The below video of Jia Jiang’s TED Talk about his rejection experiment is going viral. Called “What I learned from 100 days of rejection,” the video is featured at No. 138 on the list of 200 popular YouTube videos at the moment. Jiang’s fear of rejection began when Jia’s kindergarten teacher had a great idea for showing children how to positively respect one another.
The teacher had bought a stack of gifts and encouraged the children to give each other the gifts and compliment each other. Jiang found himself soon crying when he was one of three children who did not to get any compliments from the other students. The kids turned the team-building event into a jousting rejection session for three six-year-old kids. But Jia’s fate would change when Bill Gates came to Beijing, China, and Jia fell in love with him. By age 25, Jiang wrote a letter saying he’d build the biggest company in the world that would buy Microsoft.
Instead of owning Microsoft, Jiang ended up performing an experiment that Jia thought would help him get over his fear of rejection. Jiang came up with a list of 100 funny and outrageous things to do and chronicled it online with the results of his 100 days of rejection. It turned out that Jia didn’t get rejected for 100 days and discovered that some of his outrageous requests weren’t rejected.
“Jia Jiang adventures boldly into a territory so many of us fear: rejection. By seeking out rejection for 100 days — from asking a stranger to borrow $100 to requesting a ‘burger refill’ at a restaurant — Jiang desensitized himself to the pain and shame that rejection often brings and, in the process, discovered that simply asking for what you want can open up possibilities where you expect to find dead ends.”
Jiang learned that all-important lesson when he asked if he could plant a flower in a stranger’s backyard. Although that man said no, when Jiang asked why, the man said he had a dog that would dig it up. However, the man gave him a referral by telling Jian to “go across the street and knock on Connie’s door,” and Connie let him plant the flower in her backyard.
“What I offered didn’t fit what he needed.”
Jiang learned that the man rejected what was Jia was offering, but didn’t reject him as a person. Then Jia went to Starbucks and asked the manager to be a Starbucks greeter. What’s that? Like a Walmart greeter, Jiang explained, giving a Walmart experience to Starbucks customers. Jia said it was really boring, but he learned a lesson when he asked the Starbucks manager, “Is that weird?” By mentioning the doubt he was having, Jiang gained the trust of the Starbucks manager.
Jiang joked that one of the photos of him shows a bad picture because “sometimes you get rejected by lighting.” However, the photo showed Jian fulfilling his life’s dream just by asking a teacher if he could teach. He came prepared and was fit into the teaching schedule.
[Featured Image by Cheap Books/Shutterstock]