There are many times in our life that we hear the word NO and settle for rejection without question.
If you’re like me, you will never accept the word NO as an acceptable explanation for being rebuffed. This two-letter word can damage your emotions and deprive you of peace and self-confidence. It can sabotage your motivation and make you feel threatened, not good enough, or intelligent.
One thing that’s for certain is that we are going to be rejected or hear the word No at some point in our lives. Are you going to be brave enough to stand up and fight back with the judgment? I, for one, have been a rebel who always fought back for equality and justice.
I went on sick leave during my pregnancy and, unfortunately, gave birth to a preemie baby. Once I delivered my daughter, my maturity benefits kicked in even though my daughter was admitted to the hospital for 2 months which resulted in only getting a 10 month maternity leave.
I felt the 2 month reduction was unfair, and provisions should have been in place for parents like me under these circumstances. I thought that the system was broken and did not reflect medical situations that required an adjustment to maternity leave. I called Employment Insurance and got nowhere with the bureaucracy, being told these were the rules. EI told me, “sorry madam, these are the rules, and I can do nothing for you”.
I was determined to change the rules and said I wanted to speak to a manager. When I talked to the woman, I said I would call her every day from my daughter’s bedside in the hospital. I was not taking NO for an answer, leaving me with only 10 months of maternity leave. After a week of daily calls, EI finally agreed to issue maturity benefits from the day my daughter was released from the hospital. In the end, I received up to 15 months of maternity leave.
A few years later, it was time for my daughter to attend school. Her school was 5 minutes from our house but not in our school district. At the time, my babysitter lived within the school boundary, and I thought it was perfect for getting my daughter to attend that school.
I went to see the principal about making an exception to allow my daughter to attend the school. His response was, “sorry, Mrs. Asher, but we only allow children within the boundary.” My response to him was, “sorry sir, but my daughter will attend your school. You can take her in the front door or through the back door. Either way, she’s going to be a student at your school.”
I changed one of the utility bills to my babysitter’s address. With my bill in hand and my daughter’s birth certificate, I showed up three weeks later to register my daughter to her new school. The principal looked at me but there was nothing he could do about my daughter attending the school. Because of my determination, I got my daughter in through the back door because I was not willing to take NO for an answer.
Rules are meant to be broken on occasion because many are put in place to intimidate and control us. If you live by your own rules, you become fearless and a force to be reckoned with daily. Never settle for NO because it’s OK to push back and be creative. With a bit of fearlessness and grit, you can turn rejection into new and exciting opportunities. Know there is always wiggle room but you must be willing to disrupt the status quo.