I vividly remember the moment I thought of Rejection Therapy. I was holed up in a one bedroom apartment, staring at my glowing computer monitor on a Friday night. I was in a new city, starting a new business and a new life.
I had no friends here, only two cats who watched me tap away on my keyboard for hours (I wondered if they could be trained to do light administrative work, but to this day the little furballs do nothing but lounge about).
But back to the idea of seeking rejection by strangers, in a community where I was trying to establish myself as a professional and not a nutcase.
Going through with this experiment would require bucket loads of confidence, and I had zero.
So, what does a guy do if he needs confidence but has none? He borrows it. That’s what I ended up doing.
Let me explain. At the time, I didn’t know if inducing rejections on a regular basis would battle-harden me or crush my self esteem, so I had no confidence in the process until it had proven itself.
I also didn’t think to ask a psychologist about my experiment, so I couldn’t lean on the advice of a professional.
So after inquiring, soul searching, and getting what I felt was the green light, I went ahead with a half tank of borrowed confidence. It wasn’t self-confidence, and it wasn’t confidence in an outcome (because I didn’t know what would happen), it was confidence in God.
“we cannot create and own what we create for ourselves since everything was created by God“.
I get this. Acknowledging God’s hand in my successes has helped me stay humble and somewhat unattached as Rejection Therapy gains global awareness. People can have confidence in the game, not because of me, but because of Him.
I’ve learned a few other things as well. People are generally kind. You are stronger than you think. And if you don’t have any self-confidence, borrow some – from God, a mentor, from others who have gone before you, or try hypnosis- whatever it takes until you get some of your own.
Although there are many different story versions bandied about, the most believable narrative to Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard education has him as a brilliant hacker and social outcast.
And, as the story goes, Zuckerberg did not resign himself to being a social leper. Instead, he leveraged rejection to his favour. He used the extra alone time and motivation to build his own social club, one all his Harvard peers would clamber to join.
It would seem rejection was the catalyst for Facebook, the social network that is currently 500 million members strong.
How does this relate to you?Well, if you’ve ever been unemployed, then you know what it’s like to be on the outside looking in. You found yourself with two options: get into another business or, like Mark, start your own business empire.
And then there is Mike
Michael Jordan is another prime example of the power of rejection. He was cut from the varsity basketball team in his sophomore year. There was no conspiracy involved. He simply wasn’t good enough.
He went home, closed the door to his room and cried is eyes out.
That single rejection became the launch pad in his basketball career. Pain gave Jordan that deep down, right to the cellular level motivation that Gatorade never could.
He practiced harder, played ferociously and didn’t stop for anything or anyone until he dominated basketball at the highest professional level.
Now his NBA records are as unreachable as his vertical leap.
Your experiences are likely similar to Mike’s. Maybe you didn’t make the local softball team, or spent more time on the bench than at the line of scrimmage. Don’t make excuses. You simply weren’t good enough. Time to be like Mike and work harder.
The lesson we can learn from Lance? Life can get pretty low, but that only means your comeback will be that much greater.
Like the Irish proverb says: You must empty a box before you fill it again
The Rejection Effect
There are many other exemplars of the “Rejection Effect”. Stephen King’s first book Carrie received so many pink slip rejections he threw it in the garbage (the book was later recovered by his wife Tabitha).
Aspiring writers know what rejection is all about. It’s not a condemnation of you. It’s an invitation to address the weaknesses in your wordsmithing and make it shine.
Sure, rejection is harsh. Rejections are a stiff uppercut to the ego. They knock us out of our comfortable bubble we inevitably settle in. They toughen us up.
But remember these icons of business, sports and entertainment who, rather than give up, decided to transform rejection into motivation to become not only great, but utterly dominant in their discipline. Look at rejection as the premium high octane motivation you can’t get anywhere else.
Rejection Therapy comes in three flavours: Classic (physical card deck is available at The Game Crafter), Entrepreneur and Blue Pill Edition. These cards are not essential to the game but handy for motivation and direction.