This is a terrific book. I have seen Jia Jiang’s 100 Days of Rejection blog, and I expected the book to be simply an expansion of the videos he posted, with a bit of autobiography thrown in. It’s a short book, so that sounded like plenty of entertainment for me. Instead, Jiang goes much deeper, researching the physical effects of rejection on the body, and hypothesizing different approaches to avoid or overcome rejection. This makes Rejection Proof an inspirational book unlike any other. Most motivational books involve someone who has undergone extraordinary circumstances. In one sense this is very impressive; in other sense, it makes it harder to see how the lessons may be applied to the struggles of an ordinary person. Jiang gives scenarios that could easily be duplicated by anyone, anywhere.
Shyness has been an issue for me my entire life. Many people who know me would find this difficult to believe, which is what everyone says, because I am a shy extrovert. I suspect that Jiang may be like me in this respect. Being a gregarious, friendly person with a certain amount of self-confidence is no proof against shyness. The more I want something, or the more I want to talk to someone and be friends, the harder time I have with shyness. Stage fright was a truly huge issue for me when I was younger. I was once scheduled to recite a scripture I had memorized at a church recital. I crawled under a table and refused to come out until it was promised that I would not have to perform. Of course, the scene I made was much more embarrassing for me and my family than even the worst mumbling, lame performance could ever have been. I no longer have a problem with stage fright. I have no problem whatsoever taking over the center of a dance floor, singing karaoke, or wearing my Free Hugs T-shirt at a parade. These are merely public performances, often in front of people whom I will never see again. Those are low-stakes scenarios. Contemplating rejection on the personal, intimate level is a completely different beast.
What I love so much about Rejection Proof Is that Jiang puts so much thoughtful consideration into the strategy of his project. He is experimenting, trying to get to the root of his issues with rejection, and finding a solution that will work for his personal circumstances. He leverages his creativity and persistence to come up with something original. He makes himself vulnerable, sharing his discomfort and awkwardness with basically the entire world. The results are funny, endearing, engaging and wonderfully inspirational. It is hard to imagine anyone reading this book and walking away without feeling at least slightly more open to possibility.
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I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.