Dr. Shannan Crawford has great insight to share with us about how we can overcome rejection.
The more people call you crazy, the better. More rejection leads to more freedom. If people are giving you weird looks, you just might have life figured out! Let’s talk about how overcoming rejection leads to freedom. For more help with overcoming read about overcoming life’s obstacles and hardships.
How to Be Free From Others’ Opinions – How to Reject Rejection
That’s not what the world tells you, is it? But it’s true. Do you ever stop and wonder how many of your choices are motivated by what other people will think? Others’ opinions can be powerful forces in our lives, and they can move us toward either freedom or fear. A person who is constantly worried about others’ opinions will have a life defined by fear – the fear of rejection. On the other hand, a person who has confidence and discernment will hear other people’s opinions, then filter out the ones that are unwise. In many cases, unwise opinions can actually empower the confident person to be more free!
Why Is Rejection Hard? You Can’t Avoid Rejection
Don’t get me wrong – rejection is really tough. We were created to be in community with each other, so the feeling of exclusion is super uncomfortable. But I want to remind you that, no matter how hard you try, you cannot please everyone. You will experience rejection in your life, and it’s time to stop seeing it as a sign that you are making a bad decision. In fact, no matter how good you act, there will always be somebody who disagrees with your actions. Didn’t Martin Luther King Jr. get assassinated for doing something good? He had enemies, and you will too. But you get to decide whether or not your enemies have the right reasons to reject you.
Good Causes of Rejection
Yes, you can be rejected for the right reasons. Again, rejection is not always a sign that you are wrong. Actually, it’s often a sign that you are right! This is exactly what Jesus said to his disciples: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you” (John 15:18-19). Many people would say that Jesus is the best person they can imagine, but he suffered an excruciating death for his good deeds.
Getting Used to Rejection
The good news is that getting used to rejection, and experiencing more of it, will give you more freedom and less fear. This is the same tactic used to break people of phobias. If someone has a phobia of spiders, one way to get rid of that phobia is to expose the person to spiders a little bit at a time. As this continues, the person will be accustomed to the sight of a spider, and will recognize that he or she is actually more powerful than the spider. In fact, all he or she has to do is step on it!
The first few times you are rejected, it will hurt, even if you are rejected for doing something good. But the pain of rejection is better than living in bondage to other people’s opinions . Trust me. Rejection will either send you crawling back into the shadows or stepping more confidently into the light. It’s your choice. If you choose to keep living in freedom from others’ opinions, and to keep getting rejected, it will hurt less each time. You will realize that just because people disagree with you doesn’t mean that your life will fall apart!
Healing from Rejection
So if rejection isn’t as scary as I thought, then what are some good reasons to be rejected? That’s a great question. You certainly don’t want to go crazy and start offending everybody in your life for no reason. Rejection, when you experience it for good reasons, is like pruning a tree. Removing dead branches allows new ones to grow. But this only happens when the tree is strongly rooted and healthy. In the same way, your actions should overflow from a place of confidence and consistency. When you know what you think and how you have chosen to live your life, you must stay strong in that and allow rejection to come. On the other hand, being rejected because you keep changing your mind and lifestyle is not healthy. This will only cause more destruction in your life.
Confidence, then, is the root of freedom from others’ opinions. But how do I get confidence? You are probably smart enough to know that being confident in yourself doesn’t work very well. You might have even tried it – you have read countless self-help books about trusting yourself and believing in yourself. But they didn’t work, did they? That’s because we humans are masterful creations, designed by a God who knows us better than we know ourselves. Only by talking to him can we find confidence in ourselves. He loves us way more than we do, and he knows how to encourage us and move us toward freedom.