Vitamin N

Vitamin N

image“I’ve learned to take ‘no’ as a vitamin.” Susanne de Passe

Years ago I used to keep this quote posted on my desk. I find it to be empowering, inspirational and maybe just a little bit rebellious.

At some point, we have all been told “no.” No to the raise. No to the job. No to the relationship. No to a lifelong goal. No to our dreams. Sometimes we hear the word “no” from others, but just as often we say it to ourselves. We convince ourselves that we are incapable or unworthy of bigger and better. We listen to the naysayers and collect supporting evidence to justify that our dreams are just foolish fantasies. We sit by passively and allow our enthusiasm to be deflated.

There will be times when friends, family, professors or coworkers will politely (with a smile) try to convince you to give up your goals and settle for less. They may try to convince you that it will be too hard or the competition will be too fierce. In their minds, they may believe that they are protecting you from getting hurt or trying to ensure that you set “realistic” expectations. However, their good intentions may be anything but positive; their “wisdom” anything but wise. Similarly, we can be our own worse critics. We can become victims of our own negative inner voices.

I love this quote because it encourages us to turn all of that around with what I will call “Vitamin N.” We can turn discouragement into encouragement, pessimism into optimism and self-doubt into self-confidence. We can be energized by a simple two-letter word. If we change our perspective, “no” can be just what we need to push us towards the “yes.”

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