Fear of Rejection: Doughnuts and Brains

2016-0407 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

The para-transit bus I use picked me up on time then dropped me off at Starbucks one hour before my scheduled meeting with Tim Tyrell-Smith. During the hour wait, three amazing things happened:

1. I introduced myself to a stranger.
2. I connected the stranger to three people whom he needed to meet.
3. I found the perfect story to mention in this post.

So, what does this post have to do with the fear of rejection, doughnuts, or brains? Better yet, how are the fear of rejection, doughnuts, and brains connected, and is it even possible for the words to appear together in a single sentence? Stay with me . . . the answers are in this post.

Introduced Myself to a Stranger

In the post titled “Fear of Public Speaking,” I revealed that I rarely introduce myself because I am afraid of people. There’s actually more than fear that makes public speaking difficult for me, but I will save the reasons for a different post. The fact that I introduced myself to anyone is simply amazing. After a brief conversation with the stranger, I had little doubt that he would share his background, then, either directly or indirectly, ask my opinion.

Introduced the Stranger to People He Needed to Meet

As I was listening to the stranger, it was clear to me that three people in my network could help the stranger accomplish some of his goals. Without any hesitation, I asked the stranger if he wanted to connect with any of the three people whom I had mentioned. It wasn’t until hours later that I began to wonder if the stranger was a psychotic, serial ax murderer who smiles and hums happy melodies while cutting people into small pieces the size of dog food.

Found the Perfect Story for this Post

Believe it or not, this post addresses the fear of rejection (felt by people with and without brain injury) with the assistance of a YouTube video about a very special kind of doughnut. Quite possibly, you are amazed that fear of rejection, doughnuts, and brains can successfully appear in the same sentence, but you are still wondering what the stranger has to do with the perfect story in this post. Since I imagine you want the answer, I will tell you. When I looked at my computer to get contact information for the stranger, the story about rejection and doughnuts was on my screen and the story linked to the following video:

For those readers who are afraid of watching YouTube videos, I will provide a brief summary of the story. According to Yahoo News, Huffington Post, and other presumably reliable news agencies, Jia Jiang was on a quest to get rejected 100 times in 100 days as part of his therapy to overcome the fear of rejection. On day three of the quest, he entered a Krispy Kreme, ordered doughnuts linked together in the shape of the Olympic symbol, and expected to hear some sort of rejection. What he actually heard is documented in the video. I agree that the story and video may be a hoax, but I believe we can still learn from them. The message is brilliant whether or not the events were staged.


How will you use the information in this post to change your life, the life of someone who you care about, or the life of a stranger?


Click here to read another Beyond Adversity post.

Thanks to Merv P. for helping me overcome my fear of rejection; YouTube for hosting the video; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made is possible to include the picture, video, and text in this post.



  1. Like you, I rarely introduce myself to strangers. But it is truly interesting how one thing lead to another and how you ended up finding this video to blog about. I have never heard of this strategy for overcoming fear of rejection. However, this video can be used to educate many. In addition I love how the story captured the true likeness of generous people. Often we can be way to busy, uncaring and/or uncreative when presented with a challenge such as this. I learned that we are always helping or hurting people in ways we likely do not know. If she had said “no” I would hope it would of been with a kind smile.

    1. Cheryl, receiving a smile make the day better regardless of whether you also receive a “yes” or “no.” Prior to watching the video, I had never thought of this technique for overcoming the fear of rejection. However, after watching the video, I thought of similar methods for overcoming other fears. I have share the video with a lot of people in the hope it would inspire others to find ways to overcome their fears.

      1. I have shared with video with several others today and they each have mentioned how moving it is.

  2. Inner resilience can be cultivated. The more times you try the better you usually become. If you try something 0 times, your chances of success is 0%. If you failed, and gave up, your chances of having a positive outcome are 0%. If you fail and try a different technique you increase your odds of success and your chance of being pleasantly surprised!

  3. Scott – I love the questions you ask at the end of this post. Especially “what would you do if you were not afraid?” This applies to so many people out there and needs to be asked again and again. And from a blogging standpoint, questions give us a reason to comment and engage with you even more. Well done!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *