Pharrell Teaches ‘Go for No’ Concept to Tearful Contestant on The Voice

By the time contestants reach the stage of today’s reality talent shows, one assumes that their talents have carried them through without much rejection.  However, in the case of Damien Lawson, a contestant on the September 22nd episode of The Voice, when asked by The Voice coach, Pharrell, why he was crying, tearfully revealed that he had “been told no so many times.” At that point Pharrell echoed the advice which is also the basis of the best-selling book ‘Go for No!’ when he said: “These moments happen in our lives… it’s confirmation that when someone tells you no, that you don’t stop.”

We could not be happier that the word ‘no’ was discussed in front of an audience of millions by such a well-known celebrity!  We were excited because it’s a very popular show and Pharrell is a famous person who is sharing such an important lesson.  Especially for today’s young people, we’re not sure they embrace the idea that you must push through failure, rejection, and ‘no’ in order to succeed. They need this message.

Of course we’ve been encouraging people not to avoid rejection but to seek it out in order to reach their goal. Several years back we were quoted saying that even rejected American Idol contestants are a step ahead of most Americans: “At least they’re out there giving it a shot, talent or not, while most people are lying on their sofas simply watching from the sidelines.”

What will happen to this contestant is anyone’s guess but at least for now, Damien can dry his tears knowing that finally he got the yes (technically four) that he was seeking. Now it’s up to the coach he selected, Adam Levine, to help continue his ‘yes’ streak. But if he gets another no?’ Well,  the path to all great dreams is littered with no’s. See them as stepping stones, not as stop signs!

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