I got a no recently.  In fact, it felt, at the time, like a pretty BIG NO.

It was not my first, or my middle, and it certainly won’t be my last “No” when it comes to my work.

The Creative Exponent | Creative Writing | When We Get a NO | Creative Living

When I first began creating and sharing that creativity, the no’s were unbearable.  They felt like giant roadblocks on the way to bigger, to better, to more.

I remember the first time I did design work for a television network, and being so excited they plucked me out of the crowd and asked me to do this huge thing for them.  And I remember the “no” that followed felt violating, and so disappointing.  All that work…for nothing.

Over time, not only did the no’s come more, but my ability to roll past them easier strengthened.  I remember the second time I did design work for HGTV and actually aired a pilot, and ultimately, the “No” that came with it.  This one didn’t sting quite the same way.

Somewhere in the middle of all the no’s, I began to see the space they created for the yes’s that mattered.  The no’s weren’t for nothing (I apologize, grammar police).

They were for experience.  They were for growth.  They were for shaping.  They were for creating space.

They are.

So when I feel that tiny voice of defeat creep in, now or any time in the future, I plan on eventually telling it to back off, and excuse itself gracefully from the room.  It isn’t always easy to accept the no’s.  But somewhere along the way, if we are lucky and a little bit purposeful, we can know they are a gift.

We can know it, until we feel it.

And we can say yes to continuing to create.