Not getting any responses from all those job applications? Didn’t get a call for the second date? Getting hung up on all those sales pitches? The most annoying part of life is the NO’s always come in crowds and YES’s come by themselves.
Don’t get dejected. You’re awesome! Here are some ways to keep that in mind when the world doesn’t necessarily agree.
1. Don’t take it personally
Realize the person saying no is just that–a person. They might be having a bad day, or feeling particularly finicky. A failure or a rejection is not a reflection upon your self worth, but upon the situational constraints of that particular time. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
2. Happy lists are useful for creating a self-sustaining source of optimism
At our company we all have a collection of ten things that unequivocally brighten our days, which our colleagues can surprise us with or we can go out and do ourselves. Mine include Hello Kitty and British Accents; my partner’s include disco house music and thoroughly planned out dinners. Know how to make yourself happy, because then the NO’s won’t affect your optimism! And we all know– that optimism is key to perseverance, so protect it actively.
3. If you’re going through hell, keep going
Don’t stop and wallow. Keep pushing forward and this seeming barrage of humanity against you will eventually stop. I swear.
4. Analyze the Yes’s
At the bottom of every barrel of no’s is a yes. You have to figure out why when everyone else said no that one person said yes. Then duplicate the circumstances to generate more YES’s. For me, when all these large publications were saying no to covering my Kickstarter campaign, I realize the ones who had said yes were just much more industry focused. When I re-targeted, I started to get a lot more YES’s. When someone rejects you take that as an opportunity to understand how you can do better.
5. Quantify the Yes’s and No’s
Maybe it just seems like you’re getting more NO’s then YES’s, but how will you actually know unless you’ve very specifically kept track? If you make much more precise targets such as delineating performance percentages and success rates, you can more clearly see where to aim. Often times it’s a number game where 10% response rate is already impressive. Make sure you know what you’re aiming for, so you recognize achievement when you reach it.
6. If all else fails…
…you still have reality TV.