A guide to: rejection therapy

Laura Dean-Osgood 

Rejection therapy asks one simple question: what if you were no longer scared of ‘no’?

The principle behind this self-administered therapy is that our fear of being rejected is powerful enough to hold us back from achieving our potential.

That we avoid situations, such as job interviews, auditions or asking someone out, all because we’re afraid they’ll say no. But what if you were no longer scared of ‘no’?


Get yourself rejected

With rejection therapy (which is actually less of an actual therapy and more of a self-help tool), you intentionally and repeatedly put yourself in situations in which you’ll get rejected. The idea is that you’ll start to get used to it and come to laugh in the face of it.

Eventually, you’ll be desensitized and will try things until you get a yes. It also helps with feelings of regret, after all, surely trying and failing is better than never even giving things a go?

Though it might be something that people have been chewing over for a long while (the old adage ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’ springs to mind), the concept really took off when Canadian Jason Comely launched an online game (rejectiontherapy.com) with one simple rule. You must be rejected by another person, at least once, every day.


no regrets


Better than regret

For entrepreneur Jia Jang, rejection has been life changing. With a job, wife, house and baby on the way, Jia felt simmering regret that he’d never started his own business as he’d always dreamed.

Eventually, he left his job to give it a go. “But by avoiding regret,” he says, “I met another character—rejection”. And then he hit his first major obstacle; he was turned down for his first big deal.

“I could’ve just quit and looked for a job again, but by doing that I’d back with regret again… but if I kept going, it was more than likely I’d get rejected again. I had a choice: I chose rejection over regret. I kept going and the world was never the same again”.

Jia discovered rejectiontherapy.com and embarked on 100 days of rejection. He repeatedly set himself up for rejection.

Among his many requests, he asked for a free room at a hotel, to borrow money from a stranger, and asked another stranger if he could play football in his back garden.

Within the many nos, though, there were several yeses. Jia got his back garden football game, danced on CCTV and even got a flying lesson. It became evident that one no, should not stop you trying.

“I learned a lot about myself,” he says. “I became a better communicator, a better negotiator. More importantly, I can see rejection eye to eye and remain very calm and see it as it is, it’s actually just someone’s opinion.”

His business is now running well, his videos of his 100 days have been viewed by and inspired millions of people, and more importantly, he has no regrets.

“The fear of rejection cripples us, so much so that we reject ourselves before others reject us. Regret is just like rotten meat… it gets worse over time."