NO is Intellectually Lazy; Get Creative on HOW!

David Nour
David Nour

Today’s Nour Noon Nugget is a bit of a personal confession and bias – at a cellular level, I despise NO, CAN’T, WON’T – I’ve long believed they’re indicative of a fixed mindset and intellectually lazy. Think about it – anyone can say NO on why something can’t happen, CAN’T because of 1,001 reasons – from lack of talent, capability, competency, resources, budgets, time, etc., and WON’T is often just a stubborn bias gene! 

We hear these all the time amongst our colleagues, partners, customers, project teams, and on and on. Regrettably, you hear these negative anchors constantly enough, and you a) start to believe them and b) start to say them yourself!!

Instead, I love, love, love hearing HOW can we get there. Sure, we’re facing a talent shortage, yet, WHAT IF we did XYZ? We don’t have money for that; WHAT IF we tried ABC? That person doesn’t have the bandwidth to do what we need at their best; WHAT IF we got her/him some help?

Read the common theme? WHAT IF is a simple way to open yourself (and others) up to possibilities. Words matter and they can influence how our brain works, how we engage others, and gain buy, if not buy-in, on our ideas, perspectives, and how we choose to overcome everyday obstacles! Positive statements can encourage lateral thinking and exploration, whereas negative anchors are often close-ended statements and restrict thinking and creativity.

Next time you find yourself (or your team) stuck, try using open-ended statements such as “What if there was a better solution to this?” Repeat this to yourself like a creative mantra to support your subconscious mind in coming up with potential solutions. Don’t force solutions to appear; just open up some space to what’s the potential, what could be possible, where you can aspire to reach, and let potential ideas emerge naturally and spontaneously.

How have you been able to overcome NO, CAN’T, or WON’T? Make it a great day, David Nour 

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