How to be Confident when Facing a No | Kaleidoscope Blog

How to Be Confident when Facing a No is a Guest Post by Melissa Walker Horn

How to be confident when facing a no is a challenge. One that, so far, I have spent a lifetime learning, unlearning and learning again. Trying to do and failing. Trying to do and succeeding. The connection between you and confidence can be tenuous enough without opposition to knock you off you centre. The question is how do you overcome that when you need to?

How can you be confident when facing a no?

I feel that I learned a lot about facing a no working in sales. Then more again when pitching for jobs or blog business. Then I learnt more again as I renegotiated the interior style of our new home with my husband. When you ask and ask and ask for the things you want you will find you come up against a lot of no. It’s just the way it works. There were heaps of yeses too, but your fair share of no. So what then? How can you be confident in the face of a no? Follow these steps, practice them in all your interactions with people and you’ll be great.

The no isn’t personal

A no is hard to face because we can take the no as a no to us personally. NO, MELISSA! This is especially hard if you’re really invested in what you are asking for. For example when you ask for a pay rise and get a no, you could feel like the company doesn’t appreciate you or are saying you aren’t worth it. This isn’t (always) the case. Sometimes businesses are broke or struggling. Sometimes people just can’t. As much as possible you should separate what you are asking from you as a person. It not only lessens the impact of a no, but it means you’ll be in a position to respond more easily, ask questions, and generally keep asking.

Know your position

If a no knocks you on your butt, it’s impossible to be confident. I mean who can be sitting on the floor all sad and dejected and still be confident? No one. Except maybe Jennifer Lawrence, but what can I say, the exception! When you face a no, you need to be strong, secure and resolute in your own position. Know the reasons why people should say yes to you. But most of all, believe those reasons!

If you are confident in your position, it’s harder to shake your confidence with a no. It’s like being prepared for a debate in high school. When you had done the research, committed the time to know your position, it was easy to move along with the conversation. You could debate the topic without the opposing team crushing you because you were clear on where you stood. Know your position and confidence is only a step behind that.

Stay calm and breathe

An unexpected no can knock the wind out of you. That stunned mullet look is so becoming, right? When you receive an unexpected no, take a moment to breathe, consider the no and stay calm. Don’t let yourself be rushed into a response that you won’t be happy with later. Stand confidently in needing a minute to gather your thoughts. This is perfectly fine.

Most people saying no to you will consider you taking a minute to gather your thoughts LOTS better than you freaking out or crying. Not saying you would, but if the no really catches you by surprise you might do anything. Hello, angry voice. Believe me, staying calm and taking a minute to process is a much better route for not only appearing more confident, but being more confident too.

Listen first, then respond

As part of the staying calm, it’s important to listen to where the no is coming from. Is it a no, but or a flat-out no, or a maybe later no? Take some time to listen without being embarrassed or annoyed that you, fabulous and amazing you, have received a no. Hear the person out, maybe there’s a way to turn that no to yes and maybe there isn’t. But let them be heard. Remember giving a no can be just as hard as hearing one. Cut them some slack.

Confidence is a practice and something that when you are faced with a no, in the face of opposition, tends to disappear when you need it more than ever. In the face of a no, you need your confidence to back yourself and trust your instincts. So practice makes perfect. Start small, then one day, when a big moment appears, you’ll be stretched and ready to get in the game with your confidence intact. Good luck! 


Melissa Walker Horn: Blogger, Mr. Suger wrangler, stripe lover, 90s fangirl, Queenslander, fashionista & the blog boss of The Leave Home Blog. Melissa’s personal blog Suger Coat It is about guiding you from the life you had to the one you want through style, confidence and got get ’em advice. Start living the sweet life!


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