No, you can’t do this. No, you can’t have that. I’ve been feeling like a toddler again with all the no’s I’ve been hearing lately. Competition is fierce in the collegiate world and we’re all bound to get our fair share of no’s in our attempts to succeed. But as frustrating as the nay-sayers may be, I believe they have a purpose. They’re just as important as the yessers. They push us to be better, to not get complacent, and to keep trying.
So here’s why we should actually be thankful for the no’s, perhaps even more than the yesses:
1. They inspire creativity. We have to break outside of the box when we’ve gotten a no. What can we do differently while still being true to ourselves? Einstein said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” We have to always keep trying. Nothing would be accomplished in this world if people didn’t pick themselves up and dust off. Start over with a new perspective.
2. They remind us to take baby steps. Whether you’re a big picture thinker or you live in the moment, you’ve got to lay the groundwork before you can get to the top. I remember wanting to work at Disney when I was a freshman and feeling disappointed when I wasn’t interviewed. But I had NO work experience! After interning at two other companies, I was then able to get my internship with Disney. You’ve got to start from the bottom up and enjoy the process as you go. Chances are that you’ll learn more in those first few experiences anyway.
3. They keep us in check. I always say we need to balance our bites of proud and humble pie. Sure, you need confidence, but you also need humility. Getting a “no” is a healthy dose of reality that reminds us there is always room to grow. We’ve never reached our pinnacle—a “no” is simply a reminder of that. Isn’t that better anyway? Because once you’ve reached the top, where can you go but downhill?
4. They give us gratitude. Rejection makes us appreciate what we do have in our lives. Perhaps you have amazing friends, you go to UCLA (!!!), or you love your job. When you stop and think about it, you’ve probably gotten more “yesses” than you realize. Don’t take a single one for granted. Every time you get a yes it means that someone believes in you. You’re worth it.
5. They keep us motivated. I believe we are better off when we have clear goals in mind. We can never settle, especially not at this age. In fact, I think it’s a good thing to feel slightly uncomfortable at our future at this age. It challenges us to be certain of what we want in our lives and to fight fiercely for it. Just not Trojan style. Be a true Bruin and go for your goals in the honest, fair, and earnest way that we do.
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook