How to Face Rejection

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Today, one short year ago, Heath and I bought Franklin, our RV and basically our BFF because we talk about him like he’s a real person way too much. We saw Franklin for the first time around nine in the morning and shortly after lunch, we owned him. Easily the best Craigslist purchase of all time.

how to face rejection

But before we even bought Franklin, we received pushback. Our first Craigslist deal to buy a truck camper fell through. Heath had to leave his job two months earlier than we budgeted. We had to tell our parents about our idea to travel the country (and not tell them that Heath had already left his job).

Buying Franklin would be the biggest, craziest step in preparing for our trip. It made our proposed honeymoon adventure more real, and everyone we knew had a strong opinion about what we were doing. Friends thought we were crazy, or just stopped talking to us all together. Family members asked us questions, I think trying to figure out if we were sane or had indeed lost our minds.

In our quest to plan our honeymoon adventure, we faced rejection after rejection. In fact, there were multiple times where Heath and I broke down and wondered if this was ever going to happen. Would we ever actually hit the road?

Of course, as soon as we did eventually hit the road, we started to experience more rejection. From breakdowns to the difficulty of finding jobs or working with employees who refused to be shown on camera. In fact, multiple times in those first few months I was accosted for filming certain places or certain things.

I took all of these rejections pretty personally. As if all these people-friends, family, strangers-didn’t like me or want me around or like they hated our documentary. In retrospect, that sounds a little farfetched. If someone showed up to my place of work with a camera, asking me a bunch of personal questions about my life and work, I would be hesitant too.

Rejection is a tough pill to swallow and Heath and I have experienced our fair share in the past year. Actually for one job in West Virginia we were actually fired because the manager really didn’t like us. But by the time we faced this rejection, it didn’t phase us. We were used to people rejecting what we were doing. A documentary about hourly workers across the country? Some people just didn’t (and still don’t) get it. But that’s just one person’s opinion.

Rejection is just one person’s opinion.

If that sounds wise, it’s because it wasn’t written by me. It was written by Jia Jiang the author of the new book (that just came out today!) called Rejection Proof.

I know Jia because a little over a year ago, a bold 23-year-old man told him an idea about a road trip across fifty states for his honeymoon. Instead of rejecting the idea as crazy, Jia gave him the idea to work a job in every state during his travels, since the man and his fiancee wanted a mission for their travels.

In the face of the many rejections, one person didn’t reject us, but instead encouraged us to seek our adventure. And because of his advice, I spent 200 wonderful days traveling with my husband and filming a documentary about work across the country.

I had the privilege of reading Jia’s book before its release. (Perks of having awesome friends, I suppose!) In Rejection Proof, Jia shares his story of learning how to overcome rejection by intentionally seeking rejection. Through the process, he learned how to collaborate with others and how to move forward with your ideas despite pushback from those around you.

Jia has taught Heath and I a lot about how to face rejection and how to chase our dreams, despite the harsh comments we receive about our travels. Because as Jia says, rejection is just one person’s opinion.

Jia’s book just released today and I couldn’t be more excited because I know just how much Jia has changed my life and I know this book has the power to change even more lives. If you’d like to order yourself a copy, or a copy for a friend who might need to hear his message, here’s a link to the Amazon page:

Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection


8 Responses

  • I definitely want to read Rejection Proof! My Mom has always said, “you don’t know the answer unless you ask.” I wonder how many of the YES answers Jia got were a complete shock. Looking forward to reading. Thanks Alyssa!

    • Janelle,

      I believe his finally tally was something like 51 no’s and 49 yes’s. People love to say yes! 🙂

  • A great story of pursuing a dream even though you didn’t have complete support from family and friends.
    I didn’t realize Jia had supported you in the early stages of your planning. I bought his book and have been reading it today. Quite profound the concept that rejection is just one person’s opinion.

    All my best,

    • Pamela,

      So glad you’re reading the book. I loved it so much more than I thought I would.

      The CEO of Heath’s former company was a friend of Jia’s when he lived in Austin, and so Heath connected with him before we left. His advice clearly changed the course of our lives. So very cool.

  • […] Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang  – Which I wrote more about here […]

  • […] apartment and helps us keep low monthly expenses. Since March, Heath has been traveling with his business partner Jia Jiang as they promote his book. With Heath traveling, I’ve been staying at my parent’s house […]

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