“Fear is a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of organisms, which causes a change in metabolic and organ functions and ultimately a change in behavior, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing from perceived traumatic events. Fear in human beings may occur in response to a specific stimulus occurring in the present, or in anticipation or expectation of a future threat perceived as a risk to body or life feeling induced by perceived danger or from a perceived traumatic event. Fear is a perception which has a kissing cousin, and that is, rejection.
Webster’s dictionary defines rejection “as an immune response in which foreign tissue is attacked by immune system components of the recipient organism.” Webster’s definition implies a biological response. I believe that the attack by an immune system is emits the same response emotionally, psychologically.
In some critical ways, our minds are designed to stop us from being hurt. The flight, fight or freeze mentality really kicked in when we have been exposed to multiple hurts, losses, abandonment. It also presents itself when we are uncomfortable, scared, and/or in difficult situations. It creates all of those emotions which result in loss of confidence, poor self-worth, and inaction. Rejection becomes a constant downward spiral of negative emotion, unless we choose to do something about it.
Components of Rejection
Jia Jiang, in his book Rejection Proof, beautifully chronicles his journey to overcome on this topic. He defines 3 characteristics of rejection.
- Rejection is part of living. We all experience and we all reject some things. Rejection is no respecter of person or place. It happens to all of us. It says more about the rejector than the anyone else. Maybe they’ve had a bad day, or don’t understand to what you want. There are tons of reasons but, in the end, rejection more aptly describes the other person, not you.
- It is also an opinion of the rejector, not a condition of the rejectee. Universal acceptance or rejection is good in theory but it doesn’t exist in life. Opinions change over time, so what might be a no today, could turn into a yes later.
- It also has a number. If you ask enough people, then eventually you will get the answer that you want.
Rejection is inevitable and it happens to all of us. Those who are successful manage to continue to progress in the face of adversity. ” It’s as if becoming a master of a craft requires not just great skills, but also the ability to weather” the storms. Another major characteristic is a strong believe in yourself and your vision.
Moving Past Rejection
Too many of us have made rejection a resting place, a condition in our lives. We may have wonderful ideas and inspirations yet lack the belief in ourselves to sustain the effort, to make it happen. So, how do we replace old thinking with new thinking? Unhealthy thoughts about our selves and replace them healthy, edifying thoughts?
The short answer is that we ask. And then we ask some more. And the more we ask, the more we experience the power of asking.
People can be categorized into two types. Acceptors and Askers. Acceptors have an external focus on life and scan the environment to see what is going on around them. They tend to over-think, over-analyze situations so much that it becomes a state of emotional paralysis. Acceptors talk about what if, complain, and focus on restrictions or lack.
Askers think differently. They maintain an internal focus. Askers say why not, instead of why? In the process, askers stop looking for people to agree with them and begin to look for those people who are looking for them. Birds of a feather flock together. It is a basic law of attraction. You must look for those who want to find you.
Acronym for ASK
My pastor, Dr. Doug Firebaugh, offered this definition earlier this week. The acronym for ASK is: Asking Success from the King.
The decision to make rejection a condition is just that, a condition of life. We can be acceptors and not experience all of the blessings, the good that life offers. Or, we can be askers and learn to take the risk, accept the consequence and understand that rejection is more about the rejector, than us. As Jia Jiang discovered, great power is unleashed when we begin to ask for what we want and deserve.
My hope for you is that in the next 24 hours you will ask 3 people for something that you want or need. And, then repeat it the next. Repeat it until it becomes a habit.
When habits become internalized an even deeper power is released and you will be unstoppable.