Shake It Off: Getting Over Rejection

Throughout the majority of my childhood, teen and collage years, I played softball. I loved it! There’s nothing like feeling the ball hit the sweet spot on your bat and getting a great solid hit. With that said, there’s also nothing like the feeling when you swing with all your might…and miss.

The times I missed I would hear my teammates say, “Shake it off!”

I would be standing in the batters box thinking, “How can I shake that off, did you see how off I was, that was embarrassing!” 

“Shakin’ it off” didn’t come easy for me. I would try to press thru and see my miss for what it was, but the thoughts I battled were, “Your horrible at this! You let your team down, your a failure.”  

I know my thoughts were quite dramatic, but when your perspective is off, you can’t see the forrest for all the trees.

Trying hard and failing doesn’t stop in the sports arena. What about the test that you studied so hard for and bomb.  Or the relationship you worked so hard to keep, but the other person didn’t share the same feelings. How about that parent who walked out on you and your family? Or the years of negative pregnancy test that you and your spouse keep reading. Then there’s that job promotion you didn’t get, but another employee, less qualified than you, got it. All of these scenarios share the common denominator…rejection.

Have you been there? Have you experienced some type of rejection and you want to move on, but you’re just having a hard time shakin’ it off?

The reason so many of us, including me, have a hard time shaking rejection off, is because shame and lies attach themselves to rejection.

All of us know what lies are, but most of us don’t really understand what shame is.

In her book Daring Greatly, Dr. Brene Brown gives us great insight into understanding exactly what shame is…

Shame is the fear of disconnection — it’s the fear that something we’ve done or failed to do, an ideal that we’ve not lived up to, or a goal that we’ve not accomplished makes us unworthy of connection… Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.

This week I was reading through Matthew 10:5-14 when Jesus was sending out his disciples. Jesus gives them instructions about what they had authority to do and he encourages them to trust that God would take care of them. But, the part that jumped out to me was when Jesus tells them that if they go into any home and their message is rejected, to “leave that house or town, shake the dust off your feet as a prophetic act that you will not take their defilement with you.”

I know Jesus was talking about people rejecting the disciples message of the Kingdom of God, but the words “reject” and “shake off” stood out to me.

The defilement the disciples were to shake off, was the bitter response they could possibly get from others.

Isn’t that what rejection is…a bitter response. A response that is hard to to swallow.

Nobody want’s to be rejected, but it happens. So how do we move on? Do we stick our heads in the sand and act as if nothing happened and we’re okay? That’s what I used to think “shake if off” meant…but that doesn’t work.

I believe the first thing we have to do is look at the rejection and see it for what it is. Jesus told the disciples “they are not rejecting you, but me.” Shame wants you to believe that the rejection is all you…you are broken, you are flawed…and honestly, it may feel that way.

But shame is a liar.

So perhaps our first step should be, to ask God to help us see rejection for what it really is. God sees every dimension of your circumstance, and you only see one, so why not ask Him to give you his perspective. Ask him what really happened the day(s) you felt the rejection that you couldn’t seem to shake off, not what you perceived to happen.

To be continued…



    • Jessica Wright

      You know I even found myself saying to God, “Maybe you could get a leaf blower and help blow off the shame that seems harder to get off,” :-). But, I’m realizing that the ones that are harder to get off are usually tied to some destructive inner vow that I have made with myself.

  1. Rejection is tough. I’m finding that I need to acknowledge the feelings and think about the affect it’s having on me, and why. But I have to remember that my identity is found in God, not in what happened or what someone thinks about me. Not even in what I think of myself. In God alone is my true identity.

  2. Shame is a liar. When I face failure or discouragement, I usually attach every bad thing that has ever happened to me to that situation, verifying what I’m already telling myself. Thanks for the reminder to ask God to help me see the situation for what it is.

    • Jessica Wright

      Amen Sheila!! Me too! I want to have the foresight and wisdom to recognize the lies as they are coming down the pipe and make the appropriate changes instead of standing waste deep in them.

  3. Once upon a time, unbeknownst to me, I walked in much shame. I did not have the spiritual understanding of how a lifetime of defilement had built up layer upon layer of shame nor what a grip it had on me, to the point of influencing my behavior and decisions.
    Then Jesus…I am one very grateful girl for his living mercies and showing me the way out of shame.
    I recently walked out of a situation where defilement occurred; if I hadn’t been equipped with the spiritual tools
    to recognize and overcome, I’m sure I’d be stuck. Grateful once again for God’s saving grace and wisdom!

    Thanks for shedding light on the ramifications shame can have in one’s life.

    • Jessica Wright

      Wow Stacy,
      I am so grateful that you had the wisdom, insight and tools to walk away! In Psalm 34:5 in the Passion Translation says, “Gaze upon him, join your life with his, and joy will come. Your faces will glisten with glory. You’ll never wear that shame-face again.” Stacy you have set your gaze upon Him, keep your eyes locked on him and the promise is you will never wear that shame-face again! Your living that! I’m proud of you!

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