The most powerful lesson I gleaned from Tracey Mitchell’s soon-to-be-released Downside Up is that the way I’ve been talking to myself creates a paralyzing fear of rejection within me. I become my own stumbling block every time I allow my actions to be controlled by thoughts like, “You’re just a stay-at-home-mom,” and, “That dream is just too big for you to tackle.”
“A million compliments cannot cure negative self-talk.”
- Tracey Mitchell
With each page I turned it was as if Tracey’s words shined truth into the corner of my soul where fear of rejection holds me captive. This booked revealed to me that it is mostly my attitude, not actualities, that keep me from action. I have always viewed rejection as the enemy…something to be avoided at all costs. After reading Downside Up I have a much clearer understanding of the causes of rejection and how rejection can benefit me if I respond to it correctly.
Reasons for Rejection
- Perhaps I’m truly not the best fit for the job (or relationship)…and rejection will spare me future frustration.
- My ideas may be avant-garde and I should hold on to them for a better time.
- I might have the right ideas and be the right person, but I’m trying to connect with the wrong people to accomplish my goals.
- Even if I my ideas are tremendous and I’m capable of carrying them out I may be encouraging others to reject me if I have a defeatist outlook.
Right Responses to Rejection
- Determine if the rejection exposed an area of weakness that needs strengthening and make needed changes accordingly.
- Evaluate the source of the rejection. If it came from a knowledgeable, sincere source then I need to accept the rejection as indication that I have more work to do. Recognize that rejection, in this case, is a stepping stone instead of the end of the road.
- If the person rejecting me/my work is uninformed/negative then I should take my work elsewhere.
- Focus on the voices of encouragement in my life. Stop obsessing over every person who “doesn’t want me.”
- Remember that my value as a person is sourced in God’s unconditional love for me.
Tracey methodically breaks down the anatomy of rejection. She covers how to spot naysayers who have a knack for always rejecting others (and how to limit their influence over you). Highlighting examples from her past, Tracey reveals how rejections can influence our future decisions unless those disappointments are put in correct perspective. She identifies destructive thought patterns which prevent people from taking risks, and she also suggests practical ways to replace negativity with victorious thinking.
One strategy the author recommends is surrounding yourself with optimistic people who excel at bringing out the best in others:
“A true ally highlights and extracts the best in you while gently correcting your faults. Faithful friends accentuate the positive and diminish the negative.”
- Tracey Mitchell
The author repeatedly brings the reader back to God’s steadfast acceptance of His children as the antidote for the fear of rejection.The entire thrust of the book is fueled by 1 John 4:18, “Perfect love drives out fear.” Without an understanding of how we are perfectly loved in Christ, believers will never have the confidence to use pursue godly dreams with boldness.
Every one of us is endowed by God with spiritual gifts He intends for us to use to win the lost and strengthen the Body of Christ. If you shrink back from using your gifts because you fear rejection – then you need to get your hands on a copy of Downside Up when it’s released next month. It will help you to view rejection as a springboard to launch you toward the great things God specifically created you to do.
The opportunity to review this pre-released book was provided by FaithVillage.com and their Great Book Reviewers program for bloggers. Have you checked out Faith Village yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts about it.