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Fear Of Rejection: 2 Ways To Beat It, Backed By Research

Stashed in: #lifehacks, Fear, Regret, @bakadesuyo, Gamification!

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tl;dr: The only thing you have to fear is fear itself.

Jia Jiang's dream was to be an entrepreneur — and that means a lot of rejection. So how could he beat the fear?

By turning it into a game. For 100 days he made ridiculous requests of strangers, expecting to get rejected.

And get rejected he did. A lot. But he also got a number of unexpected “yes” responses as well:

  • Knocking on a stranger’s door, ball in hand, he asked “Can I play soccer in your backyard?” The response? “Come on in.”
  • He asked a policeman if he could drive his car. The answer? “Do it.”
  • And when he asked workers at Krispy Kreme if they’d make him donuts shaped like the Olympic Rings, they did. For free.

Watch his TED talk:

The two big insights:

  • Treat situations where we might be rejected as a game. It’s not life-or-death. Reframe stress as a challenge.
  • The cure for rejection is those who love us. You need acceptance. When you don’t get it, it hurts. So turn to where you know you will find it: the people who already love you.

By making rejection a game, you can try new things without fear. You can strive without worry.

And what you’ll find is what Jia found: people are often more receptive than you think. Research shows we underestimate how much others are willing to help us.

Studies demonstrate that the old saying is accurate: you regret most the things you did not do.

With loved ones around us, rejection doesn’t hurt for very long. Regret, on the other hand, can last a lifetime.

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