So guys, I’m really, really excited about this upcoming project.
Have you ever wanted to be free from all shyness, social anxiety, fear of rejection or anything inside you that causes you to not fully express yourself? Or anything inside you that causes you to miss out on achieving your goals and living your dreams?
I sure have. Especially being an American living in Japan poses a few special inhibitions that I would like to overcome. Which is why I’ve decided to give this “rejection therapy” buzz a shot (also known as social skydiving)
What is rejection therapy?
I just recently learned about rejection therapy from a guy called Jia Jiang who was an upcoming entrepreneur that found himself held back from taking the risks he needed to have success in his business ventures. This was due to his fear of being rejected by people, being told “no,” Or being judged in some way.
He decided to overcome his fears by doing 100 social challenges that caused him to put himself in uncomfortable situations where he’d be rejected by strangers in order to build up his social confidence and courage.
These challenges included tasks such as:
- Asking a waitress to dance,
- Asking someone permission to play soccer in their backyard,
- Requesting a specially made Olympic ring donut at the donut shop…
and many others…
In short, his 100 challenges changed his life.
A background about me in Japan
I’m actually not new to rejection therapy. I’ve done this before, without even realizing I was doing it!
Living in Japan poses some special challenges to me. As a foreigner, I often stand out a lot. My looks, my lack of full understanding of Japanese culture (even though I’ve lived here for three years as of now), and of course, my not yet perfect Japanese.
Not to mention I’ve always been extra shy. At least I was. I actually almost failed university because I was too afraid to public speak. But I’ve came a long way since then.
My previous rejection therapy challenges
About a year ago, I got fed up with being shy. Avoiding conversation with people. Missing out on new opportunities to make new friends, new jobs, more money, and just doing and trying all the fun things I wanted to do in life.
Also being especially nervous around Japanese people when I was forced to speak Japanese. Just feeling that lack of confidence in my ability caused me to feel stifled and not feel comfortable.
So I created my own list of social challenges.
My first challenge was:
Say “Hello.” to 100 strangers in public.
This doesn’t sound like much, but for me, it was pretty intense. I was sweating, shaking, nervous as heck. A lot of my hellos were pretty weak. I would just barely choke out the word. But probably after the first 20 or so, it got much easier and I was able to finish out the 100 Hello Challenge in two weeks.
After feeling the confidence and satisfaction of finishing my first challenge, I decided to kick it up a level and start my next challenge, which actually took me about four months to complete:
Start a conversation with 100 strangers in public.
The bar for what was considered a “conversation” was fairly low. But I had to at least commit to trying to talk to a stranger, and they had to at least reply with words in order for it to count as a win.
In Japan, more so than in western countries, people are not used to being engaged in conversation with strangers. It’s just not something that happens a lot. So knowing how awkward it is, it made this mission especially challenging for me.
The thing is, when I did these challenges before, I didn’t document them on camera or blog about them. I just wrote about them in my journal.
I want to record all of it and throw it up on my YouTube channel to keep myself accountable. I will write about each challenge on my blog. Plus, having done this before, I think I can really kick up the difficulty of these challenges to make them more extreme.
Whereas before, I did my previous challenges and it brought me from being a shy guy, to being a normal (maybe a little more confident than average guy), this time, I want to make the challenges so extreme that the result is I will be like Superman in terms of social confidence.
Actually the way I imagine it is that many opportunities will open up for me because I will have developed the courage and confidence in myself to face the fears required for those opportunities.
This is what I really want more than anything in life: to be completely free of inhibitions so that I can act anyway I want around other people – being completely at ease with myself and enjoying sharing life with others without worrying about being judged.
Let’s see if I can accomplish this with these missions.
To be honest, I’m not really sure how many of these challenges I’m going to do in the long run. I like to make goals that I know I can commit to, so I don’t want to say 100 challenges because that may be even too long for me.
But I think I’m going to start at 25 challenges. Once those challenges are complete, I will decide if I want to continue or not.
Like I said before, this time I want to kick it up a notch, so I’ve been perusing various prank channels on YouTube, going through http://fearbuster.com/100-days-of-rejection-therapy/, and brainstorming my own ideas to see what kind of challenges I want to do.
Here are just a few challenges that I’ve came up with so far…
- Walking around wearing a samurai costume in a busy district in broad daylight, high-fiving people.
- Speaking Japanese and pretending I don’t speak English to foreigners in Japan.
- Approach people on the street speaking “beatbox” language to them.
- Sing happy birthday to random people on the street (when it’s probably not their birthday).
- Asking people to borrow their car.
- Asking policeman if they’ll give me a lift to the nearest station.
- Asking my waitress to dance.
And the rest I will dream up as I go along.
If any of this is exciting to you or if you have any suggestions for crazy social challenges please post them to the comments and I will do them if they seem appropriate.
This is all for now.
If you’d like to stay updated on my rejection therapy experiment in Japan, please subscribe to the mailing list in the right side bar of this page. Also follow me on my YouTube channel, my Twitter feed, and Instagram.
Let’s make this experiment fun and crazy!