Girl, Wash Your Face Lie 6: “No” Is Absolute

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Girl, Wash Your Face" by Rachel Hollis. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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How can listening to lie 6 from Girl, Wash Your Face hold you back from accomplishing your goals? How can you learn to overcome rejection and keep pushing for your dream?

There are three main reasons people give up on their biggest dreams: a voice of authority says no, it gets too hard or takes too long, or real-life disaster gets in the way. Lie 6 in the list of the 20 lies from Girl, Wash Your Face says you should stop and give up after being told, “no.” Hollis says nothing should stop you from pursuing your goals.

Keep reading to learn more about lie 6 and how you can learn to overcome rejection.

Lie 6: Being Told No Means You Should Stop

When pursuing their dreams and coming up against a roadblock or rejection, many women give up. But “no” doesn’t have to be the end of your dream. You can either listen to the “no” or learn to overcome rejection. No is only an answer if you accept it. When you refuse to believe the “No,” you are not letting someone else manage your dreams; you’re saying you are in control of your dreams.

Being told no doesn’t mean it’s time to stop. It means you have to change course to make it to your destination.

Changing Your Perception on Lie 6

If you shift your perception to the idea of life happening for you instead of life happening to you, you can stop accepting “no” as the final answer when you run up against a roadblock and instead start looking for new directions.

Perception is seeing things through the lens of what you feel and believe. Many of our perceptions are rooted in past experiences. If your past experience tells you nothing ever works out for you, you are less likely to keep fighting for your dream when you get a “no.” Don’t listen to lie 6, a shift in perception can turn around this bad pattern. 

There are three main reasons people give up on their biggest dreams:

  • Voice of authority says no. 
  • It gets too hard/takes too long.
  • Real-life disaster gets in the way.

Voice of Authority

Some people quit striving for a goal because a “voice of authority” tells them to. Perhaps a boss tells you a job isn’t right for you, or a parent tells you not to try. The voice of authority can even be your own internal negative self-talk. When you change your perception and stop accepting no as a final answer, you can override the voice of authority and find new avenues to take.

The author tells the story of how she overcame lie 6 and fulfilled her dream of becoming a published author. As a celebrity party planner, she was approached to write a “roman a clef” to share some juicy stories from her years of handling celebrity parties. She knew exactly what she wanted to write: her story as a naive, fish-out-of-water thrust into a world of A-list celebrity parties. 

While publishers liked the manuscript, no one bought it. In the age of 50 Shades of Grey, they felt the book didn’t have enough sex. It was “too sweet.” She believed in her innocent and naive heroine and didn’t want to sex up her story. Every publisher rejected it but she refused to change it. She dried her tears and Googled “How to self-publish.” She self-published the book, and sales kept growing until a publisher bought the rights and asked her for two more books to turn it into a series.

A book she was told no one would ever buy has sold more than 100,000 copies. If she had listened when everyone said no, she wouldn’t be an author today. Instead, she learned to overcome rejection and became a successful author.

Goals Are Hard

Another reason people give up on their dreams is because it becomes hard, it’s exhausting, and it’s taking too long. It’s true that accomplishing a goal is usually harder than you think it will be. Some days you’ll be so discouraged you’ll cry.

The author’s advice: Go ahead and cry, but then dry your eyes, wash your face and keep going.  You have to find a way to keep going through the hard stuff and fight through the exhaustion. You have to dig deep and find the will to keep on going because if you don’t, you run the risk of someone else achieving your dreams. The only thing worse than giving up on your dream is the regret you’ll experience.

If you think your dream is taking too long, take heart: It took Julia Child 10 years to write Mastering the Art of French Cooking. James Cameron worked on Avatar for 15 years. Nothing that lasts is accomplished quickly — your legacy is a lifetime in the making.

The author’s years of hard work and experience, including failures and rejections, brought her ultimately to a place of success. Her advice: Your dream is worth fighting for.

Disaster Is the Ultimate Excuse

The last reason people give up on their dreams is because something disastrous occurs — divorce, illness, tragedy. Your goal slips into the background because you just can’t deal with it in the face of trauma. Beware of this being twisted into an excuse: “No one can expect anything from me now.”

Those facing true adversity are warriors and it is a miracle they’re battling their way through. But don’t squander this strength you’ve earned. Use it to pave a path for others. It’s not even about your specific goal — it’s about who you become on the way to that goal.

You Do Not Have Permission to Quit

When the voice of authority tells you no, or your goal is taking too long, or when life hits you with a true trauma, you are receiving permission to quit. The author wants to revoke this permission to quit, take the power away from outside forces, and give it back to you.

Nobody will ever care about your dream as much as you do, even if you are surrounded by support. Nobody can take your goal away from you; nobody is going to achieve it for you.

You are worthy of wanting something more and achieving it. If you want the “big stuff” for your life, you get there by not giving up when you hear lie 6.

Beat Lie 6 With Tips on Not Taking No for an Answer

Use these strategies to keep your eyes on the prize when roadblocks occur and ignore lie 6:

  • Tap into your audacity. Stay focused on your goal regardless of what gets in your way.
  • Find alternate routes. The “no” you hear means only that you have to find a different way.
  • Keep your goal visible. Put up a visual of your dream somewhere you can see it.
Girl, Wash Your Face Lie 6: “No” Is Absolute

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Rachel Hollis's "Girl, Wash Your Face" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Girl, Wash Your Face summary:

  • Why you should accept that life can be messy
  • How seeing that you're in control of your life can help you live more joyfully
  • The 20 lies you might be telling yourself

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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