Summary: Rejection Proof – How to Beat Fear and Become Invincible

Useful insights and inspiration for tackling rejection


Rejection Proof: How to Beat Fear and Become Invincible is an entertaining account of aspiring entrepreneur Jia Jiang’s quest to overcome his fear of rejection through 100 days of exposure therapy.

The book comprises accounts of Jiang making outlandish requests to elicit acceptance or rejection; research into the topic and insights gained from his daily experiments.

If you struggle with rejection, this is an interesting, inspiring and useful book well worth the read.

From the back cover

Maybe you avoid situations where you might be rejected. You don’t apply for that dream job. You don’t ask for that pay rise. You don’t ask that person on a date. But it doesn’t have to be that way – the only thing standing between you and your goals … is you.

In this infectiously positive book Jia shares what he learned in his 100 Days of Rejection, explaining how to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’, and revealing how you too can become Rejection Proof and achieve your dreams..


  1. We are evolutionarily programmed to fear rejection because in days past rejection from “the pack” could have resulted in death.
  2. Laughter is a powerful defence against the fear of rejection. When making our request, if we do so with humour and a light-touch, it is no longer as frightening. And when rejected, seeing the humour in the situation can remove the sting of the rejection itself.
  3. When you are not afraid of rejection and it feels like you have nothing to lose, amazing things can happen.
  4. People can react to the same request very differently. The world is made up of people of diverse backgrounds, personalities and motivations. Given this, their reactions to a certain request are much more about them at a particular moment in time than the request itself. Being rejected therefore is less a “truth” than it is an opinion.
  5. The way someone feels about you, or about a request you’re making, can be impacted by factors that have nothing to do with you. If people’s opinions and behaviours can change so drastically based on so many different factors, why should you take everything about a rejection so personally?
  6. You will often get a “yes” simply by talking to enough people.
  7. If you view other people’s opinions as the main judgement of merit, then your life will be a miserable mess.
  8. Rejection Is Human: Rejection is a human interaction with two sides. It often says more about the rejector than the rejectee, and should never be used as the universal truth and sole judgment of merit.
  9. Rejection Is an Opinion: Rejection is an opinion of the rejector. It is heavily influenced by historical context, cultural differences, and psychological factors. There is no universal rejection or acceptance.
  10. Rejection Has a Number: Every rejection has a number. If the rejectee goes through enough rejections, a no could turn into a yes.
  11. When you’re rejected, politely ask why. The insight you might glean from the response you get could prove valuable. Indeed, asking why can even be a tool for turning a rejection into an acceptance.
  12. If you’re rejected, suggest a compromise alternative, “If you can’t do this, can you do something else?” There is often a lot more room to manoeuvre around a “no” than you think.
  13. It’s natural to view the people who hold the power to grant you a yes or a no as adversaries. But if you shift your thinking and start viewing them as collaborators, you suddenly found yourself in whole new territory.
  14. Ask “Why” Before Good-bye: Sustain the conversation after the initial rejection. The magic word is “why,” which can often reveal the underlying reason for the rejection and present the rejectee with the opportunity to overcome the issue.
  15. Retreat, Don’t Run: By not giving up after the initial rejection, and instead retreating to a lesser request, one has a much higher chance of landing a yes.
  16. Collaborate, Don’t Contend: Never argue with the rejector. Instead, try to collaborate with the person to make the request happen.
  17. Switch Up, Don’t Give Up: Before deciding to quit or not to quit, step back and make the request to a different person, in a different environment, or under a different circumstance.
  18. If you tell people why you’re making the request, they are more likely to say yes.
  19.  Although it might seem counterintuitive, acknowledging other people’s doubts can help rather than hurt your cause. By being “real” and acknowledging the skepticism that other people might feel, you can help put them at ease, yourself at ease, and boost your credibility at the same time.
  20. It doesn’t matter how amazing your performance or products are, if you target the wrong audience, who don’t recognize, appreciate, or need your value, your effort will be both wasted and rejected.
  21. Rejection can be used as one of the strongest motivations to fuel your fire for achievement.
  22. By taking the emotion out of rejection, you can use it as an effective way to improve an idea or product.
  23. Sometimes it is good to be rejected, especially if public opinion is heavily influenced by group and conventional thinking, and if the idea is radically creative.
  24. By seeking rejection in tough environments, you can build up the mental toughness to take on greater goals.
  25. All rejections are shared by many people in the world. You can use rejection and suffering to obtain empathy and understanding of other people.
  26. Repeated rejections can serve as the measuring stick for your resolve and belief. Some of the greatest triumphant stories come only after gut-wrenching rejections.
  27. Often, the most brutal rejections in life signal a new beginning and mission for the rejectee.
  28. We often deprive ourselves of the freedom to ask for what we want in fear of rejection and judgment. But amazing things often happen only after we take the first step.
  29. Your inner need for approval-seeking forces you to constantly look for acceptance from other people. Yet the person from whom you need acceptance the most is yourself.
  30. By focusing on controllable factors such as your efforts and actions, and by detaching yourself from uncontrollable outcomes such as acceptance and rejection, you can achieve greater success in the long run.

About the author

Jia Jiang is founder of the popular blog and video series 100 Days of Rejection. His story has been covered by dozens of national news outlets. A native of Beijing, China, Jiang came to the United States as a teenager to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur.

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