you could show them you’d done it before.  After a while, some started to admit that maybe you could do it, but you were special.  After a while, you will change the landscape. People will catch up and realize that if you can do it, so can they, and so can others.  After Bannister broke 4 minutes, it wasn’t so special anymore.

And there’s your problem.  If, once you get use to hearing “yes”, you stop pressing, you will eventually get left behind.  If you don’t continue to do things that make people say “no, that can’t be done!”, then you’re not going to be successful for long.

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