Jia Jiang knew he had a problem. He was terrified of being turned down, of failing, of embarrassing himself. However, he recognized that this fear was potentially keeping him from meaningful life experiences. So he hatched a plan: he would become rejection proof. The goal was to engage in a rejection exercise each day with the sole purpose of actually being rejected so that he would become inoculated to its effects. He showed up at a neighbor’s house dressed to play soccer and asked to play in their backyard. He asked for a “burger refill” at a fast-food restaurant. Dozens of times, he was rejected, but nearly as often, people actually accommo- dated his requests.
No one likes rejection, because no one likes to be judged. If you choose to make things for a living and share them with others, rejection in some form is inevitable. It’s not rejection that we should fear but rather the fear of rejection. That is what prevents us from taking creative risks that lead to valuable breakthroughs.
I believe that far too many brilliant projects, great ideas, or remark- able relationships never begin because of the fear of rejection. It’s unfath- omable what the compounding loss of those never-seen efforts actually is. Do not allow the fear of rejection to prevent you from acting on your ideas and ambitions. It is a sure pathway to regret.
Creative pros must overcome the fear of rejection.
is the fear of rejection leading you to inaction?