What I learned from 100 days of rejection (Jia Jiang) - TED Talk Reflection

What I learned from 100 days of rejection (Jia Jiang) - TED Talk Reflection

This video was so insightful I decided to write about it.

Fear of rejection is all too real for me. It was something I had to face regularly when I was making cold calls, but I never considered there to be a technique to overcome it. I thought the only way around this fear was to keep making cold calls until I became so jaded and disillusioned that rejection could no longer affect me. This would at least work for me until the following week when I had to start making cold calls again. That was what I believed until I saw this talk.

Here are some insights I gained from this video.

Fear of rejection is often the only thing standing between success and failure

It goes without saying that oftentimes the only reason you haven’t done something you wanted to yet is because you hesitated. It's important to recognize that this hesitation stems from fear. If you haven't acted on something yet, it's because you were afraid.  That hesitation stems from some kind of fear. Whether it's a fear of embarrassment, rejection, or just failure in general, ask yourself: "Why are you afraid?" Have you ever seen young children not do something they wanted to do? And if you have, why do you think they hesitated? It's because they were afraid of punishment or being bullied. Don't be scared of other people.

The way to overcome the fear of rejection is by engaging with the other person

There’s never anything wrong with engaging with anyone. As human beings, we’re always looking to connect with others. Although we don’t like listening, we like it when others are genuinely curious about us and interested in what we have to say. The person you want to approach is no different, and if approached by someone who needs help (and therefore eager to learn), he or she will be less inclined to reject. Likewise, if you have the mindset of really needing to do or learn about something related to them, ask for help.

When someone rejects you, ask them “why”.

Firstly, it’s only natural to ask the question if you were denied something you really wanted to do or learn about, and oftentimes a simple “why” may be met with sympathy if you’re not too overbearing. Secondly, asking the question might even make them question themselves and come round to accepting your request. Thirdly, you’ll never learn what’s wrong if you don't ask. So always ask “why”.

Mention the doubt they might be having before you ask “why”

This one’s important. By mentioning any doubts they might be having, they’ll think you’re being thoughtful and trying to think just like them. You gain their trust and they’ll be more likely to say yes to you instead. A good example would be the one Jia Jang gave in his talk. When at a Starbucks one day, he was rejected by a manager after he requested to greet customers coming into the shop. Instead of being dejected and walking away, Jia decided to ask him, "is it weird that I asked?", to which the manager replied "yeah, it kind of is... but alright I'll allow it this one time".

Anyways, I couldn't cover all my thoughts and reflections on the video in this post (since my browser crashed before I could save my draft), so I recommend just watching the video! It only takes a couple minutes to watch but the insights you can gain will stay with you forever.