The idea of rejection

No one likes being rejected, told no, or that they aren’t good at what they do.  We often do everything we can to avoid the possibility of it by not asking for what we want or not saying we don’t know something.

At a recent conference I heard Jia Jiang speak.  Jia spoke about his fear of rejection and his 100 days of rejection therapy that he undertook to desensitise himself to rejection or hearing No!

If you haven’t heard or seen Jia’s story take a look at his Ted talk on the topic, it has over 5.7 million views and it’s worth it!

In my organisational work I come across staff who are frightened to say no, or I don’t know.  Instead they try to make it look like they know how to do something because they fear rejection that they aren’t able to do what they think they should be able to do.

It may not be their fault.  It may be that a system has changed and they were never trained in how to use it, or they started a new role and it was assumed they had the skills for it and now they are too frightened, shy or embarrassed to put their hand up for fear of rejection.

When we fear rejection, the only person it impacts on in ourselves.  When we ask ourselves what is the worst thing that could happen if someone found out?  We often find it is nowhere near as bad as it seems.

Rather than risk rejection, what if you just asked for what you wanted?  Reality is, the worst that could happen is you hear the word no.  If you are ready to receive a no, you might be surprised when you receive a yes.

Donna Hanson works with organisations and their teams to move them to a place of productivity and sharing with each other to build internal knowledge and skills.  To find out about her workshops, in house professional development days or programs, visit or email and let’s talk about how Donna can help.

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