I feel like there will inevitably be some people who will simply fail to see the point of Rejection Therapy, or write it off as some hokey, hippie thing to do.
“I know McDonald’s won’t give me a cheeseburger refill! What’s the point of hearing ‘no’?” you might say.
The point is, my skeptical reader, to get rejected in and of itself! We are always so obsessed with succeeding and finding the quickest path to success that we often forget that setbacks are a part of that path! That’s why when we talk about success, we do it in terms of “the path to” rather than “the end goal of”; the importance of the journey is built right into the semantics of our language!
The Odd Non-Rejection
Back in my second blog post, TEDTalk speaker Jian Jiang talked about his experience at Krispy Kreme and ordering Olympic coloured donuts. The wonderful thing that happened was they not only got him his order, but they placed the donuts in the Olympic logo arrangement in the box! When a complete stranger helps you out, as in this case, it can be a very moving experience; it also inspires us to take more risks and try things we otherwise would never do.
It’s All About Mindset
Taking risks is scary; every time we make ourselves vulnerable, we are risking rejection. But when we do face rejection or a setback, we are faced with a Robert Frost-like fork in the road: if at first you don’t succeed do you:
a) give up?
b) learn, improve, and try again?
In her book, Mindset, professor Carol Dweck, PhD, talks about how when faced with setbacks, people generally fall under one of two categories: either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
The difference is pretty obvious:
A person of a fixed mindset generally believes that a trait or an ability is fixed or innate. “I can’t do math! It’s just not my subject,” or “I can’t play basketball. I’m no NBA player.” They believe that people who have had great success in a particular field, be it sports, academics, or love, are just inherently good in those areas of life.
Growth mindset people are the total opposite. They see something that they are not good at as a challenge to overcome. “I did horribly on that math test! Wow… I need to get extra help, and find better study strategies!” Or, “I didn’t make the team! I will workout, and practice, and retry next year!”
The difference between these two viewpoints is like night and day. One emphasizes inner lack of talent, while the other focuses on an inner building ones competence.
Okay… But what does this have to do with Rejection Therapy and donuts?
What does all this talk of mindsets have to do with rejection, then? Everything! What Rejection Therapy allows us to do is get used to the idea of failure. It should become a daily and rather bland problem in our lives. Once we can accept the idea that rejection is a normal part of life, we won’t have to fear it all that much.
I started this blog as sort of a stepping stone toward becoming a writer. I had written short stories and poems in high school and university; however, I am my own worst critic and did not think I was good enough to write. So I stopped trying. However, thanks to Rejection Therapy and the adoption of the Growth mindset, I am prepared to accept criticism and build myself on my path to success. Once we stop fearing rejection we can start pursuing our passions.