Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang: Book Review

      Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection  by Jia Jiang was a complete surprise.  I was amazed at how much this book resonated with me.  It was an emotional journey that dealt with author's desire to beat the feeling of rejection he was facing and turn it into a motivational inspiration. He had a simple idea: 100 days of rejection "therapy" wherin he would blog and vlog his experiences of learning to cope with rejection  in the hope that others could learn not to take it so personally.  He started with outlandish requests - like asking strangers to give him $100, and gradually came to the realization that many people said "no" but also asked "why?"  Hidden in his idea was a tremendous opportunity for growth in his communication skills and in understanding the business world in terms of how to make his inquiries in a way that opened the door to understanding the power of rejection and how to make it a more positive learning experience.  It teaches any reader rejection doesn't equal failure. Too often we equate the two, and Jiang shows us the lines between "no" and "yes" are not always black and white.

      I was quickly pulled into Jiang's story, and could completely relate to the feeling of defeat he had when his idea for a startup was denied financing.  I suffered with him when it seemed like his dreams were being met with closed doors and abrupt denials.  A funny thing happened when he set out on his journey to blog his experiences of rejection in the business world at - the ideas he thought would be outright "no" answers all became possible, thanks to his early positive experience in asking a Krispy Kreme employee who loved her job for something he felt would guarantee a rejection.  The viral "Olympic donut" experience turned me as a reader (and as a viewer on YouTube on the FearBuster blog channel) on to the amazing possiabilities of asking the right questions.

Watch as Jia Jiang gets his first warm acceptance to a crazy question...

I wish I had read Rejection Proof at an earlier point in my life.  If it had been available to me as a graduating senior when I had so many choices ahead of me and I didn't quite know where to begin, I think I would've gotten an even greater use out of its message and fearless response to coping with the difficulty of being rejected.  I think it would make an amazing gift to a recent graduate or anyone looking to improve their outlook and their communication skills.  It teaches us valuable lessons on how to ask questions, how to see the opportunities to learn from a rejection experience and how having as much knowledge about yourself and the person whose approval you seek can make all the difference in the outcome.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for the chance to read this fascinating story.  It arrived at just the right time and helped me to ask the right questions in a situation I really needed a boost of confidence in.  I'm thankful for the insight this book gave me, and I hope that you will watch Jiang's Ted talk about his journey and read this wonderful little book.

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