Origin of reject
485-95; (v.) < Latin rējectus, pastparticiple of rējicere to throw back,equivalent to re- + jec-, combining formof jacere to throw + -tus past participle suffix
Well that's interesting "To throw back" not "Throw into your face and tell you that you suck?"
I'm not going to pretend that I'm immune to negative feedback, not getting picked, not getting a job, being broke up with, or you name it, but I do think that rejection is unavoidable and has so much to offer if you let it.
I recently signed up for a course called 100 rejection letters that spans 10 months and the goal is to pitch and receive 100 rejections big or small. Its suppose to help you get over that fear of going after what you want and changing the mindset to start to enjoy when you get a rejection. Gold stars included.
I've had a fascination with rejection ever since hearing this ted talk about a man who wanted to get over his fear of rejection publicly and shared his experiment with the world. My favorite was the one where he got dressed in soccer gear, shin guards cleats and all and knocked on a neighbors door and asked to play soccer in their back yard. To his surprise They said Yes! He caught the entire thing on film, so funny!
I was even then inspired to start my own rejection experiment and blogged in 2014 about wanting to to get over my angst of online dating back in the day. (Spoiler alert: I didn't complete the challenge). After a few failed attempt and one weird yes, I started to wonder what the point was. but I still got some benefit from doing it. If your curious here was the gist of that challenge.
1. Must be a genuine attempt, something I truly want/desire.
2. Nothing illegal
3. For the good of all benefiting everyone involved.
Day 1: cirque de la mer audition (big fat NO, we had to dance and I have two left feet)
Day 2: message 3 people on ok-cupid instead of waiting for the perfect person to message me. ( this was both, I did it and heard back from some and not from another, but I consider it a success because it pushed me out of my comfort zone.
Day 3: Ask to take a strangers picture. ( YES!, and it was so awkward! um why am I taking your photo?)
These were a few ideas I had but never got to:
Day 4: Invite a stranger to have coffee with me at the coffee shop
Day 5. Pump gas for a stranger
Day 6: Challenge someone to a thumb war
Day 7: Apply for a job as a bartender ( I have no experience pouring drinks)
Day 8: Audition to be in a band
Day 9: Ask to walk a strangers dog
Day 10: Play a song in a piano bar
Day 11: Blog my own TED TALK:
Day 12: Help carry someone’s groceries to the car
Day 13: Ask a landlord if they would be willing to trade acupuncture for partial rent
Day 14: Challenge a random person to a chess match
Day 15: Ask if I can perform in the children’s museum.
Day 16: Sing loud in a public place
Day 17: Ask to be a guest blogger on a fitness magazine
Fast forward to today 4 years later and I am still interested in this idea of rejection.
Why rejection you ask?
Well, I think rejection is inevitable in life and I've found it has a lot to offer in self discovery, resilience, persistence, and achieving goals.
But the big lesson I've come to realize is that rejection seeking needs to have a real purpose otherwise it does become a beating rather than an empowerment. (See: Podcast Episode Practice with Purpose with Nicole Miyuki.)
Also learning how to ask a question or pitch a question is so important, that dictates so much of the response you will get.
Our 100 rejection letters challenge this month is to put out 10 pitches. It can be as simple as "will you be my accountability partner?" to "can I guest be on your show Oprah? (if that's your thing)"
I've been throwing out pitches to podcast guests, gyms to offer health screenings, Acupuncture symposiums for free Ceu's, others podcasts to be on their show, collaborations with friends, accountability buddies and more. And I'm realizing its much harder to get a rejection than I had thought.
But... today I got my first rejection! (gold star!)
I decided to pitch someone who I admire that has some notoriety in the world (wrote a book, did a ted talk). The rejection came personally from her to me and it was sweet and kind and actually didn't hurt so bad.
I was frankly impressed that it came from her as opposed to her assistant or manager. I knew it was a bigger ask and most likely I would get a rejection but what did I really have to lose? I really had so much to gain. And even thought she said No, it still felt good to tell her that her work had impacted me so much.
I'm guessing the pitches just within or outside my reach may sting a little more.
I am learning that there is real power in being clear on what you want, and then going after it.
It's saying a big fat yes to the curious mind in you wondering, Can I do that thing? (insert that little whisper in the back of your head) Can I really ask her/him to be on my podcast? Can I ask her to be my friend? Can I really go after that job? Run my own business, run a marathon, leave that relationship?
Because the truth is rejection is the easy part, the real work actually happens when you get the Yes! Because now you/I can't hide behind the wonder and wishing and the internal dialogue of why something can't happen. Because you can!!
Because they said YES! Did you hear me? Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!
So I'm wondering what or who are you wanting to pitch in your own life? What small thing could you do today? Go do that thing!!
And then share with me! I'd love to hear what lights you up too!
P.S I'm not the only one fascinated with rejection, stay tuned for upcoming podcast with Sarah Nastsumi Moore with her last experiment on Rejection. Check her last episode here and her current 12 experiments project due to end at the end of this month to hear her story and laugh a little.