Rejection: There’s an App for That


No one likes rejection, although some people seem to handle it better than others. Certain personalities show a willingness to ask questions that might be met with the answer of “no” to a greater degree than others.

As a rule follower, I don’t tend to ask questions that fall outside of the guidelines. I hate buying things I have to haggle over, such as a car, because I don’t want to appear rude, difficult or insensitive. Yet, the back and forth is all part of the game. I know people who itch to get the best deal, and a negative response doesn’t deter them.

As I explore the concept of risk, my word for the year, I realize that hesitating to do something for fear of being turned down is an unfortunate decision. How can we ever hope for a yes if we are not first willing to hear a no.

Entering the world of writing has taught me the most about this concept compared to anything I’ve ever done. For every yes I’ve received, the no’s far outweigh them all. This is to be expected.

While talking about the concept of rejection with the mom of one of my son’s friends, she proclaimed, “There’s an app for that!” Apparently, if you want to improve you ability to receive rejection and take more risks, you can download an app called Rejection Therapy. You will receive daily assignments for 30 days that force you out of your comfort zone. You can even give yourself consequences for not fulfilling the assignment. At the end of the program you, theoretically, will be more tolerant to receiving the dreaded no.

You likely have heard the phrase, “It doesn’t hurt to ask. The worst someone can say is no.” I believe it is important to try and fail than not try at all, but sometimes it does hurt.

Have you ever asked for something from someone where you had to muster all of your courage just to make the ask only to be rejected with some hurtful words thrown in? That’s a hard pill to swallow, and definitely makes you less likely to reach out in the future.

Wouldn’t it be nice to become immune to rejection? I do believe exposing yourself repeatedly to rejection can indeed be helpful. The experience has a rather numbing effect and has the potential to make you more courageous in the future. (Let me add, there are all kinds of caveats to that statement that I won’t dive into here.)

Can I challenge you today to make the ask? I don’t know what may be stirring around in that head of yours, but you can’t get a yes until you are willing to risk the no. Rejection stinks, but for every no I’ve received in the last year, it has gotten me one step closer to the result I desire. I hope the same will be true for you, too.

10 thoughts on “Rejection: There’s an App for That

  1. One of my favorite speakers at Storyline was Jia Jiang, who did a project called 100 days of rejection…turns out people rejected him a lot less than he thought. It was a powerful, motivating speech. Favorite quote from that day? “Rejection is just a number, an opinion, a preference of one person. It doesn’t define us. Rejection is something we give too much power. It’s just a thing.”

  2. Great piece, Amy. I think of my children, how they receive a no and then make a better ask because if it. I, too, am hesitant to face rejection, that dreaded no. But they make me want to be brave.

    Thank you for your words!

  3. Interesting thoughts. I am not sure if I am a risk taker or not. I used to be one of those people always asked to do *something* and always saying yes regardless of whether or not I should be doing said thing. But, after some reflection I started saying no, so maybe I am that no person you are talking about! Rejection is never easy, of course, but I guess maybe I don’t go out on a limb enough to be rejected? Or maybe I am not as concerned with rejection as I was in my younger years. I think it is important that we remember that no matter what happens to us here on this earth, the most important person, God, has not rejected us, instead he has accepted us fully no matter how we are. Great post!

  4. Nice post Amy! I totally know what you are talking about, my husband is always saying what’s the worst that could happen, they’ll just say no! And I am much more risk adverse than he (he also has no problem haggling with car salesmen 🙂 ) But it is a good reminder that sometimes it’s worth risking rejection to get what we want. And this especially spoke to me: “but you can’t get a yes until you are willing to risk the no.” Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. I need an app for that! I hate asking anyone for anything, anytime:) But, as I get older, I am realizing there are times when my needs are legitimate, and I need to reach out of my scared little box. Realizing, but not yet doing. Thank you for helping me realizing I’m not in this boat alone.

  6. Funny, I’ve heard myself say to others, “It doesn’t hurt to ask. The worst someone can say is no.” But yet I have a hard time taking my own advice. Thanks for the encouragement to risk trying even if a no answer is a possibility.

    • I’ve found it especially true in the writing world and as I learn about famous people. Risking rejection is hard, but necessary, in order to make dreams come true.

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