Choose The Right Rejection

At some point in 2018, I read the book Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang. In 2019 I was fortunate enough to be at the Global Leadership Summit where Jia shared more about the book and reminded me about some of the rejection therapy that I had already tried for myself.

Jia tells us about his journey, where he tried to be rejected differently for 100 days. The goal was to become numb to rejection so that it wouldn’t hurt anymore. There are two further insights that I gained as he was talking, and as I reflected further on the idea of rejection therapy.

Intentionally Choose the Right Rejection

Rejection therapy posits that if you regularly put yourself in situations where you may be rejected, you will be less anxious or hurt when rejection comes.

Instead of putting yourself in random situations where you may be rejected, you can choose to put yourself in practical situations where you can be dismissed. For example: ask for the sale. Ask a business to change its policy on the sourcing of materials from exploitive sources. Ask if you can lead the project that will change the course of the company (even if you don’t work there.) If you are going to be rejected, at least you can be rejected for trying to change the world.

Rejection That Matters Will (and Should) Hurt

Rejection should hurt. You don’t ever want to numb yourself from the sting of rejection. The real benefit of rejection therapy is that you will learn how to get up and keep going after you are rejected. What happens to a football player if they don’t care that they got tackled at the one-yard line? What happens to a golf champion who doesn’t care that they missed the putt for a birdie? Sooner than later, these athletes will be retired. Being stopped from your goal of changing the world, or making the sale will hurt if you genuinely care about your cause. It will hurt because you know that someone else’s life could be much better if they saw your point of view. The rejection is saying, ‘I just don’t value what you’re saying yet.’

Rejection therapy can help you get back up again, but it won’t ever take away the sting of being rejected for what you are most passionate about. But you don’t want it to. A rejection means that you can learn how to fight harder, better and stronger.

Nobody wants to be rejected, but there are many ways to turn the act of rejection into a place where you can gain wisdom and strength.