Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people. Don’t base your self-esteem on their opinions. -Harvey Mackay

Rejection, it’s something we all fear. We spend most of our lives trying to please other people and do the best job we can in whatever task we undertake. And the basis is to get approval. We are by nature, approval seekers.

Some people advocate desensitizing yourself through progressive exposure to rejection. During Jia Jiang’s Ted talk, he looked up “How do I overcome rejection” where he found the Rejection Therapy website.  That site advocated going out and seeking rejection.  He followed that advice.  It turned into something much bigger for him.  It lead him to understanding that finding rejection can be used to find opportunity.

By staying engaged, he was able to eventually turn a No into Yes. He found that he could fulfill his life’s dream by asking.  He kept going past the no to his goal.

He goes on to discuss how he turns rejections into opportunities.

There is also the No Goal, an actual goal for rejections.  This makes getting rejected a goal rather than a punishment.  Once you hit your target of rejection, you can actually stop working towards it.  The flip side is that by using that as a goal, you’ll desensitize yourself and you’ll get some acceptance.  It’s a game of numbers here.

In “Go For No!”, Richard Fenton offers this advice:

“Yes is the destination, no is how you get there” – Richard Fenton


Marisa Peer, another TedX speaker, has some very specific ways to handle rejection that can cover a lot of personal rejection.  The list is quite simple.

1. Thank you for sharing.  This acknowledges the other person but doesn’t give the criticism or rejection a way into your psyche.

2. I missed that, would you say that again?  This forces the other person to review what they said to you.  Most people won”t be able to repeat their rejection.

3. Are you trying to make me feel bad about myself? Most people will try to justify what they said.

4. You can think what you like but I’m not going to let that in. This is a flat refusal on your part to let the criticism into your psyche.

5.  Did you know that critical people have the most criticism reserved for themselves?  This forces the other person to focus on themselves.

Playlist of Marisa Peer

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