Rejection. Even just spelling that out makes me a bit uneasy. It’s appearance is about as unpleasant as the feelings it invokes.
The negative connotation that surrounds being rejected has made us into a culture that hides from it. As if it has crazy superpowers over us at times.
The fear of it.
The feel of it.
The avoidance of it.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been afraid of the Rejection Monster myself, or at least I used to be.
Enter, Jia Jiang – the Rejection Therapist I’ve been slightly enamored with all week. After seeing him speak last weekend, I was absolutely floored at his tenacity and distinct fearlessness.
If you haven’t heard of this guy yet, do yourself a favor and watch his Ted Talk, where he breaks down rejection in a way you would never expect.
You see, he was once crippled by rejection. Almost to the point that he gave up on his dreams of being a successful entrepreneur, until one day he decided that rather than fear rejection, he was going to go out and ask for it. Submersion, if you will.
He spent 100 days going out every single day, knocking on doors, visiting random places and picking random people to ask for ridiculous requests. His goal was to get a NO each time, so he could get intimately comfortable with his nemesis – rejection.
Some examples of what he asked for include:
Can I play soccer in your backyard? – to a random house on Superbowl Sunday
Can I fly that plane? – to a pilot in a municipal airport
Can I drive your car, Mr. Officer?
Do you know what happened? THEY ALL SAID YES!
What if he never asked? It goes to show you that we often don’t ask for the things we desire because we assume that the answer will be a NO.
Think of how many opportunities we miss out on because we were too afraid to muster up the courage to ask.
The rejection therapy session he is most widely known for, with over 5 million hits on YouTube, involves Krispy Kreme & the Olympics. Go on, watch it here:
Mr. Jiang has not only conquered his fear of rejection, but he has scored a slot in the ranks of people who made their dreams come true because he was not afraid to fail. I’m certain we will be seeing a lot more from this highly motivating rejection crusader.
Case in point: Rejection can lead to the miracle you did not realize was right around the corner because you were too afraid to turn it. Miracles Are Brewing, everywhere…even in the most unexpected places.
This incredible story was heard at the World Domination Summit in Portland, OR – the ultimate melding of the minds. With close to 3000 in attendance, we, the WDSers, dominated Portland and are making strides to dominate the world, one creative idea at a time.
My hat is off to the founder and host, Chris Guillebeau, who is also the brains behind The Art of Non-Conformity and The $100 Startup, two books I gently recommend reading if you have ever tangoed with the idea of living a life outside of the box.
I’ve never seen such a well organized, gracious and over the top event! This was not a seminar. In fact, there was not one pitch encountered. Respect!
This was a place where you go to speak your truth, meet strangers, pick minds, share knowledge and give birth to new ideas backed by new energy – a serendipitous occasion where going with the flow and communicating in its highest form meet, shake hands and dance, literally.
For me it was not only a test of my confidence, but also a confirmation that the work I want to create is a viable idea. Thankfully, I received lots of hugs, sighs and wow’s when telling bits and pieces of my story.
There are 2 notable things that I committed to while being there:
1) I entered into a bet with a fellow attendee, the author behind Gusty Geek, who made the same bet the year prior with Chris Guillebeau, after Chris made a $100 investment in every person in the audience.
The bet is that I will have a book completely written and ready to rock by the WDS event next year. The Gutsy Geek has wrangled a group of 15 or so of us to participate by declaring a dream of writing a book, committing to it and holding us accountable. We made the stakes 10 to 1. My bet is $100, so if I lose I pay him 10 times that, or $1000. I’m asking that all of you hold me accountable as well. Drop me a line and check in on me from time to time please.
2) During WDS one of the speakers, Darren Rowse, the brain child of Problogger, asked us to turn to the person next to us and tell them a dream we have. My dream was to share my story on that stage! I am a big believer, just as Ozioma Egwuonwu of Day for Dreamers – the home of International Dream Day on August 24, that if you declare your dream, you set it in motion.
From the grand opening at the rented-out Oregon Zoo, to the talks in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall that put tears in my eyes & goose bumps down my arms many times, all the way to the closing party in the Pioneer Courthouse where we danced the night away Bollywood style – my heart, mind & journey have been forever changed.
On that note, I will leave you with several other nuggets I captured during this miraculous adventure…