You are in charge of creating your best self. Human potential expert Beth Taska explains …
If you care deeply for another, or have a passion for helping others attain more, go further, dive deeper, then inevitably you’ll find yourself in a position where you’ll need to help them overcome their own limitations (objections) they have of themselves.
Turning a “no” into a “yes” is not for the faint of heart. But then again, nothing worthwhile is.
When we encourage a person to get to an authentic yes—meaning when they move toward their higher truths, dreams and desires—we’re taking a stand for that person. We hold a possibility for them of a future that they otherwise would not have had, whether this is to get a degree, go for a promotion, move toward a fitness goal, or even ask someone out on a date. They may be saying no because it’s easier than facing their fears of failure, rejection and, maybe, a deeply held belief of not being good enough.
In these instances we need to have the courage (face our own fears of failure, rejection, etc.) to be the guiding will for another. How do we do this?
When someone tells us no—whether to join the gym, embark on an adventure, or take a risk—the most important thing for us to do is listen. Listen, not necessarily to the words that are spoken, but to the emotion that is right there, right behind the person’s unwillingness to move forward. Listen for the bigger truth behind the words. When, and only when, we listen with our hearts can we hear the real concern, and this tends to be an emotion: fear, hurt, or sadness. The person is not wrong for feeling the way that they do, and the emotion cannot be ignored or dismissed. This is what is real for them, even if it’s an imagined reality.
“This means to figuratively—and sometimes literally—sit beside the person and see the world from their perspective, feeling their emotional reality.”
Once we do this, we can then invite them to shift their view with us to another, different and aspirational place.
How does this look? Unfortunately it shows up often in our lives in how we don’t positively influence others. Sometimes, when we want something for someone and they say no, we get angry at them and make them “wrong,” instead of influencing with compassion (which is another word for strength).
So, let’s imagine I say I do not want to have a personal trainer because I do not like the idea of that much full-on attention; that I feel I’ll be uncomfortable. (What I don’t say is that I’m embarrassed that I’m rather weak and that I think I will fail—that I’ll be seen as “not good enough.”) You may want to tell me “You’re wrong; you won’t be uncomfortable.” And then I’ll feel you failed to see me, hear me, or acknowledge how I feel. So what happens then? I’ll most likely easily dismiss you, with some excuse like, “I need to think about it.”
However, if you instead said, “I see how that could feel. You probably work really hard, make mistakes and tend to figure things out on your own. But it doesn’t have to always be that way. You can have a person by your side, helping you, encouraging you through challenges and having your back. I want you to have that trainer so that you can …” In this scenario, I know you understand me.
Put it into action
When we hear “no” and we don’t listen—fully listen—we may actually hear just the technical rationale to stop, the excuse. Almost always, there’s something underneath the excuse, and that something is emotion. When we acknowledge the truth of the emotion, then—and perhaps only then—can we invite one into another perspective while not making them wrong for feeling scared, and in this place we begin to move with them to the yes which that person has buried way, way down deep, of a better, bigger future possibility.
Next time you’re talking with a coworker, friend or family member, truly listen to what’s behind the issue and help them turn the negative into a positive.
Photo credit: Thinkstock, iStock – Jacob Ammentorp Lund.