No. It’s a two letter word that can instantly send chills down the spine of the strongest “strong man – woman” and knocks the wind out of anyone’s sails. In the entertainment industry it’s a word you may hear a million times…”No.” Even if you hear the word “No” one million and one times, never give up! I know it takes a lot of determination and motivation to get passed that little word, but you can do it!
“No” seems to have a million different feelings attached to it, depending on how ‘no’ is interpreted. It also depends on the person’s perceptions when he or she hears the word. Sometimes it can stop you in your tracks especially when it pertains to your music, which is part of who you are.
No seems to mean or be interpreted as:
1. They don’t like what I have to say or sell.
2. They don’t like me.
3. What’s wrong with me?
4. What did I do differently than the other person who got the yes?
6. I must not be as talented or knowledgeable as the person who got the yes.
7. What haven’t I got that the person who got the yes does?
8. Did my talent just not measure up?
There are many more thoughts that we can go through in our minds when we are rejected for whatever reason. Too often we personalize the rejection as opposed to simply realizing it’s not really personal, it’s just a business decision for them.
We all try to rationalize it and say “It’s just a word! It’s not the first time I’ve heard it and it won’t be the last time I hear it in this business.” But what we feel inside is so different.
We feel total rejection and we can feel absolutely demoralized. When the word “no” comes out of someone’s mouth regarding our work, it’s as if we were rejected and it can bring back subconscious memories of our childhood.
The Random House Dictionary defines no as:
“no, adv., n, pl. 1. word used to express dissent, denial, or refusal – n 2. negative vote – adj. 3. not any.”
As children we are told “no, don’t touch that or you’ll get burned.” Although we hear our parents tell us that, we still want to touch that fire. After all, ‘what does burn actually mean? And it’s so pretty…I just want to touch it.’ When we do…Ouch!
Then our parents say, “I told you no, don’t touch that! Now do you see why?” Our minds then equate “no” to the word ‘ouch, you’re going to get hurt!’ That would take on the first meaning in the Random House Dictionary of “no,” which is dissent, meaning “difference of opinion.” The parent’s opinion was that the fire would hurt. The child’s opinion was that fire was so pretty how could it hurt?
When we got older and go to school, on the playground we may hear, “No, you can’t play with me.” The word “no” then invokes an entirely different feeling then our first experiences with the word “no.” It now means rejection! So “no” takes on the second part of the Random House Dictionary’s meaning of the word, and that is a “negative vote.”
Another child on the playground has cast a “negative vote” in our direction saying they don’t want to play with us. We weren’t given an explanation as to why they didn’t want to play with us, we were just told “no” and our minds equated that to rejection.
And so our lives continue in this pattern of association. The word “no” seems to always be associated with something bad and seems to stick in our memory far more times than we’ve heard yes. Hurtful memories last the longest.
So how can we change this? I can only speculate. Maybe we should go back to our childhood memories and re-program them so that the word “no” doesn’t have such a great impact. Or maybe we just have to start right now and truly believe in our minds, what our mouths speak to our family and friends, and that is…that “no” is just a word.
But I believe that we should take the third meaning in the Random House Dictionary and apply it in a slightly revised, personal manner anytime we hear the word “no.”
For example, if I hear the word “no” now, when it’s directly associated to anything that has to do with my art, I say to myself, “They have ‘not any’ taste.” “They have ‘not any’ impact on my life.” “They have ‘not any’ clue as to what they are talking about.” Then that phrase seems to have so much less impact, and feels a lot less like a “negative vote” towards my personal being.
And when I say these things to myself and relate them directly to the word “no,” it will no longer be a rejection of me, but a rejection of the other person’s belief system. After all, they are just individuals whose belief systems are different then mine. From now on, when someone says ‘no’ to me, the negative impact is gone, and ‘not any’ anymore will I let it affect me.
Jaci Rae is a #1 Best Selling author of The Indie Guide to Music, Marketing and Money and Winning Points with the Woman in Your Life One Touchdown at a Time. Tune in for “The Jaci Rae Show” heard live around the world every Thursday: Click on the weekly show link