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We can work hard to avoid the truth.  We don’t go to the doctor to check on that lump.  We don’t ask the tough question that could shake a relationship. We don’t follow up when we’re afraid of the answer.

This week I was procrastinating.  I had some things to track down, but I couldn’t bring myself to send the email or make the call.  I didn’t want to know the answer.  It would likely be No.

No seems final.  Irreversible.  Our fate sealed.

Because we spend a lot of time telling ourselves stories, we build up alternate worlds and narratives.  These fantasies have tremendous power.  In essence, they are the reality we wish we could live in.  Things here, turn out just the way we want them to.

No shatters our illusion of control.  No forces us to confront what it really happening in our lives and with the people close to us.  No is the wake up call.

But instead of focussing on these “negatives”, what if we reframe the issue? Maybe No can set us free.  If your dream project gets turned down, perhaps you vest your energy into something that can move ahead.  What if you have that difficult conversation with a friend?  Maybe with the air cleared, you can build a meaningful relationship with honesty, or perhaps with the dysfunctional connection broken, you can both get on with your lives.

No isn’t a dead end.  The reason that most of us are afraid of No is that it changes our direction. And that’s what we’re really saying No to.