Taking risks is the only way to change your life for the better. When you take risks, however, you put yourself in the path of rejection. It’s inevitable, really.
There will be times when things don’t go your way, and when people tell you “no” or shoot down an idea you thought was brilliant.
Jia Jiang, like many of us, faced a fear of rejection. Unlike us, though, Jiang set out on a unique journey to overcome this fear.
His experiment lasted 100 days. Jiang spent that time seeking rejection and seizing any opportunity to experience it. What he found was, despite expecting rejection every time, he wasn’t rejected 100 percent of the time.
He even succeeded in having a team of Krispy Kreme employees make him customized donuts with no extra charge.
Jiang went on to author "Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection." In this book, Jiang explains the key factors that help a person overcome fear of rejection.
For The Sake of Your Morale
Rejection is a seemingly unavoidable part of risk-taking, but it leaves us feeling beaten down and lousy. Even if you’re rejected from a group or cause you didn’t actually want to join, you will naturally experience negative feelings.
Not only that, being rejected will temporarily lower your IQ. Studies show rejection also boosts your aggression. But there’s hope.
Here are the two things you need to ensure rejection doesn’t get you down:
Turn Rejection Into a Humorous Challenge
Fortunately, Jiang’s tricks are easy to follow. First, turn any situation in which you could potentially face rejection into a game.
In other words, approach each situation with humor and view it as a challenge. This will help you to maintain your IQ and stay levelheaded.
The power of humor is nothing to scoff at. Having a shrug-it-off approach reduces stress and makes seemingly horrifying or fatal circumstances survivable. One example involves mountain climber Joe Simpson, and it shows humor can really save lives.
After Simpson fell and shattered his leg, he probably should have died. But by wobbling — or dancing, as he saw it — Simpson was able to humor himself to safety.
He also viewed his circumstances as a challenge: If he won, he lived; if he lost, he died.
So, if you’re like Jiang and enter each situation with humor and a ready-to-play attitude, rejection won’t wash over you like a flood of sadness. You’ll let it bounce right off, and you’ll be ready to move on to the next challenge.
Appreciate and Embrace Loved Ones
There’s one other trick to overcoming rejection, and that is to keep your loved ones close. When you face rejection in one area of life, it’s beneficial to have steadfast acceptance in another area.
Your loved ones will support you; they’ll give you the opposite of rejection. Love and acceptance, like humor, should not be underestimated. Even the loving relationship you share with your favorite stuffed animal matters.
In fact, just touching a teddy bear diminishes the negative feelings brought on by rejection. The same goes for playing with children and pets.
When it comes to our relationships with people, the positive power is even greater. According to studies, people in happy marriages are less likely to suffer from chronic pain, and having dependable, loving relationships may lead to longer life overall.
But when it comes to overcoming rejection, love will just help to keep you positive. Jiang might not have embarked on his 100-day journey without the support of his wife, for example.
So, if you want to move forward as your happiest, smartest and most successful self, it’d be beneficial to try the practices above. Overcoming the fear of rejection will leave you living — like Jiang — joyously rejection-proof.