I can still remember the first time I made the first move and called a boy I liked. I was in the 7th grade and practiced what I was going to talk about to avoid awkward silences. I remember how NERVOUS I was picking up the phone and dialing the number. My breathing was shallow, I was light-headed, and as soon as it started to ring I was so tempted to just hang up!
What was behind this physical reaction to calling a boy? Yes it’s fear, but fear of what? Rejection of course! What if he doesn’t want to talk to me? What if we have nothing to say? Since I’m calling, now he KNOWS I like him, but what if he doesn’t think I’m cute and only likes me as a friend? What if I say something stupid?
So did I hang up? Nope! He answered the phone, we chatted and I only weathered a few awkward silences. Was I rejected? Nope. The risk of rejection was worth it because we ended up being boyfriend and girlfriend for a good 3 months (that’s serious stuff in middle school).
That fear of rejection has not gone away because I HAVE been rejected and will undoubtedly be rejected in the future. I’ve experienced rejection in relationships (the spurning of a person’s affections) and in my career, and definitely have to deal with rejection (the dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea) as I pursue my vision.
Now, I have good news and bad news.
Bad news. Becoming a visionary is not for the weak. Staying persistent towards your dreams or big goals requires a unique mindset to help face rejection.
People aren’t rushing to put themselves in situations where they might face rejection. Let’s face it- rejection can hurt a little and it can hurt A LOT! If people’s ideas are dismissed or refused once or twice, most people are ready to throw their hands up and say, “I’m out!”
Good News. Jesus knows a thing or two about rejection. The religious leaders rejected his teachings, and even his good friend, Peter, rejected him! The prophet Isaiah predicted the rejection Jesus would experience hundreds of years before Jesus was born. In Isaiah 53:3 he says:
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering…”
Now you, my visionaries, this week you may have to face the risk of rejection as you take action toward your vision. Maybe you are going to share your idea or proposal to someone, maybe you are going to make some first time sales calls, or share with your spouse a big goal you have. Let CCWA guide you as you face this necessary step toward your vision!
- If you are rejected, immediately talk to Jesus. I still feel a twinge of rejection when someone unsubscribes from our list, or if a church doesn’t accept our offer to speak to their members. I especially feel it when a relationship is suddenly ended. When I feel that hurt, I talk about it with Jesus. He totally knows the pain of being dismissed and spurned. So don’t hold back with Jesus; let Him comfort you! Let it out and then move on.
- Don’t take it personal (easier said than done, I know). Satan loves when we get offended, because what usually follows is anger. Our ego/pride is hurt and therefore we want the other person to hurt, too. Remember, when you are working toward your vision, anger can bring any progress to a screeching halt. So if your boss, coworker, potential client, friend, spouse, etc., rejects your idea or proposal, tune in to your feelings. If you feel anger or hurt- see number 1 or go to number 3.
- Look objectively at the situation. Ask yourself, “Is this just a matter of my ego being bruised?” If it is, see number 1. “What do I need to fix/improve in my (fill in the blank).” In this moment of rejection, God may be telling you that you still have some refining to do. In prayer ask God, “Do I still stay with this course of action and just be patient, or are you redirecting me?” Then actually spend some time in meditation to see what His Holy Spirit reveals to you.
As you put yourself out there, keep this chorus in your consciousness. It’s from a song I sang in church yesterday: In the first line replace the word “tomorrow” with the word “rejection.”
And because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all the fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth living
Just because He lives