Rejection Therapy: Week 1

By August 10, 2012Why not?

When I was 23, I believed I could do anything. I moved to middle-of-nowhere China right after college, and all seemed possible. Even moving to a country where I didn’t speak the language, was the only white girl in town, and had very little understanding of Chinese culture didn’t seem to phase me much. I was nervous, but more so, excited.

I’ll never forget riding in a motorized rickshaw with the liaison at the school, John. We were on our way to lunch, and he turned to me and said, “You can do anything. I believe you can!” I thanked him and thought to myself, “I really can.”

“You can do anything. I believe you can!” –John Xie

6 years, 8 jobs, and 5 cities later I realize I lost that belief. It changed to, “I can do a lot, and I suck for not doing more.”

I’ve only been doing Rejection Therapy for a week, and it’s already opened my eyes to how often I reject myself by saying “no” or “I can’t” to my dreams, my heart’s whisperings, and my impulses. It’s also showed me how much is possible when we ask and how often people say “yes.”

I’m using Rejection Therapy as a way to actively pursue my long-standing dreams. Too long have they sat by the wayside, waiting. August is my first month of being 29, and I’m going for it! The worst anyone can say is “no,” and if they do, then that’s all the more awesome. I’ve got my rejection for the day.

We’ve already got a small community of people taking on this Life Experiment for a month. Will you join us? 

Rejection Therapy Wins: 

  • I’m officially teaching my first Skillshare class at the end of the month (something I’ve wanted to do for a long time) and will be giving a talk/class at NextSpace SF
  • I got 15% off from Anthropologie and was able to buy this amazing dress
  • My friend said I can have a ride on his motorcycle
  • I got the day off work and went exploring in Half Moon Bay
  • Will be doing an incredible contest on the blog with Live Inspired (stay tuned!)
  • Learned how to replace the cable for the gear on my bike

Half Moon Bay

Straight Up Rejection:

  • Friend said ‘no’ to doing karaoke with me (who does that?!)
  • No food for you
  • Guess I’ll be dancing solo…
  • “I have too much work”
  • “Ehhhh…..”

I Chickened Out (Rejections I wish I had gone for):

  • I couldn’t bring myself to ask for a free soda at John’s Deli
  • There was a gorgeous man at my local coffee shop. Should have asked for his number. Did I mention he was cut from marble?
Moving Forward:
It’s much harder to get rejected than I thought. Some of my ‘wins’ I thought would be sure fire rejections. The main lesson learned thus far? You never know until you ask.  As I continue on this journey, I will remember John’s words and what I wrote in Why 29 is Worth Rocking. All ages exist within us (even ones we haven’t completed yet), so it’s time to summon my inner fearless 23-year-old. Maybe we all can do anything. Why not? In the words of John Xie, “You can do anything. I believe you can!”


Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Oddznns says:

    Hello Jacqueline, Your enthusiasm for this experiment was so compelling, I decided to try it.
    What I discovered is that if we don’t ask, we don’t get. Because we fear rejection, we don’t ask enough … of our friends, of the god, the world. And so, we get less than we deserve. Practicing rejection therapy, I was forced to ask for a lot more. And I did get a lot more.

    You might like to read about the results of my experiment here, which I’ve also linked back to this site.

    • Jacqueline says:

      That’s so awesome to hear! This completely made my day. You have an excellent and beautiful point: “If we don’t ask, we don’t get. Because we fear rejection, we don’t ask enough … of our friends, of the god, the world. And so, we get less than we deserve.”

      I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures in rejection therapy and about everything you get out of it. It’s exciting to be on a journey together–there’s at least 5 of us now (and growing)! Will definitely be keeping up with your journey and thanks so much for sharing it with me!

  • Priya says:

    The more I hear about the Rejection Therapy, the more I’m falling in love with it! So let me get this straight— for one month, you have to do something or ask something that can possibly get you rejected? Did you create a list of things to do/ ask or do you just wake up in the morning and find something to be rejected by? Unplanned? Either way: love it!

    • Jacqueline says:

      That’s awesome to hear, Priya! Yes, for one month (I chose that amount of time) I have to get rejected at least once every day, by asking for something you want. I did create a list ahead of time, and I think that definitely helps. Some of the things I have on my list, I still need to ask for, and other things, I just ask in the moment. For examples, asking someone to make plans, for a discount on a dress, asking a guy for his number, 2 sandwich card stamps at my local deli, etc. They can be big things (some of which I’ve asked for and will continue to) or small things. It’s all about the experience you want to get out of it. In my case, I wanted to have a catapult to encourage me to follow my dreams! Hope you join us! 🙂

  • […] and I got my rejection for the day. (To read more about my   rejection escapades, read about week 1 & 2). Rejection Therapy reminded me that anything is possible and that we never know until we […]

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