What I learned from 100 days of rejection | Jia Jiang | TED

TED

TED

15 min, 32 sec

A personal journey of overcoming fear of rejection by embracing it and turning it into an opportunity for personal growth and success.

Summary

  • Jia Jiang shares his experience of facing rejection as a child during a classroom gift exchange, which instilled in him a fear of public rejection.
  • Inspired by Bill Gates, he aspired to build a large company, but found himself paralyzed by fear of rejection in his professional life.
  • He discovers 'Rejection Therapy' and embarks on a 100-day challenge to seek rejection, documenting his experiences and lessons learned.
  • Jia learns to stay engaged after being rejected, finds ways to turn 'no' into 'yes', and fulfills his dream of teaching by simply asking.
  • He now teaches others how to handle rejection, using his blog, talks, a book, and developing technology to help people overcome their fear of rejection.

Chapter 1

Childhood Lesson in Rejection

0:12 - 1 min, 11 sec

A classroom activity gone wrong leaves a lasting impact on Jia Jiang's perception of rejection.

A classroom activity gone wrong leaves a lasting impact on Jia Jiang's perception of rejection.

  • At six years old, Jia Jiang's teacher sets up a gift exchange that required students to compliment each other to receive a gift.
  • As names are called, Jia is among the last three children left without compliments, feeling publicly rejected.
  • The teacher, realizing the mistake, allows the remaining children to take their gifts without compliments, suggesting better behavior might garner compliments next year.

Chapter 2

Inspiration and Aspiration

2:01 - 47 sec

Jia Jiang's ambition to conquer the world was inspired by Bill Gates, leading to a bold childhood proclamation.

Jia Jiang's ambition to conquer the world was inspired by Bill Gates, leading to a bold childhood proclamation.

  • At 14, Jia hears Bill Gates speak and becomes inspired to build the biggest company in the world that would eventually buy Microsoft.
  • He writes a letter to his family laying out his goal, showcasing his determination and ambitions for global success.

Chapter 3

Reality Check and Stagnation

2:55 - 1 min, 2 sec

Despite his early ambitions, Jia Jiang faces the reality of his unachieved dreams and stagnant career.

Despite his early ambitions, Jia Jiang faces the reality of his unachieved dreams and stagnant career.

  • By age 30, Jia has not started his own company and is working as a marketing manager for a Fortune 500 company, feeling stuck.
  • He realizes that the fear of rejection, instilled from his childhood, is holding him back from pursuing new ideas and speaking up.

Chapter 4

The Turning Point

3:57 - 56 sec

A rejected investment opportunity leads Jia to reconsider his approach to rejection and leadership.

A rejected investment opportunity leads Jia to reconsider his approach to rejection and leadership.

  • Facing rejection from an investment opportunity for his company, Jia contemplates quitting but realizes successful entrepreneurs don't give up easily.
  • He decides to become a better leader and person, no longer allowing his childhood fear to control him.

Chapter 5

Embracing Rejection Therapy

4:53 - 1 min, 2 sec

Jia Jiang discovers 'Rejection Therapy' and commits to a 100-day challenge to seek out rejection.

Jia Jiang discovers 'Rejection Therapy' and commits to a 100-day challenge to seek out rejection.

  • In an attempt to overcome his fear of rejection, he finds rejectiontherapy.com and decides to record himself facing rejection for 100 days.
  • The exercise involves seeking out rejection daily and desensitizing himself to the pain of being turned down.

Chapter 6

Learning from Rejection

5:55 - 1 min, 51 sec

Jia's 100 days of Rejection Therapy leads to surprising discoveries and personal growth.

Jia's 100 days of Rejection Therapy leads to surprising discoveries and personal growth.

  • He learns that by not running away from rejection, he can engage and sometimes turn a 'no' into a 'yes'.
  • Jia finds that asking 'why' when rejected often leads to understanding and sometimes an alternative opportunity.
  • By acknowledging potential objections upfront, he gains trust and increases his chances of a positive outcome.

Chapter 7

Unexpected Success

7:46 - 1 min, 51 sec

A request for Olympic ring doughnuts goes viral, bringing Jia unexpected fame and opportunities.

A request for Olympic ring doughnuts goes viral, bringing Jia unexpected fame and opportunities.

  • A Krispy Kreme employee's willingness to make doughnuts shaped like the Olympic rings, despite an unusual request, leads to a viral video.
  • Jia gains fame and receives positive feedback from around the world, but he remains focused on learning and self-improvement.

Chapter 8

Teaching and Fulfilling a Dream

11:07 - 2 min, 48 sec

Jia fulfills a lifelong dream of teaching by taking the initiative to ask for the opportunity.

Jia fulfills a lifelong dream of teaching by taking the initiative to ask for the opportunity.

  • By simply asking, Jia manages to teach a college class at the University of Texas, fulfilling a dream inspired by his family's teaching background.
  • He realizes that asking can lead to achieving dreams without the need for extensive accomplishments or qualifications.

Chapter 9

Rejection as a Gift and Tool for Change

13:55 - 1 min, 31 sec

Jia concludes that embracing rejection can be transformative and a gift for personal and professional development.

Jia concludes that embracing rejection can be transformative and a gift for personal and professional development.

  • He reflects on historical figures who changed the world by embracing rejection instead of letting it define them.
  • Jia shares how he has used his experience to teach others to transform rejection into opportunities, including through his blog, talks, a book, and technology.

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