Embracing Every “No”

Okay, quick backstory. A couple of months ago I had Alexis Lete on my podcast. Alexis is Miss Indiana USA 2020, and she went on to finish 3rd Runner-up at the Miss USA competition! If you listened to the first interview you could tell Alexis and I hit it off. So you guessed it, we HAD to run it back! Recently, I was a guest on her show, the InPowHER Podcast — and yes, it was just a fun as the first time! Should we start our own show together? I don’t know, maybe the stars will align for that one day, but what I do know for certain is that Alexis and I both firmly believe in one thing: self-growth. 

You know that saying, get knocked down three times, stand up four. As straightforward and generic as it sounds, it’s so true. Where Alexis and I are at in our careers and the success we’ve had in pageantry is a direct reflection of this attitude. We have been battered and bruised by doubters and naysayers all along the way, but we’ve risen every time after — and eventually, that starts to pay off. 

But in order to see this self-growth, we have to put ourselves in situations that are outside our comfort zone. I’ve experienced this in my own life where big, scary decisions were made, and they resulted in positive self-progress. 

“Something that was a game changer for me, was moving out to L.A…. When I went to L.A. I learned more about myself than I’ve ever learned about myself and I stretched myself more than I’ve ever stepped out of my comfort zone before. There is something to be said about that too, ladies. If you’re listening to this and contemplating on moving somewhere else or stepping outside your comfort zone, DO IT. Because that’s what leaders do.” 

But the development of self-growth doesn’t just come through putting ourselves in new situations, it is also dependent on how we feed our minds — and this is something we all can start to change right now. We need to pick up more books, we need to stay informed about world news, and we need to fill our inner circle with mentors and high-achieving people. 

Alexis has seen the power of adopting these kinds of habits: 

“I was reading these books and gaining more knowledge and I was like wow I’m coming off like an intellectual. I’m like whoa, what is going on here? It’s just because you’re expanding your mind from the stuff you’re normally put in front of and used to. Especially if you read the news, reading the news has leveled me up as a woman… I can have conversations with people I want to be like. If you don’t elevate, your circle is just stagnant. I want a circle that is rising and climbing.” 

So you know self-growth comes through stepping out of your comfort zone and better self-education, but what’s next? Girl, sometimes we just have to fake it until we make it. A lot of times we feel like we need the experience to be qualified before we can make a dream happen. We need to stop waiting for that to come and manifest that “experience” on our own. 

“If you want something you have to become and practice that thing before you get it. You know people say they have a dream of being in Sports Illustrated Swim, because that’s what I want to be in currently,” Alexis said. “Well, okay go out and take pictures as if you’re in Sports Illustrated Swim. Make sure you’re comfortable in a bathing suit. Make sure you feel confident with your body. Make sure you have a message. You have to work on all these things, and if you just say oh I want to be in the swimsuit issue, but you haven’t practiced, they’re not going to select you… You need that real-life experience even if it isn’t quote-unquote real.” 

Creating that fake experience or role-playing might feel dumb, but I promise you that it makes such a big difference. You’ll start to notice improved confidence and when that real opportunity does finally come around, you’ll feel a million times more ready. 

Word NO made with cement letters on grey marble background. Copy space. Business concept.

We live in an imperfect world, and because of this, you’re going to experience the word no — a lot. Even if you do everything right, your dreams are still going to hit roadblocks and potholes. Don’t let this discourage you because the word “no” has a lot of power inside it. 

“A no eventually turned into a yes and they’re not telling you no for forever, they are telling you no for right now because maybe you need to develop,” Alexis said. 

And to piggyback off that I said: 

“There’s a point where you need to hear some noes because every single time you hear that no, you learn a lot about somebody when they lose… How you handle losing says a lot about somebody’s personality and character. I’m thankful for every time that I lose… I want to get 10 noes a day. Give me 10 noes right now and then I know I’m onto my next yes.” 

Look at it this way, a no is just a reminder that you’re getting after it and putting yourself in those positions to succeed. The road to success is paved one brick at a time — attempt after attempt after attempt.

Some lasting words I have for anyone on their journey and grinding daily to make their dreams a reality… please celebrate and acknowledge those little wins because they mean something fierce. 

“For anybody listening, stop getting caught up in the whole I want to be ‘here.’ Enjoy the small process… Enjoy those building blocks because man it’s going to be such a strong foundation when you get to the top.” 

Until next time friends, keep asking for those noes 🙂