What Lies Behind the Language of NO?

NO doesn’t come from nowhere. It comes from feelings and perceptions, both real and imagined. Understanding what’s behind a NO can help you begin to turn it around.


  • Fear of the unknown and of leaving comfort zones; upsetting one’s sense of balance (natural resistance to change).
  • Fear of taking risks (potential negative consequences if things go wrong).
  • Fear of change.
  • Fear of losing one’s job or of looking bad.
  • Fear of speaking up, saying,“I don’t know.”
  • Many other fears as well.


  • New possibilities are filtered through negative past experiences.
  • “We’ve tried that before, and it didn’t work” syndrome.
  • “No news is good news”— why change things when everything is fine?


  • Not wanting someone with a ...

Get Yes Lives in the Land of No now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.