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June 8, 2021

The Fear of Rejection Almost Cost me My Identity.

I have been hit point-blank lately with the reality that I have a deep-seated fear of rejection.

Who doesn’t? Who wants to be rejected?

I wouldn’t have known I had this ailment until recently. It became extremely apparent that I am afraid of being rejected. I am writing this book and part of the process of writing is sharing—and in sharing there can be rejection or perceived rejection. The anxiety I would feel leading up to sharing showed me how great my fear of rejection is.

When writing a book or sharing other vulnerable parts of ourselves, we can tell ourselves that we will be fine, we can be strong, we can take it. When actually faced with people saying “No thank you, this isn’t for me,” it can sting. It hits this deep place inside of me that I wanted to keep hidden. Rejection has triggered some old emotional wounds that told me:

I wasn’t good enough and wouldn’t amount to anything.

I know I can’t let this fear and the actual rejections take me down. I know I need to be stronger, more confident, and empowered to work my way through this. Knowing and doing are sometimes a long bridge to cross. I’m working to connect my head and my heart and through that facing some tough realities about how the fear of rejection has held me back and kept me safe.

We always hear the downtrodden voices—retracing the days when we were picked last for a team in gym class. I suppose my fear stems from similar scenarios.

I did indeed feel like the one who always finished last, couldn’t catch on to what the others knew in school, and then that followed me into life. I was always a step behind, but it turned out I was somewhat of a good actress and so I could play the part—“fake it till I make it,” so to speak.

My life took some turns for the worst and I made some not-great choices. I was impulsive, irresponsible, and lacked a moral compass. I made for a good cheap date and you would always get lucky. I gave myself up to be liked. I was like jello and you could form me into whomever you needed. I was pliable and a yes person. Sure, I would say as I nodded in agreement.

Giving away my power and losing my backbone in the process can’t go on for long before I find myself miserable and alone, chasing the dreams that were born inside of me.

It takes the pain and then some grit to get back to that place of remembering who we really are, what we are made of, and how to access that inner knowing again that had been lost when the fear of rejection became the only thing that guided us.

The fear of rejection is real and trite and for me feels like it has been the guiding force of my life.

Today, I am going to call that bastard out and send it away on its hands and knees begging for mercy. It has run my life for way too long and today I say:

No more.

In Christian theology, I recently learned about “The Spirit of Rejection.”

If there is good and evil, then the spirit of rejection is the enemy, or dark part of our soul, trying to pull us back down into the ashes.

We can reject many things: God, ourselves, and others—but the fear of rejection keeps us stuck and safe. We play small to not be seen by those who may think we are not good enough—which would back up the origin of our fear to begin with. If we play small and don’t embark on our dreams and desires, we never have to face that dreaded bogeyman of rejection, right?

We can pretend that working nine-to-five is really all we’ve ever wanted or being a homemaker really does light our fires. Writing that book or taking that class will have to remain on the bucket list—maybe do it in the next life.

Oh, wait—we have to acknowledge these places where we feel lack and bring them into the light. We have to feel to heal as they say.

If I never venture to try anything new that is risky, I stay safe. I am still playing small and my dreams feel like seeds inside of me that will never see the light of day to sprout—it’s okay because I probably would have made an ass of myself anyway. But then I wake up in the night with the shreds of my desires shaking around in there; I feel a certain discomfort, a questioning:

Is this all there is?

I know I’m made for more. I know my God has a plan for my life. I know he wants to use me.

I’m done ignoring the voice I hear.

I’m done placing my dreams on a shelf for a decade until I feel safer. Until you won’t reject me. Because who are you anyway? Just a made-up character in my life that bullies me into submission, who makes me believe my dreams aren’t valid and that I should just roll over and play dead.

This is the end of my self-rejection and my fear of rejection.

Today is the day I surrender and let go. I learn to live without being unencumbered by fear of what people think. Today is the day I stand tall in my own truth.

In closing, here is a prayer so that we can continue to stand in our power against the fear of rejection:

Spirit of Rejection,

You have no right, you have no authority to stay with me. I turn your sword against you. Rejection, I reject you! You are on a slippery mountain and have nothing to hang on to. I break all agreements with you. I reject your lies. The ground you have taken, I now take back. I reaffirm my trust in God and His Word, and I renounce every work of darkness associated with you. I reaffirm that I am His Child and He is my Father. I sever all ties with you. I shut the door on you. You are exposed. I cast you out of my life. Be gone. Let go.  I command you to leave me alone. I am taking my power back today.

Amen.

(Adapted from Cleansing Stream)

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