Fear of rejection is universal. But with fear as your guide you will never reach beyond the ‘safe scenario’. The best antidote according to writer Jia Jiang? Get rejected, not once, but a hundred times.
Do you break a sweat at the thought of rejection? This is normal. In the end, every person is looking for acceptance and love. We’d rather avoid rejection in any way. Very effective… as a survival mechanism. But when it comes to fulfilling your dreams, you’d rather need a more ‘living on the edge’ mentality.
How do you get yourself to leave your comfort zone more often? Jia Jiang advises you to look for rejection. When we repeatedly experience certain things, our trust will build. Why wouldn’t the same happen with rejection?
One hundred days of rejection
Writer, blogger and entrepreneur Jia Jiang turned himself into a guinea pig to voluntarily get rejected for a hundred days on end. Why? His own fear prevented him from realizing his biggest dream: starting his own company.
Now you might be thinking: is rejection even a thing to get accustomed to? The pain we feel when we’re rejected by a lover, or when you miss out on your dream job seems unavoidable. According to Jia Jing, in the end it isn’t about eliminating the pain, but about your resilience.
Five lessons to learn from Jia Jiang’s rejection tour:
1. Be surprised
The most bizarre proposals sometimes result in pure magic. Let yourself be surprised and ask a question you, for sure, expect the answer to be ‘no’ to.
2. Become familiar with it
The secret is repetition. Dare to be confronted by and become familiar with rejection. You’ll see that the greatest things happen outside of your comfort zone.
3. Do not make assumptions
Sometimes we make the most far-fetched assumptions after a rejection: it was because of how I look, or he/she doesn’t trust me, I should have asked differently. But often the real reason of a rejection is something else. Ask for the why behind the no.
4. Keep making a connection
After a painful rejection, our instincts will likely tell us to flee. But a world of possibilities will open up when we do not shy away from the conversation. Every rejection is a way of receiving feedback: what’s your take-away from it.
5. Embrace rejection
You cannot control whether you'll be confronted with rejection or not. You can control how you deal with rejection. According to Jia Jiang the most inspirational people have almost always endured adversity. If, despite countless rejections, you keep following your dreams or keep believing in love, you’ll learn to think in possibilities instead of limitations. And this has a positive influence on all aspects of your life.
Jia Jiang's TED Talk:
Illustration Mateja Kovac