Learning the Value of “No”

If we are going to experience steps of change…

NOThen we need to learn the power and value of the that little big word: “No”

Almost like that little baby learning to speak grabs a hold of this easily spoken word and repeats it over and over again, we need to learn how to use it…and confront it.

The old drug campaign simply  replied to the enticement of drug use: “Just say no!”  Of course, marijuana is getting legalized in a number of states so I’m not sure if this campaign has meaning.

Yet, the concept was good. To those things that are damaging, hurtful, hateful, unlawful, or just plain ol’ wrong, learn the value of this one syllable, two letter word, and use it powerfully against the temptation or call.

Take a moment and do a web search on the “Power of No” and you will find an abundance of psychology, self-help and how-to books on the value of knowing and using this word.

A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. ~Mahatma Gandhi

Through my years of technology, people and church involvement, I have found myself agreeing to some proposition without fully understanding the commitment. Join a team, accept a person, get involved in a project, all from the perspective of needing to be a part of something, or to please someone.

I have learned to say no to many things that hurt, but it’s easier to ignore the value of a “no” when we really want to do, or try, something.

Learning the power of “NO” often means I have analyzed my personal world, values and desires and know the probable results from saying “Yes”.  Knowing when to say one or the other is very important.

…but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no… James 5:12, ESV

What happens when you don’t know which way to answer? There is no moment like the “now” moment to test the value of “NO”. When that “to good to be true” enticement shows up in that email … Just say no. When that webinar attempts to push you over the edge and into committing time and money to some product … Just say no. When that friend attempts to get you to agree to something you do not feel good about … Just say no.

Eventually, with all the repetitive uses of this word you will find it easier to cut things off at the pass and never let the question get asked.

I have several friends who are not put out by the use of the word “NO”. To each of them I give credit that they simply, and without emotional appeal, move on to the next person. Would you be able to take a 1,000 NO’s before a single Yes is found?

That’s the opposite side to this equation. If you are looking for affirmation and you always get the negative, how do you handle this kind of rejection? Imagine that actor trying out for position after position, and constantly being told “NO”. How do you handle rejection?

Some actors couldn’t figure out how to withstand the constant rejection. They couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  ~Harrison Ford

Maybe this is the balance of understanding “NO” – there is value and power when we use it, and when it is used to us individually.

Too many times we take the path of convenience until the rejection gets tough, then we wash out of where and who we are and take a different path. Sometimes that’s a good thing.

When we relocated to Washington State, I could not get a job in technology because of age, prior income levels, and I did not have the latest and greatest training presented by young students fresh out of college.

I could not get a job in my life long pursuit of the technology field… 

Instead of complaining, I simply took a different path, re-invented myself, and continued on… In the face of “NO” … I changed myself for the future. “NO” was not a deterrent to life…

Just like Joseph of old, what others meant for a negative result, God can have different plans for you and where you are at.

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.  (Genesis 50:20 NKJV)

Can you take a negative and make it positive? We’ll think about this tomorrow. It’s one step at a time…


2 thoughts on “Learning the Value of “No”

  1. Loved this – I’m new to this whole world of blogging. Interesting that I wrote about the same topic earlier this week, and we referenced similar things. Glad I’m not alone!


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