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Becoming Rejection Proof

By Arvind Pandey
Published in Life & Productivity
August 18, 2020
5 min read

Today, I’m going to tell you about a book changed my life in some positive way.

A few years back I read a book called

Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection.

Let’s first talk about what this book is about?

This book is about a person, who started his journey as an entrepreneur. For his new venture, he needed to meet new people and raise money. In this process, he went through a few rejections. This was a very usual thing for anyone starting his journey as an entrepreneur. But for him, it was a horrifying experience. After each rejection, he started feeling depressed. Opening an email in his inbox was dreading for him. He would just not like rejection.

One fine day, he decided to overcome his rejection. He thought to perform 100 experiments for straight 100 days, where he would intentionally try to get rejected. During this whole process, he decided to record it in a video. His experiments are quite interesting. I’m not going to be a spoiler, you can read the book. I’m sure you will enjoy reading and learning from the book.

How I applied in my real life

After reading this book. I tried applying the learnings from the book in real life. It was an amazing experience.

I will cover a few instances but before that, I want to talk about what happens before rejection. There is a pattern.

Assumption/Imagination —> Communication —> Acceptance or Rejection —> (If rejection) —> Reason for rejection

Before we ask something from someone, we assume a few things from our side. That assumption comes from our past experiences in life. Those assumptions might not be correct. This is the major hindrance. People do not reach the second point, communication.

Even if we reach to communication stage and say in the worst case we get rejected. Now, this rejection gets added to the assumption that I just talked about. Now, next time when you approach someone for any help, you assume that the person will deny helping you. Why did you assume that? Because your experience says that, you approached person A, he denied it. So, person B will also deny. You sum up all your past experiences and even if your acceptance rate is more than rejection, you still hesitate to ask for help. Because rejection leaves a long-lasting effect on you, emotionally.

Here are the few instances, I tried overcoming my fear of rejection.

Reaching out for help at the workplace

This is the most common scenario for almost anyone working with a group of people. You are working on something and you get stuck. You tried your best and there is no way ahead for you. You know person A in the team who can help you. But you hesitate to ask. Why, because you are at the assumption stage and this is what looks like inside your head.

  1. What if he/she thinks I’m dumb
  2. What is he/she says ‘NO’
  3. I heard, he/she is not good with people, etc

You see, your brain is wasting time on something that’s not real. I have been to this phase. After reading this book, I just stopped thinking about it. My only job is to ask for help. And see what happens. I was amazed at the outcome. I realized people are so open to helping. They feel happy because you somehow acknowledge them that they know stuff that can be useful. Everybody likes to be resourceful. After this experience, I never felt a blocker in my career. I realized people are waiting for being asked.

As a fresher, I thought I should know everything and should avoid asking for help. The more I know, the more I realize how little I know. And we are human, not computer or storage device which can store an infinite amount of information. So, ask for help.

Asking for AC installation in my rented room

It was in April 2016. I moved to a newly rented apartment. Hyderabad is damn hot in the month of April, May, and June. It was a 3 BHK flat, I was sharing 2 rooms with other flatmates. The flat was on the top floor. Within a few days, I realized this is not going to work. During the daytime it was fine, but at the night the room becomes a heater. Few nights I slept on the balcony.

I found the flat by an ad by flatmates. Since I had no acquaintance with the owner, “I assumed” that asking him for AC is of no use. He might delay it to next month or next year. I was going mad each night. I decided to buy an AC or a cooler. I was almost ready to step out. Before that, I thought about what’s wrong with asking the owner to install the AC because it will be useful for him for future tenants. I got the mobile number from my flatmates and called him. I explained to him the situation. He is a retired government employee. He is quite aged but his voice was quite strong. To my surprise, he said. Yes, I understand your problem. The remaining two rooms have the ACs installed. This room also needs AC. He asked me to buy the AC and cut the money from rent in the next 6 months of equal installments. I was very happy.

So, next time when you are in doubt just ask for it.

My highlights from the book

  1. If I could just figure out the right way to communicate in each situation, I might increase my chance of being accepted - and also decrease my fears about possible rejection.
  1. When I was confident, friendly, and open, people seem more inclined to go along with my request; even if they said no, they at least stayed longer to ask questions.
  1. Most of the time, when you really look at it, rejection is like the Wizard of Oz. We might be terrified of rejection when we’re asking for a raise, a date, an investment, or the approval we crave. We feel the word no comes at us with a loud voice, fire, and smoke. We feel it would really hurt us. But in reality, it is almost never that bad. Even if we don’t get what we ask for, we haven’t lost anything. It is rarely the case that our lives are in danger.
  1. When you are not afraid of rejection and it feels like you have nothing to lose, amazing things can happen.
  1. Through my rejection experiments, I began to realize that I could often get a yes simply by talking to enough people.
  1. Think Like a Freak.
  1. I always look back at that rejection with gratitude.
  1. Rejection is an experience that it is up to you to define. In other words, it means only what you choose it to mean. The relationship you have with rejection can be negative or positive, and it all depends on which way you spin it for yourself.
  1. Companies, organizations, parents, teachers, and our society as a whole universally praise creativity and thinking outside of the box. However, when creativity actually happens, it is often met with rejection, because it frequently disrupts order and rules.
  1. The only thing I dread is not to be worthy of my sufferings. The same goes for rejection. Is your dream bigger than your rejections? If it is, maybe it’s time to keep going, instead of giving up.


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