In the following book summary, you’ll learn how to reduce your fear of rejection and feel rejection proof.
“If something can´t hurt me, then why should it scare me?” – Jia Jiang
Jia Jiang was a Chinese immigrant who went to America with big entrepreneurial aspirations, but he was held back by his fear of rejection. Jiang overcame his fear by embarking on a quest he called “100 days of rejection.”
Every day for a hundred days, Jiang suppressed his need for approval and made odd requests ‐ like asking a Krispy Kreme worker if she could make him an Olympic doughnut or knocking on a stranger’s door and asking a man if he could play soccer in his backyard. As he progressed through his “100 days of rejection,” he learned a few valuable lessons that made rejection seem progressively harmless. If you and I internalize the lessons in this book, we will freely ask for the job we want, the raise we deserve, the help we need, the discount we’d like, and the financial support we require in times of need.
Rejection is an opinion
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If I were to offer you what many people considered the best mint ice cream in the world, but you hated the taste of mint, your rejection wouldn’t be personal, it would just be your preference.
The same is true of most rejections. People say “no” due to prior experience and particular tastes. Jiang says, “A rejection says more about the rejector than the rejectee.”
When the Grammy award‐winning violinist Joshua Bell dressed in jeans and a baseball cap and played the violin in a busy DC metro station, just seven out of 1,097 people stopped to listen to him. Bell’s performances typically got standing ovations in prestigious concert halls like the John F. Kennedy Center, but in the DC metro station, he played to the wrong audience at the wrong time. The people passing by either didn’t value musical talent, didn’t like classical music, or didn’t have the time to stop and enjoy his music.
Ask “Why” before good-bye
Rejection typically isn’t final if you ask, “why not?” in a friendly and inquisitive way.
When Jiang asked a flight attendant on a Southwest flight if he could give the safety speech to the passengers, he got rejected. When Jiang politely said, “Ok, but may I ask why?” the flight attendant explained the airline had a policy that all passengers must be seated during the safety speech. But then the flight attendant thought of another way Jiang could get his wish and asked Jiang if he wanted to give the “welcome speech” after the safety talk. The flight attendant’s counteroffer was much better than Jiang’s original request because it allowed him to say what he wanted and not follow a script.
Retreat, don’t run away
When someone explains why they can’t satisfy your request, they typically leave clues you can use to craft a smaller request. Robert Cialdini, psychologist and author of Influence, has discovered that people are very receptive to small second requests because they don’t want to come across as a jerk.
When Jiang asked a McDonald’s worker if he could have the McGriddle breakfast sandwich at 2:00 PM (two hours after the McDonald’s breakfast ends), he was given a quick “no.” When he asked why not, the worker explained that the machine that cooked the eggs and sausages had already been cleaned. So, Jiang asked the McDonald’s clerk if there was something “like a McGriddle” she could make that didn’t include egg or sausage. The new request piqued the worker’s interest, and she came up with an alternative ‐ a honey‐roasted griddle cake with cheese melted on top.
“Instead of setting my goals on only the specific thing that I’d gone in asking for, I reassessed my original request and asked for something less… The clerk recognized my concession and met me halfway by offering a solution.” – Jia Jiang
All rejection has upside
Oftentimes, you can ask “why not?” and retreat to a smaller request but still end up empty‐handed. But fear not ‐ a flat‐out rejection can be beneficial in more ways than one:
- Every rejection boosts your rejection immunity. When you get rejected but realize your self‐worth is intact and you still have opportunities ahead of you, the rejection loses its power. When you can live with a rejection, you tend to communicate in a more confident, friendly, and open manner. Jiang says, “When I was confident, friendly, and open, people seemed more inclined to go along with my request; even if they said no, they at least stayed engaged longer to ask questions.”
- A rejection can boost motivation because you want to prove the rejector wrong. Michael Jordan famously responded to the rejection by his high school varsity basketball team with hard workouts and more time on the court. That worked out pretty well for him.
- A rejection generates insight. As Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed 10,000 times ‐ I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” When you step back from rejection and strip out the emotion, you will likely discover ways to improve your request and increase your odds of getting what you want.
“But by not even asking, we are rejecting ourselves by default—and probably missing out on opportunity as a result.” ‐ Jia Jiang
JIA JIANG is founder of the popular blog and video series 100 Days of Rejection. His story has been covered by dozens of news outlets, including Bloomberg Businessweek, Yahoo News, the Huffington Post, Forbes, Inc.com, MTV, Gawker, the Daily Mail, Fox News, and CBS’s The Jeff Probst Show. A native of Beijing, China, Jiang came to the U.S. as a teenager to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Jiang holds an MBA from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Brigham Young University.
Success, Motivation, Self-Esteem, Self Help, Psychology, Business, Personal Development, Autobiography, Memoir, Leadership, Inspirational, Entrepreneurship, Emotional Mental Health, Business Motivation and Self-Improvement
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Meeting Rejection 5
Chapter 2 Fighting Rejection 20
Chapter 3 Tasting Fame 40
Chapter 4 Battling Evolution 57
Chapter 5 Rethinking Rejection 78
Chapter 6 Taking a No 93
Chapter 7 Positioning For Yes 109
Chapter 8 Giving a No 130
Chapter 9 Finding Upside 146
Chapter 10 Finding Meaning 167
Chapter 11 Finding Freedom 187
Chapter 12 Finding Power 200
Chapter 13 Living a New Mission 215
Appendix The Rejection Toolbox 219
Stay tuned for book review…