When was the first time you felt rejected? You likely remember it well. Rejection is a form of trauma for us. It feels awful, so it makes sense why we’d want to avoid it at all costs. But what if we didn’t?
Jia Jiang spent his life terrified of rejection. He had big dreams, but every time he got shot down, he’d run instead of engage. Until one day, he discovered RejectionTherapy.com by Canadian entrepreneur Jason Comely. “The basic idea is: for thirty days, you go out and look for rejection.” And that’s exactly what he did. Only, he upped the ante.
Jia decided to seek out rejection for 100 days… and video blog the whole thing. Day one? Ask a stranger for $100 dollars. Denied. Day two? Request a “burger refill.” Nope. Day three? Ask for donuts that look like the Olympic rings. And here’s where it got interesting. The baker was so intrigued by the challenge, she took out her sketch pad, came up with a design, and fifteen minutes later, presented him with a color-matched donut replica of the Olympic rings.
The vlog got over 5 million views on YouTube.
And that’s when Jia realized: “If I didn’t run if I get rejected, I could actually turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’... and the magic word is: WHY.” He learned that if he mentioned a doubt the other person might have, he gained their trust, and was more likely to get them to say yes. And more importantly, “I learned I could fulfill my life dream… by asking.”
Jia learned to ask questions when he got rejected. Often, he found the reasons for people said no had nothing to do with him. It wasn’t, as the six-year-old boy inside him remembered, because he wasn’t good enough, or dressed well enough, or because they didn’t like him. He learned to engage in the face of rejection instead of run, and this changed his life.
“I found that people who really change the world-- who change the way we live and the way we think-- are the people who were met with initial and often violent rejections. People like Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, or even Jesus Christ. These people did not let rejection define them. They let their own reaction after rejection define themselves.”
Demystifying rejection is an important teaching point for online high school students. Rejection is something we all face, especially for students who have already decided to explore their dreams and unique life purpose using a new path.
What would you begin today if you knew you couldn’t get rejected?