Key Principles, Insights and Actionable Exercises
The fear of rejection, of getting “No’s”—from the opposite sex, your boss, a client, an investor—is one of our deepest fears. And with good reason. We are social creatures, biologically wired with a need to belong. We fear being disliked because it can lead to exile from our social circles. We crave the opposite—being loved.
In tribal times, being ejected from the safety of a community could have meant death. But we don’t face the same threat today. Fearing rejection no longer serves us.
Due to its deep evolutionary roots, the fear of rejection can be masked by all sorts of coping mechanisms. For example, instead of engaging with others, we choose to hide behind mobile phones and intellectual walls.
Without seeing this mechanism clearly, the fear of rejection can be difficult to conquer. The solution? Just like any other fear, it must be acknowledged and then confronted directly.
This is what entrepreneur Jia Jiang did. He overcame his fear of rejection by deliberately seeking rejection once a day for 100 days straight. That's right, over three months of day-after-day rejection. Jia book, Rejection Proof, is based on the idea that once we walk toward our fears, we take the wind out of their sails; they no longer hold power over us.
In fact, some of the most successful people in the world use fear as a motivator to keep moving forward. They embrace their fear of failure, which is just another way of thinking about the fear of rejection. These people know that by redefining what failure means to them, they can change the rules of the game in their favor.
When you look at rejection from a different perspective and start celebrating it, you'll see that it can help you grow at a faster pace. Perhaps more importantly, when you don’t need to worry about the fear of being rejected, the possibilities in life become endless.