Photo credit: Toa Heftiba
Ok, so the title may be a little misleading because I am still a little afraid from time to time. I think you wouldn’t be normal if you weren’t a little frightened by something. I assure you this isn’t click-bait, there are some great nuggets of wisdom that I wish to impart. I’ve been reading some fantastic books lately and I think when you come across something that is life changing you shouldn’t keep it to yourself. You should share it with the world. Some of my favorite books are ones that have inspiring messages and motivate me to be or do better. This book definitely resonated with me on this journey that I’ve begun.
The book is called “Rejection Proof”, written by Jia Jiang. Jiang explains in detail how he conquers his fear of rejection by using a tool called “rejection therapy”. Sounds crazy, right? He had been part of the corporate world for some time making a comfortable income but wasn’t happy in his job. He leaves the safety of this job and all its benefits to chase his dreams. Whoa, talk about scary! What happens is Jiang becomes so paralyzed by this fear of being rejected that he seemingly can’t move forward. (Been there!!!!) Jiang comes up with one hundred different ways he can be rejected so he can, essentially, become desensitized to this fear. Its an amazing story that has helped transform so many lives.
So what makes the fear of rejection so terrifying? Its been said it is one our deepest human fears. We are wired with an incredible need to belong. We want to be loved and feel of value to the people we come in contact with on a day to day basis. In his book, Jiang explains what happens to us as individuals scientifically when we experience rejection. During a brain study when participants were placed in certain social situations to face rejection, it was revealed that the opioid system was activated. Typically, opioids are released during times of distress or pain in animals. Pain. It almost physically hurts us to be rejected socially.
I’m going to tell you a little story. This time last year I felt God telling me it was time to leave my job. This was a huge leap of faith and I didn’t know if the music world would accept me. What was even more terrifying was my husband came to me at nearly the exact same time saying he felt God was telling him to leave his job to pursue his remodeling business full time. “Excuse me, whaaa?” We have lost our minds. We were also in the process of moving aaaaand, surprise, you’re pregnant. God must have gotten His signals crossed. When money started to get tight I began to panic. And when the phone calls started coming in with past due bills it was one of the scariest times of my life. Maybe I was wrong. I will just find something really quick to tide us over. So I applied for a job. And another job. And another job. And was rejected every time. For awhile, I thought, “What is wrong with me?” I was applying for every job I was qualified for and in the past would have been hired almost immediately. What was happening? So for a year, instead of chasing the dreams God had put in my heart I did almost nothing. If I was being rejected for jobs I didn’t truly desire, how could I possibly put myself out there for something I really wanted? That would be devastating. It would destroy me.
During that time I was heavily pregnant so I had no choice but to sit and be still with God. A lot. And it was in those times of stillness that I heard the familiar call to my heart. In those moments I knew I was where I was supposed to be and pointed in the direction I needed to be going. But I was stuck. I thought if I had left my job a year ago and if I was doing what God told me to do that things would just happen. I had allowed fear of rejection to creep in and paralyze me into inaction. (that is a dangerous place to be, friends) So I knew I had to figure out how to get past this fear. I listened to all the affirmation tapes, motivational speakers, and read all the self-help books I could get my hands on to prime my mind in a different way. (“Rejection Proof” was one of them) And during this time God lined up an incredible person in my life that can be described as nothing short of destiny. (more to come in another post) She became my life coach and has transformed my life forever.
I’ve often heard “Prayer plus Action equals Miracles”. I had definitely done a lot of the praying but what Charlotte, my life coach, helped me do was take action. I didn’t know how I was going to do this, I didn’t know if I could find the time with three little children, and I was still wounded from being rejected so often. But one of the most important things she taught me was to just take one step at a time. Our favorite line that she uses with me constantly is, “Don’t think. Do.” I had to get past the fear and just take a little step. And then another step. I didn’t know what was going to happen a few paces ahead but I could handle that one little step. Amazingly, things began to happen. And really fast. I released my album, I created my own website, started to do my own marketing, and began this blog. I am overwhelmed with what has happened in such a short amount of time.
“But Jacquie,” I hear you say. “I can’t do that. I am too old, that sounds too hard, I don’t have the time.” I get it. I’ve been there and used that same script. Rejection can be so excruciatingly painful that instead of taking a chance we play it safe. We don’t make that phone call. We don’t ask that girl out. We don’t seize that opportunity. And while it might make us feel secure to put up those walls for a little while eventually the walls become so high you can’t get over them. A lifetime of these dangerous choices that at the time kept us safe will eventually keep us from soaring. I don’t know about you, dear ones, but I think the battling the fear of rejection sounds a lot better than regret.
A lot of this can be credited to Charlotte, although she would humbly deny all the credit. But I know that after I was given the push from her that I ultimately made the choice. You always have a choice in this life. I could have chosen to live in fear and play it safe to avoid any unnecessary pain but I chose to get a little comfortable with being uncomfortable. I still have fear from time to time. It’s normal!!! But I am learning to take the steps in spite of my fear. I am so glad that I could share this story with you and I pray that it will serve you in some way. Please share this with someone that you think may need to hear the message. I love you beyond all words.
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” ~ Joseph Campbell