On Jan 6, 1995, McArthur Wheeler boldly robbed two banks in broad daylight with no disguise. According to an article in a local newspaper, “At 5 feet 6 inches and about 270 pounds, bank robbery suspect McArthur Wheeler isn’t the type of person who fades into the woodwork.” He made no attempts to hide his identity and even looked directly into the security camera and smiled. By 11:00 at night, his picture was all over the news, leading an informant to identify Wheeler to the police. Within an hour, he was in jail. As he was being arrested, the shocked Wheeler said, “But I wore the juice!”
Jia Jiang was the founder of a small tech company in 2012 when he got rejected by an investor. Traumatized by this rejection, he was left with a sinking feeling in his stomach and was angry and insecure. Jiang wanted to give up on his company, but instead, he decided he needed to build his confidence. If he was going to be successful, he needed to get comfortable with failure and rejection. He needed rejection therapy.
The message for me is being comfortable looking foolish is a path to greater freedom and happiness in your life. This is especially important for language learners, because everyone makes mistakes and everyone looks foolish sometimes. The people who are comfortable with those mistakes, and don’t care what other people think, are the ones who will learn the fastest.