Being A Rejection Therapist

In this funny video, I performed as the “rejection therapist” for a documentary crew from LA. Look at what rejection did to these folks.

Humor aside, you have no idea what you can find just by asking. You will learn so much more about yourself and the world as a whole. You will learn so much about business and negotiation. Getting rejected repeatedly is the best business school the world can offer. Give it a try!

A Newly Married Couple Is Doing What?

From Jia: when you think about people traveling across America in RVs, you envision people with gray hair and fat 401(k)s, not this couple… It’s a strange story: one day a young guy wrote me an email asking for a meetup over coffee. Fast forward six months, he’s driving an RV on the East Coast with his wife while contributing as an integral part of my business. It’s also a great story though – one with courage and adventure. 

 

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From Heath: The ALS Ice Bucket challenge sweeping across the country is a really unique way to raise money for charity. I think it’s great so many people have gotten involved and the charity has gained so much awareness. I did not participate in the challenge, probably because I’m lame and didn’t get nominated. However, I did accept another kind of challenge this year that radically changed my life.

Hi, I’m Heath Padgett and this year I accepted the challenge of working a different job in every state across America.

Who challenged me? I guess you could say I was led to going on this adventure because of discontent in my “normal person” job. However, specifically, Jia Jiang challenged me.

He said it right to my face.

I had heard of this “rejection guy” from a mentor of mine. My mentor told me there was a guy who got rejected a bunch of times, had a viral video, and then something about donuts? I wasn’t sure of the details, but I wanted to find out more. I sent Jia an email, mentioned our mutual friend, and a week later we were sitting down together at lunch in Austin, Texas.

Jia told me his story and I listened in amazement as he mentioned being rejected from nearly a hundred people. When he finished talking, he asked me to share about myself. Why did I want to meet him? What was I trying to do? How could he help?

I told him I was about to quit my job, get married, and take a long honeymoon across the United States. I said, “I’m not content to just travel. I want to have a cool mission during my journey. I wanted it to be meaningful, and not just a long vacation.”

My current job wasn’t fulfilling to me. I had accepted a sales role in a company after college and didn’t see myself working there for forty years and then retiring. I wanted to do entrepreneurial things, I wanted to write, and pursue meaningful work.

He listened, and five seconds later said, “You’re young, and still figuring out what you want to do for your career. You should do something like work a different job in every state across America.”

It was the first idea that popped into his head. He clearly was just giving an example of something I could do while traveling, not that I should necessarily do that specific challenge.

I thought about it for a moment and said, “Yep. I’m going to do it.”

At this time, Jia was receiving a lot of inquiries from young people such as myself, so when I told him I was going to accept his challenge, I don’t think he really believed me.

A few months after meeting, Jia looked me up online and saw not only had I listened to his advice, I was actually working different jobs across the country and I was in California, where he was living! He immediately reached out to me. He told me so many people had come to him for advice, but few had actually done something with it.

 

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It has since been seven months since my initial meeting with “the rejection guy.” However, he first empowered me to take one of the biggest risks of my life. Indirectly, he also caused me to get rejected by a lot of people when I asked for jobs on the road (I think this was his intention all along). So far, I’ve worked 23 jobs over the last four months and I’m nearly halfway through my challenge of working a different job in every state.

What have I learned? I’ve learned that sometimes challenges can be a great catalyst for life changing journeys. Jia experienced a self induced challenge to get rejected for one hundred days, similar to how I’ve accepted a challenge to work different jobs all across America. At the end of this type of journey, you can’t help but be changed for the better.

Since leaving Austin and embarking on this adventure, I’ve learned how not overthink things and instead take action on what I want most. I wasn’t confident about my writing skills or job skills before my journey began, however, through action I’ve grown confident in these areas of my life (similar to how Jia learned gained confidence through rejection).

 

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A willingness to take action is all you need to get started in a journey or challenge of your own. Jia’s challenge to me launched me into the journey of a lifetime. I’m grateful for his council, and extremely honored to announce that I will be joining him and a group of other brave entrepreneurs, creatives, and risk-takers in what is being called the Rejection Gym. An online course that will empower you to overcome the fears in your life by seeking rejection, joining a community of like-minded people, and exclusive lessons and hang outs with Jia!

If you’re interested in joining us in an effort to overcome our fears through facing rejection head on, place your name on the wait list and we’ll be in touch!

How to Get Over the Fear of Asking Someone Out

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I know you’re scared of being rejected by girls (or guys). It’s intimidating. And what happens if she says no? What are you going to do in that extremely awkward five second walk away from her? You will most likely trip and fall into a giant water puddle nearby and all of her friends will laugh and throw their hair back like a scene out of Mean Girls. As this plays out in your mind, you slowly convince yourself of all of the reasons why you should play it safe and not talk to her.

I’m going to give you three solid reasons why you should get up, be a man (or a woman), go say the words that need to be said, and be a hero by winning her heart.

 

Reason One: A simple rejection isn’t a well informed decision about your character.

You’re scared of her saying no to you, or how hard the rejection will be on your self-esteem. If you’re a normal human being, you might even feel a tinge of self doubt. Am I even an attractive person? These are all normal thoughts, but they aren’t rational.

Here’s why: She doesn’t know who you are. She doesn’t know that you volunteer on weekends at the humane society. She doesn’t know that you’re a gentleman and a scholar. She doesn’t know that you were really nervous when you introduced yourself and that normally your palms don’t sweat like you just finished running a marathon in the Sahara Desert.

She is giving you an answer based on an infinitely small judgment of who you are as a person. A large majority of her opinion on how attractive she thinks you are depends on your charisma when you present yourself.

Key: Untie rejection and your self worth.

Reason Two: Her opinion doesn’t define your worth.

I had a wise friend once tell me that even if you’re the best looking guy in the world, there are going to be girls who think you’re ugly. It’s a fact of life. I’ve even met women who think Brad Pitt is ugly. I mean, c’mon.

The point is, one person’s opinion is just that- an opinion. I’ve found through my own rejection journey that opinions are the most abundant item on the entire Earth.

Key: Acknowledge that the opinion of one person, cannot and shouldn’t dictate the way you see yourself. For every person who thinks you’re ugly, there will be one who thinks you’re beautiful, smart, and extremely hilarious. Don’t quit looking.

 

Reason Three: The only way to develop confidence is through extensive practice.

So maybe she really is way out of your league and you’re going to try and pull off a homerun. In this kind of situation, don’t worry about the outcome of the answer. Simply tell yourself this, “There is a very likely chance this girl will say no to me.” Then accept that answer, and go for it anyway, embracing the craziness.

“Hi, I know you’re way too beautiful for me. But I knew I couldn’t leave here without saying hello. So hello, and if you don’t think I’m the worst looking guy in the world would it be okay if I bought you dinner sometime?”

(Heyo! You killed it, nice job.)

“No thank you.”

Well, you tried. The best part about this experience was now you are one step closer to developing the confidence you need to calmly talk to women and ask them out on dates. Think of it like constantly going to the gym. If you don’t work out for six months and then try to bust out an hour on the cardio machines, you’re likely going to throw up or fall over from exhaustion.

It’s the same for talking to women, if you never practice talking to them, introducing yourself, and figuring out which talking points work or don’t work, then you’ll never quite build that mental dating muscle.

Key: The more you ask women out, the better you’ll be.

If you’re trying to figure out a practical way to get over your fear of asking someone out, I have a challenge to nudge you in the right direction. Go out and get five women to reject you in a public place. Don’t be a creepy weirdo, just ask them if they would like to have dinner with you. The rules for this challenge are you can’t lie nor break the law.
Outside of that, be creative and enjoy learning how to get over your fear. While you’re warming up for your challenge, watch this video of me getting rejected by five women in the Whole Foods parking lot.

Video of Me Getting Rejected By Five Women

This is part 3 of a series I’m doing called Rejection Remedy– the idea that we can conquer all the fears in our life by using rejection as the remedy.

I AM BACK! (from book writing)

I just pushed the SEND button. Now my manuscript is in the hands of my editor. I am so excited that my neighbor asked me if I was celebrating a World Cup victory.

Ever since I signed my book deal with Random House last year, my life had changed. I toiled away for eight months at writing at coffee shops, dark rooms, hidden office space, coffee shops, libraries, parked cars and flying airplanes. Now I am done, and it feels amazing.

My book was about how to overcome your rejection fear, and making rejection your friend. It is filled with stories, research, learning and tools from my 100 Days of Rejection. I am very proud of my work because I know it is good and will help and entertain a lot of people.

If you want a copy, make sure you subscribe to my blog. I will run specials just for my blog readers and followers leading up to the publication date.

What’s next: I am going to reignite my blog through videos, writings and experiments. The world we’ve discovered together in this past year was an amazing one, and we are just getting started.

…LET SEE WHAT HAPPENS!

To 100 Days and Beyond

It’s been a few months since I concluded my 100 Days of Rejection project. It was an amazing journey, filled with adventure, surprises and inspiration. More importantly, I learned so much about fear, communication and even business, I feel like a completely new person.

Here is what I am doing next:

1. Book: I have signed a book deal with Crown Publishing, and have been feverishly working on my book on rejection. It will be a great book, with real stories, learning and applications on how to turn rejection on its head.

2. Blog: I have moved my website to a new domain: FearBuster.com. I will make it a new hub for all future videos and blogs. If you haven’t subscribed, do so. I would love to keep you in the loop.

3. Speaking: I have been giving talks and sharing my stories and learning with many organizations and conferences. Most recently, I stopped by Google and gave a “Google Talk”. It was great to see the smartest people on Earth also want to kick rejection fear’s butt.

It was crazy that a year ago, I was a struggling entrepreneur being turned down by investors. Now because of inspiration from you guys, I am doing something completely different and more meaningful – busting the fear of rejection for people and organizations. I love my new mission and am having the best time of my life.

Now, here is my invitation to you:

1. Share with me something you have always wanted to ask/do, but are afraid to do so due to fear. I will help you strategize and ask, so you won’t regret not asking.

2. Let me know your ideas on how to use technology to help people overcome the fear of rejection.

3. Again, subscribe to my blog and connect with me.

Happy Holidays!

Rejection 100 – Why I Want to Meet Obama

“Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the Earth,” said Archimedes when explaining the principle of leverage to lift heavy objects. Before my 100 Days of Rejection, I would have never learned to use this principle outside of a physics class, the playground, or when I have to move furniture. But after making outrageous request after outrageous request, I have discovered my own principle – “give me a reason to ask, and I will ask for anything.”

My rejection therapy taught me that “the worst they can say is no” is actually not true. In fact, the worst they can say is “you didn’t even ask.” It implies I said “no” to myself before others could reject me. If I have a good reason, it is my duty to step out of my own comfort zone to ask, no matter how difficult and impossible the request is.

Therefore, for my 100th rejection attempt, I want to go for the impossible – interview President Obama on his views and personal experience of rejection.

Now that the request is made, will I actually be able to get a meeting with Obama? The odds are overwhelmingly against me. For one, he is a very busy person, working on military responses to the Syria chemical weapons situation and trying to avoid a government shutdown in a couple of months. Also, as the most powerful person on Earth, he also has politicians, lobbyists, business owners, and all type of interests groups vying for his attention. Getting a “yes” from the President of the United States might affect billions of dollars in business and change political landscapes in some parts of the world.

On the other hand, it is not unheard of for the President to do an interview on a topic that’s relevant to people or his policies. For example, the CEO of Zillow conducted an Interview of him answering questions on housing.

History is also not bereft of examples of citizens meeting the ruler of the country. For example, Marco Polo met Kublai Khan when he traveled to China; Diogenes of Sinope had a meeting with Alexander the Great; and Bill Clinton got to shake hands with John F. Kennedy. The results: Marco Polo brought pasta back to Italy and we now have Olive Garden in America; Diogenes said the famous words “stand out of my light”; and JFK inspired Clinton to become the last President of the 20th century.

Now, think about a regular guy being able to interview the President on how to overcome rejection and achieve success. Think about average citizens asking their leader on things that are relevant to them. Wouldn’t that be a great example of democracy and openness? Wouldn’t that inspire a lot of people like you and me?

Can this be done? I don’t know. But I do know what I am doing is for a good cause. And if I don’t ask, I would have regret for the rest of my life.

Now you can help me by sharing the video and this blog post. If you have any idea on how I can get an interview with the President without changing my name to Jatie Jouric or Joprah Jinfrey, let me know.

What Rejection Is, Isn’t, and Could Be

We have all had the experience of being rejected, and none of us liked it. Applied for a job and got the “thank you for your interest” letter? Saw an attractive girl at bookstore, so you mustered all your courage to ask her for a cup of coffee, only to hear the words “nah that’s ok”? Or in my case, prepared an investment pitch for months but only to get a cold and impersonal rejection through email? These experiences can sting us for a long time and make us less likely to try things again. As the result, we reject ourselves and lose opportunities.

But does it have to be this way? Is rejection some sort of unavoidable and incurable disease that will bring pain to us every time we face it? If you have followed me a for while, you know my answer will be a resounding no. In fact, I am rejecting the notion that rejection has to be feared. To tell you why, let us exam what rejection is, isn’t and could be.

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What rejection is:

1. A constant figure in life – Ben Franklin famously said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. Let’s welcome the third member – rejection. From the President to the CEO, from the secretaries to the donut makers, everyone gets rejected in their lives.

2. An opinion of others – someone rejected us because in their opinion, it is the best course of action for them. The world is filled with an overabundance of free opinions, and rejections are no excerption. Rejection says more about the rejector than the rejected.

3. A fluid number  - there is no such thing as a permanent rejection. In fact, it is impossible for the entire world to reject us. Every rejection has a number. If we talk to enough people without giving up, a rejection will become an acceptance.

What rejection isn’t:

1. A problem can be avoided or outgrown – often the more responsibility and influence a person has, the more likelihood that she will be rejected by more people. A middle manager’s marketing plan might get rejected by 5 executives, whereas the President’s healthcare plan could get rejected by half of the country. Hoping to avoid rejection is rather a foolish attempt.

2. An objective truth about us – just because people believed the world was flat didn’t mean it actually was. For the same reason, a company rejecting our job application says nothing about our ability to perform as an employee. Taking other’s opinion about you as truth is very counter-productive.

3. An end of our quest – unless we stop at a rejection, the rejection should never be the end of our quest. It took J K Rowling 12 tries to get Harry Potter published. If she stopped at any of the 11 rejections, the battle between Potter and Voldemort would have happened in a trashcan or shredder somewhere rather than in 500 million books, 1 billion movie showing and 7 billion minds.

What rejection could be:

1. A tool for motivation – Michael Jordan was famous for using boos from the opposing fans to motivate himself. Later in his career, he got so popular that everyone would cheer for him. Yet, he would pick out the one boo from a thousand cheers, and use it to fuel himself. The best in business always uses rejections as motivation.

2. A gauge for impact – there is a big difference between being rejected and being ignored. Being ignored often means our idea has no impact. But being actively rejected could mean our idea has the potential for large impact. History is filled with impactful figures overcoming violent rejections, from Jesus Christ to Nelson Mandala, from Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King Jr.

3. A necessity for worthiness – Just like a story without conflict isn’t worth telling, and like a hero without failure isn’t a real hero, a quest without rejection isn’t worth pursuing. When we keep going despite the nos, when we keep getting up after being stiff-armed, when we shed tears of victory after tears of defeat, we are the real hero, pursuing a worthy quest, and writing a great story.

Now let me hear from you. What is rejection to you?

Rejection 99 – Ask Strangers to Rate My Look

How good do I look to the public eye? What would happen if I ask strangers to rate my looks, from 1-10? As a happily married man, I care much less about looking attractive in front of others now than I did when I was single. However, I would be lying to say that I’ve never considered the first question. And the second question? It would be a very scary proposition, both asking the question and hearing the answers.

This is rejection seeking, doing something scary and understanding just how scary it could be.

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQzoyxwplWM

This experiment turned out to be much easier than I originally imagined. People are nice and more than willing to give me high scores. And yes, it helped that I showered, put on a clean shirt, and took off the old-man socks as requested. Yet, it again showed how much scarier our imagination is than the real world. I couldn’t get a low score when tried. I was in fact secretly hoping for a 2 just to get a taste of rejection, but it didn’t happen.

Learning:

1. Our imagination often takes us to the worst possible outcome, causing us to be much less likely to take that action. We are really our own worst rejectors.

2. People are rarely mean, or brutally honest to others in personal settings. When you ask for feedback, understand that the answer could be skewed.