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Why Feeding Off Rejection Might Just Help You Succeed

Updated: Mar 22, 2019

by Meagan Tan. |

Often times, when I confide in my friends about a bad day at work or just when things are not going the way I planned, they would often tell me not to worry.

“Just stay positive and think good thoughts.”

All will go well if you think about what you would want to happen - pretty much a simple explanation of the law of attraction.

Well, yes, we should not always be a pout and think negatively. But it made me think to myself:

Why should we only feed off the good and not the bad?

After all, we are only human. It’s normal to get rejected, have a bad day and

to be upset about it.

Source: Chinese Hacks

I recently listened to a TED Radio Hour podcast, A Better You and it really opened up my horizons about my approach in accepting criticism. And by that I mean, COLD, hard criticism. Not constructive criticism.

One of the featured speakers, Jia Jiang, shared why he feels rejection could be more important than acceptance.

The idea of it is to build a fearless character and to be mentally prepared to be rejected when diving into any negotiations.

So, if you’re able to conquer that, nothing more would affect you - giving you the extra courage to be thick-skinned while seeking opportunities, instead of going in with rejection as your biggest fear.

Jia Jiang realised that by embracing rejections, not only did it allow him to succeed better in his approach on business, but as an individual as well.

Some Backstory:

How Jia Jiang stumbled upon this entire concept of embracing rejection was actually through a challenging time of his life.

It wasn’t until a few days before his first son was born, he realised he just needed to fulfill a part of his dream to start his own business. He took all his courage and left his full time job to pursue this dream.

Like every like-minded entrepreneur, he knew he was going to face a lot of risks and challenges. Just as he expected, it wasn’t too long until he was rejected by a huge potential investor. He was obviously, stuck and afraid of what will come next.

The Rejection Therapy

Coincidentally, Jia stumbled upon a website, rejectiontherapy.com and he decided to do a 100-day Rejection Therapy, and recording everyday of his adventure. Highly encouraging anyone who, as cliche as it sounds, wants to be a better version of themselves, to venture into this challenge as well.

Jia Jiang’s purpose for this challenge was to solely seek for rejection. And not expect any approval in return.

The concept of the challenge was simple. For 100 days, there will be a simple challenge you have to complete, such as asking someone to lend him a hundred bucks, asking a selfie from a random stranger or even request for a burger refill (yes, I know this sounds impossible but that is the point!).

Watch how Jia Jiang attempted to ask for a burger refill:

So, if you’re too lazy to watch - his burger refill request was rejected. Duh..

Even he knew that from the start. But the point, again, is to go out and do it anyway even if you know you will be rejected.

If you’ve had a read at the list of challenges on the website, some of them may sound completely weird and absurd, knowing you’ll never pull through. It’s alright, because it’s designed to push yourself not to fear rejection and even to be persistent in getting what you want.

You’d be surprised at the outcome and the sincere, genuine acts people may do for you.

The takeaway from this, is to stay engaged and learn to develop a healthy relationship with rejection. Through that, you’d learn the skills on how to negotiate, compromise and more importantly to have fun!

The key is to go in with an intention knowing that you’ll get rejected badly and yet still be persistent to fulfill the task.

Quite surprisingly, at the end of it all, out of the 100 people he asked, 51 strangers actually approved and did not reject him. Until today, he still practices it but on a smaller scale. In current day, his aim is to get rejected 2-3 times in a week.

How you can practice in being more comfortable with rejection:

After Jia Jiang’s experience, he wanted to bring The Rejection Therapy more accessible. So, he created an app DareMe.

To simplify things, the app is technically a daily challenge app in your pocket. So that it keeps you accountable to the challenge.

Source: Rejection Therapy

If you are the kind of person who finds rejection to be your biggest roadblock in achieving your goals, this app is perfect for you to challenge yourself.

We hope this gives you a different perspective in viewing rejections. When you rather scrap a plan because you feel like it might fail, tell yourself this:

The worse outcome is rejection. But then, so what if you are rejected? It’s really not that bad.

After all, it just means you are one less rejection away from success. And who knows, the fear that has been hindering you all this while from failing, could just be what you need to build a better you.

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