To foster intimacy with your fears can be a path to courage. Instead of running away from your fears, you can listen to them. And when you keep your ears open and listen carefully, you'll realize that often you are afraid of the no. You're afraid that people will say "no" when you ask them for something. You're afraid that people will say "no" to your idea or the work you put your hear and soul into.

But what would happen if you would actually try to get a no out of people instead of a yes? What would happen if you make the no your goal instead of your absolute worst outcome?

Try to a write something bad instead of something good. The saying "practice makes perfect" means that the vast majority of your early work is going to suck. It means that there is this mountain of bad work that you have to climb over to get to the good work. Focus on the climb instead of letting those obligatory imperfections stop you.

Track noes instead of yesses. This is a trick some sales people use when they have to go through a long list of sales leads. Instead of telling themselves that today they have to make five sales, they tell themselves that today they have to get fifty noes. If you're trying to create change inside your organization, try to get ten people say no to your idea instead of trying to find that one person who is ready to support you.

Try to get a stranger say no to you. If approaching ten people with your ask gives you overwhelming jitters despite the mind tricks you're playing on yourself, you might benefit from practicing the art of asking and approaching people in general. Here's a fun game for that: approach a stranger at a social event or bar and try to get a no out of them with any kind of question. It's surprisingly hard and it will build up your social improv skills.