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I believe everything we need to succeed is inside us as children, but it gets slowly pushed out of us as we grow older. By the time we’re teenagers we’ve forgotten these lessons or been forced to bury them. And if you are like me, deep inside you don’t feel any different than you did at age ten or twelve, well, except that you likely don’t play baseball anymore and you probably haven’t done a somersault in years. (I am not suggesting you start.)

What I am saying is that you get back a few of those great qualities you had as a kid that kept your mind open to possibility and made life fun, interesting, and full of hope. Here’s how:

Learn to enjoy failure. Everything you did as a kid requires trying and failing. Climbing a tree, riding a bike or tying your shoes all forced you to fumble and fail. But you did not care. Mistakes were just part of the process. You had no embarrassment or shame – only a desire to go faster to learn and master all of the exciting things that were ahead of you. Ridding yourself from fear of failure means you let go of what other people think about you. The obsession with perfection, fearing mistakes and failure ruins opportunities and destroys your potential. Oh and another thing, failures teach you valuable lessons just like they did when you were young. Ever burn your hand on a hot stove? Check, I did.

Start asking. We asked questions all the time because we were curious. As adults we have let go of that great skill. Instead, we assume what people are thinking, what they will do and how they will answer our question. We assume they won’t buy, they won’t help, or that they are not interested. Now that may be true, but how do you know for sure? Rejection is all around. But avoiding rejection from others means you reject yourself first! Give other people the opportunity to say no and don’t make assumptions.

Don’t take no for an answer. Okay, I am not suggesting you become a spoiled brat. But we need to remember the tenacity we had as kids. One ‘no’ from someone was the opening of the conversation. It was the starting place to getting to where we wanted to go. We got creative and bargained, learning how to persuade and convince – even if it was just for money to buy a candy bar. It was a great skill! So don’t take that ‘no’ so easily and remember that it is often the beginning of a relationship and often ends in a yes if we are patient and positively persistent.

The hope and possibility you had as a kid can be found but you need to tap back into these traits to do it. They are the things that will remind you of the person that you were and then get to you to become the person you were always meant to be and live the life that you dreamed about.

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Andrea Waltz is passionate about helping people overcome the fear of the word NO and feelings of failure and rejection that go along with it. Along with her husband and business partner Richard Fenton, she has made her mission to liberate people from fears of failure and rejection, sharing an entire new mindset about hearing the word NO.

For more information, please visit

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. I had the pleasure of hearing Andrea and Richard speak last year at Ambition. The concepts they teach are so elementary, and yet challenging for me. What was once easy at 7 years old, has become harder at 44. Trying to remember failure is part of the journey, not the end of it, is something we all knew at 10 years old — Just try harder and practice. We knew we could eventually do a back flip, if we weren’t afraid of a few belly flops along the way. Somehow as adults, we’re afraid to even go in the pool. I kNOw in my daily life I have to constantly remind myself that “no IS the journey”.

    Ed Tolliver
    Stavanger, Norway

  2. […] There are household names like Sir Richard Branson (Virgin) and Guy Laliberte (Cirque du Soleil) to thought leaders like Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Marci Shimoff (The Secret). So far more than 1000 Luminaries have been featured, and NOW, so has Andrea. Go check out her post here: […]

  3. Andrea and Richard are my personal heros. Their Go for No! philosophy has changed my life more than I ever thought possible, and it is still just the beginning of my journey. Thank you Andrea for your inspiration and guidance. You make the world a better place one “No” at a time!!!

  4. It’s so funny that traditional education teaches children to fear failure… fear of making mistakes, but if you look at the most successful people, they had the most failures!!

    Michael Jordan missed more than 9000 career shots, lost almost 300 games and failed when trusted with the winning shot -26 TIMES! He is one of the most successful, highly regarded NBA superstars of our time!

    For those, like myself, in relationship-building positions, if we are concerned with rejection, then we’re focused on the wrong person.

    I say you cannot have one without the other, so don’t just accept the failures… I say embrace them.

  5. Love this, Andrea. I write about failing a lot too–it’s really a fabulous teacher. And I love your analogy to childhood, and how kids and teenagers don’t take no for an answer.
    I saw a meme the other day that made me chuckle. It said, “When a door closes, try to open it again. That’s what doors are for.”
    Fits well with your post! Thank you for this.

  6. This article is truly very inspiring and a great read to begin the year with.I need to frame these golden words to reread them over and over again, so that I will never be bogged down with rejections.This reminded me of the story of King Bruce and the spider that mum shared with us when we were litlle..

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