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Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection Hardcover – April 14, 2015
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Jia Jiang came to the United States with the dream of being the next Bill Gates. But despite early success in the corporate world, his first attempt to pursue his entrepreneurial dream ended in rejection. Jia was crushed, and spiraled into a period of deep self doubt. But he realized that his fear of rejection was a bigger obstacle than any single rejection would ever be, and he needed to find a way to cope with being told no without letting it destroy him. Thus was born his "100 days of rejection" experiment, during which he willfully sought rejection on a daily basis--from requesting a lesson in sales from a car salesman (no) to asking a flight attendant if he could make an announcement on the loud speaker (yes) to his famous request to get Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the shape of Olympic rings (yes, with a viral video to prove it).
Jia learned that even the most preposterous wish may be granted if you ask in the right way, and shares the secret of successful asking, how to pick targets, and how to tell when an initial no can be converted into something positive. But more important, he learned techniques for steeling himself against rejection and ways to develop his own confidence--a plan that can't be derailed by a single setback. Filled with great stories and valuable insight, Rejection Proof is a fun and thoughtful examination of how to overcome fear and dare to live more boldly.
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“Jia’s compelling and inspiring book is a wonderful example of how shifting our perspective can allow us to really see what makes us tick.” --Dan Ariely, Professor, Duke University, Author of Predictably Irrational
"I hope you buy two copies of this book because as soon as you read it, you'll want to give it to someone else who needs a boost of bravery too. And your friend is not going to give it back because it's not just a book, it's a constant companion for the next adventure. So buy two, better yet, buy 10 because it's hard to imagine someone who won't be encouraged and challenged by what Jia Jiang has written in Rejection Proof."
Jon Acuff, New York Times bestselling author of Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work & Never Get Stuck and Start
"A clever and inspiring read that will change the way you approach anything that may seem out of reach. This book made me want to look fear in the eye...and then kick it in the ass.” - Alison Levine, author of New York Times bestseller On the Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership
“Rejection Proof is a fun, thoughtful examination of how to overcome our fears and dare to live more boldly. You have no idea what you can achieve until you try!” --Nancy Duarte, bestselling author of Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations
"Jia Jiang helps us see the folly in spending our lives avoiding failure and rejection. His advice helps us build powerful companies, careers, brands, relationships and lives. If you are human, you need this book!" -Pamela Slim, author of Body of Work
"Every page of Rejection Proof had me both laughing and feeling inspired. Jia's 100 days of ridiculous requests of strangers is a journey that will not only make you more resilient, but will also give you insights into persuasion and how to turn "no's" into "yes's". Highly recommended." --Kevin Kruse, New York Times Bestselling Author, We
"Jia will help you break free of the one thing that's probably held you back most: fear of rejection. His collection of incredible experiments in overcoming fear of rejection will inspire you while it makes you laugh.” — Andrew Warner, founder Mixergy
About the Author
Jiang holds an MBA from Duke University and a bachelor's degree in computer science from Brigham Young University.
- Publisher : Harmony (April 14, 2015)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 080414138X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0804141383
- Item Weight : 12.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.7 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #35,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2018
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I first was intrigued by Jia's story. He seemed genuine and authentic. Someone who admitted his own shortcomings and exposed himself to situations that made him uncomfortable.
However, after reading the book it now feels to me a bit like a publicity stunt.
There is the polished text of the book. I may be wrong, but I don't think Jia wrote this himself. It reads like an imitation of Malcolm Gladwell, with a constant meandering between a simple observation in daily life, evolutionary explanations, references to studies from the 1970s, and finally the grand metaphors so that you will get the point, no matter if you're a WHAT person, a HOW person or a WHAT IF person. Seriously, this sounds like it's straight out of the self-help cookbook.
Then there is the online course that the author offers, and which (of course) is already set up before the book is even launched. Complete with a polished sales page, testimonials, and countdown timer.
And finally there are the unanimous 5 star reviews on Amazon, all of which read like perfect testimonials.
I do think that the basic idea of the book is inspiring. And there are many interesting observations contained in the book.
It's just that I feel a little cheated. Because, to me, this does not seem as the story of one guy who just stumbled upon something interesting and now wants to share it with the world. It all seems a bit orchestrated to me -- and that subtracts from the authenticity that originally attracted me to the author and his story.
Maybe the author has orchestrated all of this because he wants to give his ideas the best shot of being heard by many people, so that the world becomes a better place. Or maybe he he had just been looking for an idea that would fill a need, and he's cashing in on it while it lasts. But there you have the irony of self-help books: The author may have learned a lot from doing his 100 day rejection challenge. But he did so because he had no book. Because he jumped into the unknown. That was the value of what he was doing. The people now, on the other hand, who buy this book, or who take the online class, are taken by the hand. And for most of them, I bet, reading the book or buying the course will be not support for facing their own demons, but a substitute for doing so.
As they say: The only way to be successful with a self-help book is to write one.
Since I may be the only person so far among the reviewers who has actually paid full price on the book, not received any incentive to post a review, and who has actually read the book, here are my highlights from the book:
(After the author rings at a stranger's house and asks if he may play football in the stranger's back yard, the stranger admits him and later explains:) “Well, it was so off the wall, how could I say no?”
Despite having absolutely no reason or incentive to say yes, he’d been compelled to oblige because of—not in spite of—the fact that my request was so outrageous
When I was confident, friendly, and open, people seemed more inclined to go along with my request; even if they said no, they at least stayed engaged longer to ask questions
I felt more engaged than ever. I was smiling a little more and conducting meetings with more poise. I offered my opinions more freely, without constantly studying other people’s faces to see if they liked what I was saying. I asked for feedback without searching for praise and got a little better at not taking criticism personally
Without the negative emotion I usually attached to it—hearing criticism in any comment—the feedback became much more useful
My confidence soared
more aware of how my demeanor impacted the world around me, I was also becoming much more clear and deliberate in my conversations with my wife
Within the first few weeks of my 100 Days, several people told me that I seemed different somehow, more sure of myself. Even my in-laws started looking at me differently, with something that felt like the beginnings of respect
Kevin Carlsmith, PhD, a social psychologist at Colgate University, set up lab experiments where the participants experienced a perceived injustice. Some of the individuals were given the choice to reap revenge on their wrongdoers, but others were not. Afterward, Carlsmith surveyed participants’ feelings. Everyone who was given the chance to exact revenge took it. But everyone in the revenge group ended up feeling worse than the people who weren’t given the choice. Interestingly, all the members of the no-revenge-choice group believed they would have felt better had they been given the chance to get back at their wrongdoers
thinking that they will feel better by showing the rejectors how wrong they were. Yet it doesn’t work that way, and those who lash out actually wind up feeling worse when they get revenge
school shooting and acid attacks, all due to people’s desire for revenge after rejection
participants’ brains, having experienced a social rejection, immediately started releasing opioids—just as they would if a physical trauma had occurred
asked the attendants on my flight to let me read the safety announcement on their behalf?
Could humor be an effective way for me to neutralize rejection pain?
In fact, I was feeling pretty good about myself because I figured I’d just made these groomers’ day
humor helps to reduce pain and stress
When heckled during a speech to the British Parliament, Ronald Reagan playfully replied, “Is there an echo in here?” Before going into surgery after his assassination attempt, he jokingly said to the surgeons: “I hope you are all Republicans.”
participants’ pain thresholds significantly increased only when they watched the comedies—and specifically when they laughed
In another words, laughter reduced their pain and stress
Laughing, dancing, and singing all produce endorphins—a different kind of opioid that not only fights pain but also makes us feel good. Laughing can be like receiving a double shot of natural painkillers from our brain
The fear and pain that might have been generated by the experience were suppressed by endorphins because I was amusing myself simultaneously
people could react to the same request very differently, and it said nothing about me
Their responses reflected their own attitudes, sense of curiosity, and risk tolerance—which varied quite a bit among them
Every time they ask for what they want, they feel that the “universe” is making a unanimous judgment on their merits
The “universe” is made up of people with diverse and often polar-opposite personalities, incentives, and backgrounds. Their reactions to a certain request reveal much more about them than about the request itself
rejection is a human interaction, with at least two parties involved
their mood, their needs and circumstances at that moment, or their knowledge, experience, education, culture, and upbringing over a lifetime. Whatever was guiding them at the time I entered their lives, these forces were usually much stronger than my presentation, my personality, or my request itself
how many times famous authors had been rejected by publishers before one of them finally accepted their first book
Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: 15
Carrie by Stephen King: 30
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig: 121
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling: 12
J. K. Rowling sent out the manuscript of her new book, The Cuckoo’s Calling, to publishers under a pseudonym because she wanted her work to stand on its own merit rather than on her fame. The editor who read and rejected the book, which would also become a bestseller, had said it was “quiet” and “didn’t stand out.”
wonder how many would-be masterpieces have never seen the light of day because the creators were so discouraged by the rejections
these authors—many of whom are now considered to be the greatest talents of their days—had to push beyond dozens of rejections until they found the right person who agreed
becoming a master of a craft requires not just great skills, but also the ability to weather rejections to get to an acceptance
if acceptance is the only thing a person strives for, all she or he needs to do is to talk to enough people. Odds are that someone will eventually say yes
I said, “No problem. But may I ask why?”
The man rejected me not because he didn’t trust me or thought I was weird. He appreciated my offer, but it didn’t fit his situation
Asking why tended to clear up any misunderstanding on my part about the other person’s motivations. In the past, when I was rejected, I had automatically assumed that I’d done something wrong
There’s only an upside to asking “why.” After all, you have been rejected already
I kept insisting on getting what I wanted regardless of what the other person said, the other person would get annoyed and shut me down cold
if I turned and fled, I would create a rout of my own making
demoralizing stories that I would tell myself about the encounter. The biggest casualty in those “battles” was not the rejection but my resulting loss of confidence
there was a powerful third way—retreating, reassessing, and trying a new approach
I tried to get a free room at a luxury hotel and was turned down flat. But after retreating to a lesser request, I wound up getting a tour of one of the hotel’s rooms and was allowed to take a nap on one of the hotel’s famously comfortable beds
effectiveness of making a concession and retreating to a lesser request after an initial rejection
because most people don’t want to feel like jerks, they are much less likely to say no the second time to the requester after the requester makes a concession
If you get turned down for a job, one option is to flee—but another option is to ask for recommendations for other positions based on your qualifications
By having a position to retreat to—and keeping an open mind—you can often avoid being routed by rejection
Arguing with a person who turns you down is probably the least effective way to change the individual’s response. In fact, it’s almost a sure way to get a rejection, because arguing always turns potential collaborators into enemies
By making it clear that he had the freedom to say no, I got to the yes
Approaching a different person, rather than continuously trying to convince the same person again and again, regardless of his needs and preferences, was much more productive
Before deciding to quit or not to quit, step back and make the request to a different person, in a different environment
explaining my why up front had a similar effect
people’s responses to a request are deeply influenced by knowing there is a reason behind it, no matter what that reason is.
I’m amazed at how often I didn’t offer a reason for my request, usually because I assumed the other person already knew it or wouldn’t want to know it
the more people use the pronoun “I,” the more likely they are telling the truth and are perceived as such. On the other hand, the more people use “you” or “he/she/they” as the subject of a sentence, the more likely they are to be not telling the truth
By starting my request with “I,” I could ensure that others understood that I was asking them for a favor—not trying to do them a false favor
I knew I meant no harm to the random people I approached. But how could I make sure that they knew it?
Seeing his dilemma, I tried to make him more comfortable.
“Is that weird?” I asked him.
“Yeah, it’s a little weird,” he replied, almost with relief. But acknowledging what I was asking was strange seemed to put him at ease
at some point they’d had a woman position herself at the door trying to sell products to incoming customers, and they’d had to ask her to leave. Eric didn’t want a replay of that experience, and part of his hesitation was remembering that tricky situation
Demonstrating to Eric that I knew that my request was “weird” actually gave me a different kind of credibility. For one, it proved to him that I wasn’t crazy
it also revealed both honesty and empathy on my part
Asking “Is this weird?” put Eric more at ease and opened his mind to my request. It gave him an opportunity to be honest with me and explain what his reservations were
I hoped that by not mentioning their doubts, those doubts would simply go away
For me, there was a lot of repetition.
I read a bit and have talked to my husband (a car salesman) about some of the stories and not only has he started reading it, he’s also recommended it to his co-workers and friends.
This is a fun read with so many great stories. I love the author’s thoughts and advice as the book progresses.
I would recommend this book to ANYONE. Not just those in sales, or people needing a bit of courage to ask for a date or a raise.
There is something here to be learned by everyone.
Suggestion - get the audible version. The person who speaks the book draws you in. Jia's stories are fun. You feel the moment, the stress, the fear, the tension, the release, the laughter, and ultimately how he learned (and we can too) to enjoy the journey. Don't miss his story and how it can impact your life if you have any dealings with other humans at all. If you are a recluse on a deserted island, you can pass.
1. Rejection is human - a human interaction with 2 sides. Rejection says more about the rejector than the rejectee. Should never be used as the universal truth or sole judgment of merit.
2. Taking a no - ask why before goodbye. Sustain the conversation after rejection by asking "why."
3. Retreat, don't run - don't give up after a rejection. Retreat to a "lesser yes."
4. Collaborate, don't contend - never argue with a rejector. Instead, try to collaborate with the rejector to make the request happen.
5. Switch up, don't give up - before deciding to quit, step back and make the request to a different person in a different environment or under a different circumstance.
6. Positioning for yes - give my why. By explaining the reasoning behind the request, it is more likely to be accepted
7. Start with I - starting with "I" can give the requestor more authentic control of the request. Never pretend to think in the other person's interests without genuinely knowing them.
8. Acknowledge doubts - by admitting obvious and possible objections with the other person, one can increase the level of trust between the 2 parties.
9. Target the audience - by choosing a more appropriate audience, one increases the chances of being accepted
10. Giving a no - patience and respect. Rejection is hard to deliver so deliver it without ever belittling the rejectee. Be direct. Avoid convoluted set-up and reasoning.
11. Offer alternatives - by offering alternatives to get a yes or concessions, you can make the other person a fan, even in rejection
12. Finding upside - motivation. Rejection can be motivations to fuel your fire for achievement. By taking emotion out of rejection, you can improve your idea or product.
13. Worthiness - sometimes it is good to be rejected, especially if the idea is influenced by group-think or radically creative.
14. Character building - by seeking rejection in tough environments, one can build up the mental toughness to go after greater goals
15. Finding meaning - find empathy. All rejections are shared by many people in the world. You can obtain empathy and understanding of other people who have faced similar rejection.
16. Find value - repeated rejections can serve as the measuring stick for one's values and beliefs
17. Find mission - sometimes the most brutal rejections in life signal a new beginning and mission for the rejectee
18. Finding freedom - freedom to ask, freedom to accept ourselves
19. Finding power - detachment from results. Focus on controllable factors, not on acceptance or rejection
Top reviews from other countries
The book was also pretty concise. The first half was really good although the second half started to get a bit laboured and repetitive at times, hence 4 stars not 5.