One of my favorites things to watch are TED Talks. I find them informational and inspirational. I also use TED Talks to improve my public speaking skills (I have a long way to go!). One TED Talk has stood out to me. The talk titled, “What I learned from 100 days of Rejection” was given by Jia Jiang. Rejection is something that affects us more than we are willing to admit. Not being able to deal with rejection can have an adverse effect on our lives. We end up constructing invisible walls around our lives using the bricks of the fear of rejection. We choose to settle for less, ultimately living a crippled life because of the fear of rejection.
From asking for a burger refill to asking a stranger to loan him one hundred dollars, Jia kept hearing “no” until he walked into a doughnut store and asked for five doughnuts linked together to resemble the Olympic symbol. To his surprise the lady behind the counter took him seriously and fifteen minutes later appeared with a box containing his request. The doughnuts were even colored like the five Olympic rings! You will never know who will say “yes” if you are always deterred by the number of people who will say “no.”
Months after watching this video I decided to do my own “rejection therapy.” I took two of my nieces with me believing it could be a great learning moment for us all. We first went to an arcade and I asked the cashier, “If I pay for one child, can the other one get in for free?” His reply: “No” After a few seconds he spoke up, “But I can give you a discount on the fee for the adult who is coming in with the child.” I paid four dollars instead of the regular ten dollar fee. Later the same day my nieces and I went to a chocolate store and I asked the lady, “How many flavors of chocolate do you have in the store and could we sample some?” She told me they had 21 flavors and no she didn’t give samples but since I asked she would give us some to try. Another customer standing next to me heard the exchange and came up and said, “Can I have one too?” Her request was granted. As we all enjoyed the sweet flavor of chocolate, the customer turned to me and said, “I was afraid to ask but when I saw you do it, it gave me confidence to ask as well.” Upon hearing this, my older niece asked, “Can I do the next one?” I was glad to take a break but also elated that she was willing to try as well. The rejection therapy activity was to go to a candy store and ask for free Twizzlers. We located the store and I let my niece take the lead after coaching her on what to say. We walked in and I stood to the side as she approached the store keeper and made her ask. I couldn’t hear what was being said but a few minutes later, the store keeper took my niece to the Twizzlers section. With a big smile I followed and she told me that the store keeper didn’t usually give samples but since she asked, she could have a handful of Twizzlers. My niece was excited at the prospect that she could step out of her comfort zone and make a bold request. Her confidence was growing by confronting her fear. In a world where our younger generation doesn’t know how to cope with being told “no” my niece was picking up the idea that “no” is not the end of the world.
This confidence building moment was crucial for my nieces and I. We also learned that not everyone will say “yes” to everything we ask and that’s okay. This learning moment is especially critical in this social media era. By exposing them to the possibility of “no” they found confidence. We found this out minutes later when we walked into a frozen yogurt store and asked for some samples. The store manager was reluctant at first but then gave us the samples. We decided to push the envelope by asking for toppings to which he frowned and said, “No” My nieces walked out of the store happy after the “no” but they didn’t seem the least bothered. They had learned that “no” is just a two letter word that when heard should never be used to create negative labels in our lives.
I would like to share a testimonial from a member of the church I attend:
“I was excited about getting a new full time job in the nursing field, which provided a more consistent schedule than my previous nursing job. The only caveat to this new job was my days off coincided with the days off for the worship team at my local church, of which I am part of. This meant I would be working on practice days. I approached the scheduling manager and requested a change in schedule but she was quick to inform me that would not be possible as everyone else would also ask for a different work schedule. I wasn’t content with the answer, and after praying about it, I went back to the manager and made the same ask. This time, she told me to fill out the paperwork and she will consider it. “It’s not guaranteed.” she said. I left there with renewed confidence believing that a change in my schedule was possible. I remembered a verse from the Scripture, ‘For we walk by faith not by sight.’ Fear of being rejected or told no should not stop us from trying. “-Carolyne
Will you accept the challenge to take rejection therapy and make the “ask”? An example of an “ask” would be to call your phone company and ask for a discount on your next bill. Go ahead make the “ask”. What’s the worst that could happen?
I would love to hear how your rejection therapy is going. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep on Keeping On!
Waiyaki M. Waiyaki
“Live by Design not by Default”