Rejection Proof | Jia Jiang

Summary of: Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection
By: Jia Jiang


In ‘Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection,’ author Jia Jiang shares his journey to overcome the fear of rejection and build resilience. By embarking on a 100-day rejection journey, Jiang aimed to better understand the psychology and social dynamics of rejection. In this summary, readers will learn that rejection is subjective and shaped by various factors such as external circumstances, the audience, and the environment. The book also reveals the significance of understanding others’ doubts, being authentic, and targeting the right audience to minimize rejection. Moreover, Jiang demonstrates that embracing rejection can lead to innovation, motivation, and personal growth.

Overcoming Fear of Rejection

The author of the book was well-off and successful but unhappy because he was scared to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. His wife advised him to take a six-month deadline to start his own company. To minimize risks, he decided to set fixed goals and time limits. The author assembled a team of skilled engineers to build a personal development gamification app. However, their pitch was rejected by investors. To handle rejection better, the author embarked on a 100-day rejection journey, chronicling his experiences through his blog and videos. The lessons he learned are relevant to anyone who wants to cope with rejection.

The Pain of Rejection

Rejection is an unpleasant experience that can elicit the same response as physical pain. This is because our fear of rejection is rooted in our biology and reinforced by our instinct to stay alive. The evolutionary nature of rejection means that it feels personal, making it difficult to blame external factors. Failure, on the other hand, is easier to accept because it is often due to factors beyond our control. While fear of rejection may have been necessary for our ancestors’ survival, it is now more of a hindrance than a help. Therefore, it is crucial to reframe our concept of rejection to understand its positive aspects. Instead of seeing rejection as a personal failure, we should view it as an opportunity for growth and learning.

Overcoming the Fear of Rejection

Rejection is subjective and does not define your abilities. To overcome the fear of rejection, see it as one of many unique human interactions. Different people will respond differently, and rejection is not a final verdict on your character. Adopt a mindset of trying again and talking to enough people, as eventually you will find someone who can fulfill your request. J.K. Rowling’s success after being rejected by 12 publishers is a testament to this.

The Value of Resilience

Don’t Run Away, Learn from Rejection. The book highlights a similar between “retreat or rout” tactics in military warfare to a rejection. It encourages to confront rejection rather than running away. The author suggests asking questions, tweaking approach, changing the audience, environment, and circumstances, which increases the chances of getting a “yes” in the future. By retreating with an orderly approach, people can learn from their failures and formulate a strategy to succeed next time.

The Art of Persuasive Requests

To increase the chances of receiving a “yes,” one must first understand the fundamentals of decision-making. This includes being authentic, disclosing the reason behind the request, and acknowledging others’ doubts. Providing a reason behind a request, no matter how trivial, can have an immediate effect on the person’s response. Additionally, pitching to the right audience is crucial, as talent and brilliance don’t matter if you’re addressing the wrong audience in the wrong setting. Rejection is often based on various factors that aren’t necessarily about you.

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