Risking rejection can lead to surprising opportunities.

No one likes to be rejected, but on the flip side, most people don’t like to do the rejecting either. People generally feel good when they get to help others.

The rejection connection

If we go beyond just asking for something, to making a connection with the person we’re asking, it’s possible they still won’t say, “Yes” to our request. However, they might help us find another solution instead, one we haven’t thought of on our own. Perhaps they’ll connect us with someone who will say, “Yes,” or maybe they’ll give us a portion of what we seek.

Engage the person by explaining why we are asking. And, if we can make the reason beneficial to them, even better. For example, let’s say we’re in line at a coffee shop and realize we’ve forgotten our wallet. We could just leave, or we could ask the person in front of us to buy us a coffee. Explain we’ve forgotten our wallet and that we’re much more pleasant to be around once we’ve had caffeine.

The stranger may reject us, or they could give us a bit of money. Maybe, the person behind us overhears, happens to have reward points for a free coffee that day, and gives them to us.

Unforeseen possibilities

If we risk rejection, we might somehow get that coffee. Plus, who knows what opportunities will come up if we see that person again the next morning? The connections we make can be worth the risk of rejection.

Take action: Ask for something from a stranger. Engage the person by explaining why you want it and how it will benefit them, even if their benefit is as simple as helping you get over your fear of rejection. It’s an authentic reason. Start small and get comfortable with this vulnerability. See where it leads you.

:: Inspired by Jia Jiang’s TEDx Talk, What I Learned from 100 Days of Rejection.


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