Is rejection the best thing to happen to you?

‘Sorry, your application has been rejected.’ Isn’t that a line that most job-seekers or students dread? ‘Rejection’ is a word that many of us, in fact most of us, just don’t want to hear.

Whether we like it or not, rejection keeps knocking at our doors at different points in life. In today’s age of competition and start-ups, rejection is a term that you need to get accustomed to. This holds true especially if you are nurturing a dream to venture out on your own. Sounds dejecting right? However, what you can do is embrace rejection and turn it into a step of progress.

Author, blogger and entrepreneur Jia Jiang, who started a website called Rejection Therapy to overcome his fear of the R-word, has tonnes of interesting anecdotes to share on how to do so.

When life kept throwing rejections at him, Jiang decided to condition himself to face failures in life. He came across rejection therapy, an exercise that involved going out and looking for rejection for 30 days. However, he extended the number of days to a whopping 100! For a burst of motivation on a dull day, Jiang’s TED talk of May 2015 is a must-watch. It’s humorous, practical and something that everyone can relate to.

Here’s the link to the talk

Five key things you can learn from the talk

1. Rejection can happen at any age:

Jiang faced rejection in the first grade itself in a classroom activity. He was once again rejected at a later age by an investor. However, it was the latter one that helped him start his entrepreneurial journey, one he had always dreamed of.

2.Rejection can be turned into acceptance:

If you are persistent, the ‘no’ will soon turn into a ‘yes’. The same happened to the speaker during ‘100 days of rejection’. On the first day, he asked a stranger for $100 while on the second day he asked for a burger refill at a fast food joint. It was not a surprise when he was turned down. However, on the third day, when asked for an Olympic rings shaped doughnut at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, he was surprisingly given one.

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3.Dont Run Away

During the beginning his exercise, Jiang used to be extremely nervous. After asking a stranger for $100 and being turned down, he recalls fleeing from the place. However, as days went by, Jiang decided that he would not run and face the music come what may. And this surprisingly let to acceptance, be it getting the Olympic rings shaped doughnut or being a ‘greeter’ at Starbucks!

4.Just ask

Jiang fulfilled his desire to teach by knocking at the doors of a professor at the University of Texas at Austin. At first he was turned down, but when he tried again a few times, he was given a chance. “I thought I had to be a great entrepreneur or get a PhD to teach. But I could fulfil my lifelong dream by just asking,” he says in the speech. So if you wish to achieve your dreams, you must just ask the right person without fearing the consequences. Chances are that they will be positive!

5.Listen to the positive voice inside your head

All of us always have a voice inside that tells us not to follow our dreams. It’s up to us to decide whether we should take the plunge or refrain. Jiang recalls being a highly successful corporate professional. However, he was unhappy because he wanted to be an entrepreneur. While a part of his personality wanted to conquer the world and make a difference, another one was afraid of rejection. And every time the latter voice won till he listened to the former and took the leap of faith.

As the Jiang concludes the speech, he says, “People who change the world are the people who met rejections, be it Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi or even Jesus Christ. But they didn’t let rejection define them; they let their reactions to the rejection define themselves.” What’s your take on that?


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