How to Deal With No – Overcoming Life’s Obstacles

The path to accomplishing your dreams is often littered with obstacles. Life can take lots of twists and turns and to succeed, you have to learn how to deal with no.

Let’s take a look at how this affected one of my favorite creative people of all time, Walt Disney. After a stint in the Army in WWI, Walt Disney returned to Kansas in 1918 with the dream of becoming a newspaper artist. He got a job at a newspaper in Kansas City, but less than a year later he got the boot. In fact, the editor told him the reason he fired him was because “he lacked imagination”.

Walt went on to start two illustrator businesses in Kansas City. Both failed, the first after only a month.

This prompted him to move to Hollywood where he started another business. There he ran into even more difficulties including getting the rights stolen to his company’s biggest intellectual property, the cartoon character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

But Walt was determined to succeed and eventually, in 1928, he produced a short cartoon named Steamboat Willie. It was about a mouse.

Maybe you’ve heard of this mouse. He’s now known as Mickey.    

Facing Obstacles to Deal With No

Like Walt Disney, most successful people today had to face many obstacles along the way. For them to succeed, it took effort, determination, and perseverance.

You may run into your own difficulties and a fair share of discomfort along your journey toward success.

You might get negative feedback, like the Kansas City editor gave Walt Disney. Maybe you’ll receive discouragement from family, friends, co-workers, all the people you would hope to support your dreams.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind. Like Walt Disney, if you want to succeed, you can’t let obstacles stand in your way.

When you face rejections from employers, friends, and family members, or rejection by “the system”, you have to figure out how to deal with them. Even more you need to learn how to deal with no.

This means you need to remember that these types of situations happen to everyone. The only thing you can do is learn from them and then use them as motivation to keep moving forward.

Today, let’s look at some tips that can help you do just that.

Here’s 6 tips to help you deal with no:

1.    Use visualization to burn the image of your dream in your mind.

In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says for you to succeed, you need to create a burning desire for whatever you’re going after in life. You must make what you want to accomplish into an obsession.

You can shortcut this process using visualization, which is the same process that most successful people in the world today use to pursue their goals.

To achieve your goals, imagine them as already achieved. This can drive you to do whatever it takes to achieve them.

A great example of this is Oprah Winfrey. She started from very humble beginnings. Later, she was told by people in charge that someone who looked like her could never succeed as a television host.  

But Oprah visualized her dreams and took the action she needed to become successful. Today, she’s one a handful of people who are known around the world by her first name.

She’s also worth more than 2 billion dollars.

For you to make visualization work for you, imagine what your life will be like when you achieve whatever it is you want in your mind. Visualize how you’ll feel and imagine all the things that will happen as a result of you finally obtaining your goal.

Also visualize how you’ll deal with no. This will develop your mindset.

When you couple a strong image with a positive mindset like Walt Disney and Oprah, you’ll find you’re already halfway there.

2.    Create realistic and unrealistic goals.

Since you’re reading this, you probably already know how important it is to set goals when you’re pursuing your dreams. As you’re starting out, your main goal will often seem unrealistic. This is because it’s hard for you to imagine ever reaching it. To attain your dreams, you have to deal with the no that you are telling yourself.  

This is why it’s so important to also set smaller, more realistic goals. As you complete each of your smaller goals, you’ll develop the motivation and confidence you need to reach your ultimate desire.

3.    Stop comparing yourself to others.

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. We are all better, and worse, than others at certain tasks.

But this doesn’t mean we should compare ourselves with others when setting our own goals. This can lead to feelings of discouragement and even failure if others seem to be achieving their goals faster than us.

It can also lead to developing unrealistic expectations and plans that are simply not feasible to obtain.

A better approach than comparing yourself to others is to focus on your strengths and the areas where you excel. A personal example comes from when I was first learning Tang Soo Do Karate and Hapkido. In the beginning I would focus on falls, joint locks and throws because they were similar to the Judo techniques I practiced as a boy.

My success in these areas gave me the confidence I needed to continue training and work on my flexibility and kicks, which were things that everyone else seemed to be so good at. I would then set my goals at kicking ten percent faster or higher each month until I was kicking nearly as well as everyone else in the class.

Here’s the bottom line. Comparing yourself with others makes you have to deal with a no you have created in your mind. If you truly want to succeed, stop doing this right away!

4.    Do something that takes you closer to your dream every day.

One of my goals right now is to write a second edition of one of my books. I work on it every day because I know if I don’t, it could take me forever to complete the project.

This goes for all of us. You will make faster progress if you do something that helps you get closer to completing your goal every day.

You will never accomplish anything simply by dreaming about it. You can’t achieve goals you set but don’t work at. You need to work on them each day until you’ve reached them.

Just finishing a little bit of work on your dreams each day will motivate you to keep going and work a little harder. This is essential especially when you don’t feel like doing much on a particular day.

Finishing a simple task, like in my case, rewriting a paragraph, is better than doing nothing at all. And once you complete that task, you’ll feel proud that you stuck to it and are still on track to finish your goal.

5.    No excuses (this is how to deal with no that you tell yourself).

One of the best ways to deal with no is to not to make excuses. While it would be best if nothing ever stopped you, obstacles always appear that will seem to be holding you back.

You don’t have to let these barriers stop you from chasing your dreams.

Here’s the truth. If you don’t try, you’re telling yourself no. As a result, you’ll never know if you’re capable of achieving your goals.

While there will be, at times, reasons to reexamine your efforts, don’t confuse those well thought out reasons with ad hoc excuses you make up when things get tough. Making excuses will never help you achieve your goals.

6.    Set your sights a little lower.

You might be thinking, “What do you mean? Should I just set easy goals?”

Well, the short answer is no. But the goals you do set need to be just slightly outside of your present abilities.

When you expect more than your capabilities can give you or assume a set of actions should lead to a specific outcome by a set period, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

For example, let’s say you want to run a marathon but you’re not presently much of a runner. The marathon goal is probably a lot more than your capabilities right now.

Instead, you can start with the goal of jogging for one or two miles two or three times a week. Then you can make the goal of entering in a 5K race. Over time you can continue to add distance until you finally reach your ultimate goal of running a marathon.

As you set slightly easier to accomplish goals, you’ll learn from both your successes and failures. This will allow you to make course corrections that are easier to follow up on. As you make these corrections and complete each step, you’ll build your confidence and motivation.

This will, in turn, allows you to stretch your abilities and create even bigger dreams.

You can deal with no!

Sometimes your goals are going to feel overwhelming, and you’ll begin to become discouraged. When this happens, remember that the only person holding you back is you.

You are the person who wants your dreams to happen and you’re the only one who can make them happen.

So, use these tips to visualize your future, deal with no and stay focused on what you want and all that you’re capable of achieving.

If you use these tips, in a short while you can be living whatever dream it is that you desire!

secrets of the Black Belt Mindset

Want to learn more about how to deal with no? Then pick up your copy of The Secrets of the Black Belt Mindset: Turning Simple Habits Into Extraordinary Success today!

author avatar
Wil Dieck
Wil Dieck is a teacher, coach, mentor, martial arts master instructor, Neuro Linguistic Programming master trainer, and master hypnotist. He is the founder of Black Belt Breakthroughs, a community dedicated to helping people use Mindful Mind Hacking to achieve clarity and focus and feel more connected to themselves and the world around them. Through his work as an author, college professor, and martial arts instructor, he has helped thousands of people from various types of backgrounds unlock their true potential. Wil combines physical training techniques from Qigong, Taichi and Yoga, neuroscience insights from over four decades of research, mindfulness meditation and his background in NLP and hypnosis to help people access their inner power so they can gain greater feelings of joy and purpose. His passion is helping others find ultimate fulfillment in life through developing mental strength and emotional resilience.
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