Ask for NO, Receive the HELL YES

I know, here’s what you may be thinking:  ‘Marisa, what do you mean ask for the NO? I’m waiting for the YES!”

I get it. Of course, you want the HELL YES. Imagine every day where you walk into work and your manager says:

“You know what? Hell yes, you can get that promotion! Hell yes, I will give you more money! Hell yes, you can hire someone to release your workload! Hell yes, I will refer you on so you can work with someone who will help you grow! Hell yes, you can get more training!”

Or a client – “Hell yes, we will hire you for our  next project!” Hell yes, you can speak to my audience!”

Maybe that’s not your reality, but have you asked yourself why not? In a recent training, I led with both senior and mid-level leaders, there’s an exercise  I LOVE that not only gets them out of their seats but creates a vacuum of energy. They walk around and ask 9 different people for anything they want. Those 9 people will give them a flat out rejecting NO with no emotion and then walk away. Then on the 10th person, they get the HELL YES. So they mill around the room, asking for a car, money, a promotion hearing No, No, No, No, No and then they finally get the HELL YES.

Are they emotional about it? Not really.
Are they hurt when they are rejected? Nope.
Does anyone sit down and say, “That’s it Marisa, this is stupid! That’s not how life works!”? Not once.

As you can see above, the mood is pretty light. Everyone gets up and says to themselves, “Let’s see what this exercise is all about” and they have fun with it. They are open to whatever happens and they have ZERO expectation. They just keep asking.

How would showing up in your life with that same “LET”S SEE” attitude with ZERO expectation change the game for you too?  Often we have a fixed vision on what we want and how we have to get it versus, being open to possibility.

In my training, when everyone sits down and I assess what came up for them, I will ask “So, how did that feel?” and the responses no matter what city I run this training in, how young or old the participants are, or what level they are at in their career, I will always hear the following feedback:

“I became detached to the NO.”
“I became eager to get my YES.”
“I couldn’t wait to move on to the next person. I felt like a hunter and they were wasting my time.”
“I felt confident that I had to receive some NO’s before a YES. It felt like a game.”
“I knew eventually I would get a YES, and the NO’s were just part of the process.”
“I realize I’m a YES person and hate saying NO.”

I want you to think about the YES you are looking for too. I know you have them and maybe it’s not a formal YES but you are just waiting for a certain opportunity to show up and then you would just grab it. You may not be asking or sharing what that is, or have given up. You may be asking the wrong 9 people or only hanging out with the same 9 people (hence lowering your chances of creating that opportunity!) or have not asked yourself whether what you want is even possible and believable by you.

This isn’t a blame game, it’s an awareness game. As your coach, my job is to pull out what you’re sweeping under the rug. Unconsciously we make so many assumptions about people, timing, even the weather. I have heard at least three people tell me this week that because of the summer heat, everyone is out of the office and therefore it’s impossible to get in touch. Hmmm, really? What do they do in places like Florida?  Does business not conduct there? What about the triple digit temperatures which France just got hit with? Did everyone shut off their phones and computers where they were no longer reachable? Are we not living in a tech-driven virtual world where you cannot have coffee with someone in San Francisco who is your ideal contact when you are sitting in London?

You cannot walk through walls and you cannot levitate given the laws of physics on this planet Earth. Aside from those laws of gravity, you can create whatever you want and you have to get comfortable with those NO’s because they are bringing you closer to the YES. Those NO’s are also making you more clear. I remember when I was dating again, I had to go through some pretty boring people who seemed highly intelligent to realize I don’t necessarily want a rocket scientist as I had thought initially. I wanted someone who notices that I like to wear the color red or have a penchant for red doors.

As a gutsy homework exercise, please commit to the following:

  1. Give yourself the internal nod to what you really want. Internal dialogue first. It’s why DOING things doesn’t work until you are BEING that desire.
  2. 5 things a day asking/emailing/calling/sharing what you want and embracing every NO with enthusiastic expectation. Speaking your desires out loud accelerates them energetically.
  3. Celebrating any and every NO nightly, knowing full well it is bringing you closer to the HELL YES.

To be fair to our human race, let’s keep in mind, most people don’t want to say the word NO, they feel bad, they may like you, they hate to break it to you. Be OK with that. Unless you’re hearing the  YES, move on, lingering in no man’s land without a definite plan will energetically push the things you want away which causes resentment down the road.

Internally, thank them for their NO, they have just helped you move closer to the YES. It’s that cut and dry.

Please report back, at least 9 No’s before you receive the HELL YES. As always nothing happens until you execute. Don’t let this become shelf-help. Knowing what you need to do versus actually doing it are two different things. Successful leaders don’t wait, they just go and keep going…..

Now if this isn’t something you feel will work for you,  then think about those who will be led by you. How will you as a their leader, help them be successful and face obstacles when they keep getting the NO, when you need them to deliver on the YES. Think about children who see you as their role model. This work comes full circle. I’m not asking you to KNOW this work, you’re educated and smart  – you get it. I’m asking you to BE this work. If you can’t live and BE these gutsy leadership principles, then those who work for you or see you as their role model will only get as far as you’ve allowed yourself to reach.  Again, not a blame game, an awareness.

To your gutsy moves this week, and oh YES, bring on those NO’s!     ; )


Marisa Santoro, Leadership Trainer and Career Coach.

CEO and Founder:

+1.844.626.3410 |

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