A Man in Pursuit of Rejection

December 12, 2016

Rejection is something that all people experience in any number of ways throughout life. But if you’re an actor, it’s essentially a way of life. For example, repeatedly waiting in groups of 60 actors and knowing that perhaps just a couple of you may have the pleasure of landing the roles at hand can be an unnerving experience. But it’s clear that the more auditions an actor goes on increases his or her chances of booking jobs. So it’s essential for actors to develop a thick skin when it comes to rejection. Do you ever find that rejection is interfering with your ability to move things forward in your acting career? If so, you might find Jia Jiang’s personal struggles with rejection to be edifying.

Jia Jiang is not an actor. Rather, he was an aspiring entrepreneur who immigrated to the United States in hopes of becoming the next Bill Gates. And while he did find accomplishment in the corporate world, his real dream of being an entrepreneur evaded him. After all, right from the get go, he constantly heard “no” from potential customers or investors which left him riddled with self-doubt. In fact, he described the rejection as “crippling.” In his What I learned from 100 days of rejection Ted Talk, Jiang attributes a specific childhood experience in which he was publicly rejected by his peers with haunting him well into his adult years.

Determined to become “a better leader, a better person,” Jiang decided to take action. He discovered a game called Rejection Therapy invented by Canadian entrepreneur, Jason Comely. The game’s premise was to actively seek rejection for 30 days. Comely argued this consistent exposure to rejection would essentially desensitize any participant to the pain associated with being brushed off. Inspired by this idea, Jiang decided to go a step further: He determined he would seek rejection for 100 days, and document his experiences on a video blog.

Whether or not you have struggles with rejection, viewing Jiang’s video entries makes for fun watching. They include “Borrow $100 from a Stranger,” “Request a ‘Burger Refill,'” “Play Soccer in Someone’s Backyard,” “Ask for Olympic Symbol Ring Doughnuts,” and the list goes on.

In time, Jiang learned to steel himself against rejection, and develop self-confidence which holds strong even when he experiences setbacks. And now he dares us all to live more boldly and boost our bravery.

In turn, Jiang has made a career for himself based on his journey with rejection. He is the owner of RejectionTherapy.com, a website full of inspiration, information, and products to support people who strive to overcome their fear of rejection. He is the CEO of Wuju Learning that gives instruction to individuals and organizations to become more fearless in their pursuits. And he authored a bestselling book entitled Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection.

Jiang has certainly triumphed over his monumental fears! Do you think his tactics would be effective in dealing with audition room nerves? Who wants to try?