A few months back, I was considering my career prospects and decided to check out a book called “Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection” by Jia Jiang. The book follows the real-life journey of the author’s attempt to overcome rejection following a heart breaking denial of his initial entrepreneurial efforts. He sets out to be rejected every day to thicken his skin, but is often surprised at the responses he gets from his sometimes outlandish requests. He begins to analyze these efforts and distills them down into some fairly profound insights in the book.
There are some pretty good chuckles in the book, and even a few tear jerking moments, however I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone looking for a job, auditioning, working in sales, fund raising, or starting their own entrepreneurial enterprises. Jiang offers insights on taking a no, positioning for yes, finding upsides and meaning in rejection, and even tips on how to give rejection.
Although the entire book is full of useful perspective, here are a few of the nuggets of wisdom that stuck with me:
- Rejection is an opinion of the rejector. It is heavily influenced by historical context, cultural differences, and psychological factors. There is no universal rejection or acceptance.
- Ask why before good-bye. Sustain the conversation after the initial rejection. Asking “why” can often reveal the underlying reason for the rejection and present the rejectee with the opportunity to overcome the issue.
- Rejection can be character building. By seeking rejection in touch environments, one can build up the mental toughness to take on greater goals.
- Find empathy in rejection. All rejections are shared by many people all over the world. One can use rejection and suffering to obtain empathy and understanding of other people.
- Detach yourself from results. By focusing on controllable factors, such as our effort and actions, and by detaching ourselves from uncontrollable outcomes such as acceptance and rejection, we can achieve greater success in the long run.