In July 2012, Jia Jiang was trying to
develop a social media to-do list app called Hooplus, when one of the major investors he’d been counting on dropped out.
He was crushed.
He’d pinned his entire life, his sense of self-worth, to that one person.
So Jiang decided to investigate that feeling, and he embarked on a project to rid himself of the fear of being told “no”: 100 days of rejection.
Through 2013, Jiang dared himself to make 100 bizarre, sometimes unreasonable requests for favours from strangers, and to withstand being rejected.
He’s asked someone for $US100, knocked on a random front door and asked to play soccer in the backyard, and applied to be a live mannequin at Abercrombie & Fitch. (Of course, he made a YouTube video of each one.)
His strangest request was probably the one where Jiang asked a Krispy Kreme worker for five doughnuts in the shape of the Olympic rings, in just 15 minutes — and Krispy Kreme delivered the order free of charge.
Jiang believes he has conquered the fear of rejection by embracing it. Rejection is good for you, he says. He recently told MTV that rejection has five awesome things to teach us:
- In life, rejection is certain. Once you accept this fact, it will be easier to anticipate and to overcome moments of rejection.
- Detach yourself from the results of a request, and you will become more confident and increase your chance for acceptance, or a “yes.”
- The worst part of rejection is the fear of it. Do not let the fear prevent you from making your request.
- Rejection is nothing more than someone else’s opinion. We should never consider it as truth about ourselves.
- If we talk to enough people without giving up, a rejection will become an acceptance.
Here’s the Krispy Kreme video that made Jiang a YouTube star. It’s been seen more than 5 million times.