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Day 1 In Jessica’s #BeatRejection Challenge

Here we go. The first day in my #beatrejection challenge. Where I go out and seek rejection. I haven’t decided what I’ll be doing yet and somehow that’s giving me the greatest anxiety. I’m having a really difficult time coming up with 30 things I’m nervous to ask for.

I’m not keen on some of the extreme things Jia Jiang asked for. I just don’t know that delivering a Domino’s Pizza or asking a stranger for $100 will help me overcome fear of rejection. They seem to silly. Instead I’m hoping to ask for those things that might bolster my confidence in my own abilities.

My vision for this challenge is not one where I go out and ask for things in an effort to hear “no”, but a challenge that pushes me outside of my comfort zone. So instead of looking for a “no”, I’m looking to do things I’m afraid will get a “no” or just afraid of.

I’ve been working on a list and I’m also going to try to see what challenges I’m facing each day, there might be things that pop up that I hadn’t thought of. Maybe asking for help on a day when I’m especially overwhelmed or asking someone to take over a job I no longer have the time to do. Some of the tasks will be personal and some will be professional. I’ll keep you updated as often as I can.

Right now I have these ideas and would love if everyone would share any others they might have. Even if you’re not participating, I could use your help.

Some thoughts:

1. Buy coffee for a stranger
2. Seek out an editor I’ve never spoken to before and request an appointment
3. Have a difficult conversation I’ve been avoiding
4. Write a blog post that I’m afraid will receive negative feedback

Some thoughts for writers:
1. Follow up on your query
2. Ask your editor/agent for something you’ve been nervous about asking for, or feel like you already know the answer to.
3. Ask someone to read your book, someone you’re nervous to ask.

I’m excited and nervous for the #beatrejection challenge and I’m off to push my limits.

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13 comments

  1. Jessica,

    I like some of your personal challenges.
    Like you, I found some of Jia Jiang’s challenges a bit too over the top. I suppose that filling 100 days must be incredibly difficult as I am having trouble with just 30.

    Day 1 of #BeatRejection for me was to ask for a free piano lesson. I play the cello 😉 I received a positive response so now I am on the hook for a lesson, haha.

    Day 2 I intend to ask my local barista to teach me to make a latte their way.
    I like the idea of buying a stranger a coffee and I think that I will try that one.

    I am going to submit a horror short story into a contest. I’m not a horror writer at all, so that ought to stretch the boundaries of my fear of rejection nicely.

    Because I am always ready for a good story, I am going to reach out to a stranger (better yet a homeless person) and listen to his or her story.

    My husband suggests asking for a discount on something you wouldn’t normally expect – coffee or lunch, perhaps?

    Here’s to rejection!

  2. I’m really sick, the cold I’ve been trying to fight for a few days has moved to my chest, I’m waiting to speak to my doctor, but I know what he’s going to say. I’m not going to be going anywhere for the next week.
    I needed a blood test, so I took the opportunity to make that my first challenge, although I will admit to cheating slightly, I knew the answer would be no, when I asked if she would use the pink syringe.
    Having said that, getting over the first day and the first no, is a bit of a relief.

    I’ve spent the last week or so talking this over with my husband and although he’s one of these, if you want it you’ll do it kind of men. He did agree to drive me around to do whatever we came up with. That’s not going to happen now, he will follow the doctor’s instructions to the letter, probably adding a few of his own.

    If you can think of anything for me to do from home ~ HELP
    If there is anything I can do (from home) to help let me know

    1. Hollie: Don’t lose faith. I think you can still do this. Make a call to the grocery store to see if someone could pick and pack the groceries for your husband to pick up. Or ask if they deliver. Call the credit card company to ask if they’ll lower your interest rate. See if your cable company will give you HBO free for a year. Submit to someplace you never thought you could. Ask for a critique from someone you’re afraid of. Call your local coffee shop to ask for a favorite recipe. I think there’s just as much you could do online or over the phone. You can do it!

      Now if I can only think of what to do on day 1.

  3. Thanks Jessica,
    Your a genius, I was starting to worry and my brain isn’t working properly, which is only going to get worse when the meds kick in.

    I do have an idea for you, contact one of the review companies. I’m sure some of them woukd be just as interested in working with an agency as a publisher.

    The worst they can say is noand then nothing has changed and you find another way to do it. I grew-up hearing those words as my mum has just reminded me.

  4. I’m quite a few hours ahead of the USA, so I’m at the end of day 2. I’m finding this quite hard for the same reason others seem to be – what to actually try and do!

    Day 1 I asked the post office if they’d add tracking at no charge to a parcel I was posting (they did – still amazed at that).

    Day 2 I asked the security guard at the door to a chemist warehouse if he could show me where a particular aftershave was for The Hub. I got a no, and the advice to ask someone with a blue uniform shirt on (I could see the aftershave from the door, but that wasn’t the point *smile*).

    Stephen, clever move (and a lovely semi-rejection from Jessica).

    Hollie, Jessica’s ideas are all good ones. It is tough to think of things. What about contacting your local library and asking for them to get a specific book. If you don’t get the ‘no’ you are after, at least an author might benefit 🙂

    1. This is terrific! I’m going to post my updates once a week so you’ll see one next week. I think if we share we can “steal” ideas from each other. I found that as my day went on I started coming up with all sorts of ideas and did something that my team called out as a #beatrejection moment for me. They were right.

  5. I made a list of career goals to help me categorize – like Jessica I want to push my comfort zone in ways that will build me up long term. I looked up a lot of contests/magazines I don’t think I’m qualified for, people I want to meet who probably don’t have time, people I could ask to teach me things, that sort of thing. With 5 categories I only need 5 or 6 in each one, which is less overwhelming for me than trying to fill up 30.

  6. I asked a friend, (she’s a veratous reader and scary-honest), if she would like to read my first 30 pages. She LOVED them.
    Next up, I’m asking my credit card company to lessen my bill and I’ll pay it off.

  7. What a shame, Stephen, but nice try. When I was reading through the post I thought of exactly the same thing, until I realised I was a little late to the party. I think my daughters have been doing the rejection challenge for years. They’re always asking me to do things, get things, make things, and I always seem to say yes. Maybe my challenge is to say ‘not this time, sweetie’.
    Mine is to knock on the old lady’s house down the road who seems a bit lonely and not very approachable, and ask her if she’d like to come to mine for a cup of tea and a cake. And always ask for an upgrade on flights and hotels. I know other people do it all the time. Gotta stop being such a wimp!

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