There is infinite inspirational content on the internet but only a few talks and ideas are actually life-changing. One of them is certainly Jia Jiang’s TED talk over rejection. Jia Jiang is an entrepreneur, a blogger, and the author of the book ‘Rejection Proof’ which is again the bestselling one on The New York Time’s list.
As he himself has transformed his life through the revolutionary learning of how to deal with rejection, Jia Jiang’s purpose is now on a mission to help others overcome it. His vlog ‘100 Days of Rejection’ is an effort of the similar cause.
The rejection therapy, which started as a card game designed by Canadian entrepreneur Jason Comely, now comes under Jiang and is home to his personal blog where he has planned tasks for Hundred days of rejection. Jiang is the CEO of Wuju Learning, a company that trains organizations and employees to turn rejections into opportunities. He is also known as the Rejection Guy.
This session, of course, is also about Jiang’s life story and how it revolved around the fear of rejection. But the beauty of his speech lies in the fact that he let the audience absorb the intense idea of rejection with great simplicity and humor. And, maybe it’s the combination of his innocent expressions and witty comments that made the session one of the funniest TED talks ever.
Starting with a cute funny incident of his childhood where he gets rejected to be complemented by his schoolmates, Jiang smoothly made his way to tell the audience how it all started for him. This was obviously a silent clue for the audience that most of the time, the fear of rejection grow its root in us in the very childhood.
Moving on further, he told about the six-year-old version of himself who wanted to rule the world and buy Microsoft from Bill Gates. But even years later, Jiang couldn’t start his company because of the fear that he won’t succeed, or in other words; will get rejected.
“I felt there was this constant battle between the 14-year-old and the six-year-old. One wanted to conquer the world — make a difference — another was afraid of rejection. And every time that six-year-old won.”
After 30 years when Jiang finally started his company, he instantly faced rejection while presenting a business proposal which was utterly disheartening to him. But despite the pain, he decided not to give up as he put it:
“I decided I cannot let that six-year-old keep dictating my life anymore. I have to put him back in his place.”
That’s when Jiang decided to take the help of internet which we all do in situations where we feel lost. He found tons of articles and books but none of them helped him really as he still describes them as unrealistic and illogical. His search for an effective answer led him to the game called ‘rejection therapy’ by a Canadian entrepreneur. The game assigns you tasks for hundred days to deliberately get you rejected in order to overcome the fear of shame and embarrassment. Jiang decided to play this game.
The very first day he was asked to borrow $100 from a stranger and got rejected with a question ‘why?’. But Jiang didn’t answer and ran. After a while, he realized he should have, as he describes it:
“Every time I felt the slightest rejection, I would just run as fast as I could. And you know what? The next day, no matter what happens, I’m not going to run. I’ll stay engaged.”
Hence, with each task, he kept coming closer to the conclusion that the more he stays consistent and tries to find out the reason of the rejection, the better chances he produces to acquire what he wants.
He got fame for his daring acts when he did the task 3 in which he asked a someone to bake him ‘Olympic ring Donuts’ and she actually did. The video went viral but fame was not Jiang’s purpose.
He kept on going and discovered something more valuable. A formula to break the chain of rejection and the formula contained one word, ‘why’. He found that if he just asks the reason of rejection he might find the road of improvement or even a reconsideration by the one who rejects. Jiang explained it in these words.
I found if I just don’t run, if I got rejected, I could actually turn a “no” into a “yes,” and the magic word is, “why.”
On the last notes, I’ll definitely praise the uniqueness of Jiang’s TED Talk as it was more of storytelling than a bunch of boring advice. A story which is relatable to so many people as no one is safe from the horrors of rejection. But Jiang’s beautifully present a solution for it which is realistic and simple. Summing up his speech, he said:
“When you get rejected in life when you are facing the next obstacle or next failure, consider the possibilities. Don’t run. If you just embrace them, they might become your gifts as well.”
These word by Jiang has inspired millions of people to let go of their fear and step up.Let’s just thank Jiang for this deep but light-hearted insight on one of the most complicated yet common phobias in the world.