I violently woke up from a dream. I realized that I had been shouting in my dream because I found my cousins standing in the room looking startled and frightened. They asked me what’s happening. I stared blankly at them for what seemed an eternity before I dismissively telling it was nothing. Reluctantly they returned to their rooms. But I was shaken as a recounted the dream. In that dream I found myself in conflict with someone who was forcing me to get into a bus against my will. As the conflict escalated my antagonist got angry and used violence to force me onto the bus. At that moment ll I did was to limply scream but the bus started moving towards an unknown destination. I was horrified as I realized the deeper implication of the dream. I was letting another person define how I viewed myself. I had somehow let them put me in a box that defined my character, hopes, abilities and dreams. I had colluded with this person who manipulated me into rejecting myself and I only appreciated the gravity of my situation in my dreams.
If you stay with me I promise it gets better.
Here the thing; you are meant to be winning in life.
After all, the creator of the universe on your side.
You are supposed to be the best spouse, business person, minister.
You want to be like the great’s mentioned in the Faith hall of fame, using your skill, time and resources to contend for the faith.
But you are shackled and living unexceptionally (Just as I was, as illustrated by the dream I shared). You are being tossed to and fro by people and circumstances.
The cold truth is you haven’t got a chance.
Because winning is a challenge for most people. We are conditioned to defeat.
The moment you determine to go out and get the things you desire, challenges rear their humongous heads and begin to nibble away at your plan.
They don’t let go until you give up. If you had been motivated the narrative you had been having will slowly shift into the, “you are out of your league, be responsible and stay in your lane.”
“Because no one ever started a business in my family.”
“Because you can’t speak.”
“Because your parents divorced. That’s your future because apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
These are the narratives that keep you in the box that’s been created to make people comfortable. As human beings we like giving things an identity. We all put people in boxes and we get put in boxes.
What this does is that it begins the rejection narrative that defines what we achieve in life. It’s the narrative that makes us run away from learning new things because we are comfortable with the identities that we have been given.
The rejection narrative is great at getting us off the hook of being responsible and it makes us justify mediocrity. It also makes us comfortable with fitting in with the crowd. We follow the same trends, we copy the same business ideas and we accept the bland rules because coloring outside the lines has grave consequences: REJECTION!
So in order to avoid rejection we practice rejection. We reject what we are meant to be in order to be accepted by people who are actively rejecting themselves.
Our parents, family, friends, educators, significant others, antagonist all label and give us an identity. In most cases you accept these and we reject what you are capable of.
But unless you can find a way to stand out, your story will be one filled with feeble attempts at greatness.
Here’s the good news though — there’s a way to slay the Goliath that is rejection.
Get To Know How God Views You
26 Then God said, “Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over the entire earth, and over everything that creeps and crawls on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Let God’s standard define how you view yourself.
It’s important not to let other people, the media and yourself define your worth.
Those definitions tend to shift depending on seasons. Fashion trends, diet fads and the like are proof of the rejection narrative.
God created us in His likeness. When God looks at you, He sees a copy not a reject.
This — Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]– should make us realize how powerful we are as individuals and that we shouldn’t take ourselves for granted.
You’re destined to do meaningful work. It doesn’t matter were you started from. You don’t have to be popular or be celebrated by the world in order for you to matter. So shift your mental attitude.
10 For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].
You are already a winner from the beginning, winning at life should not phase you. When you’ve an idea don’t let the rejection narrative win before you’ve even tried.
If you are going to move from the rejected narrative, you have to work it out because you have a contribution to make.
Don’t Let Rejection Define Your Response
You need to understand as a Christians you are guaranteed challenges.
Romans 8:31-39 Amplified Bible (AMP)
31 What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us, who can be [successful] against us? 32 He who did not spare [even] His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect (His chosen ones)? It is God who justifies us [declaring us blameless and putting us in a right relationship with Himself]. 34 Who is the one who condemns us? Christ Jesus is the One who died [to pay our penalty], and more than that, who was raised [from the dead], and who is at the right hand of God interceding [with the Father] for us. 35 Who shall ever separate us from the love of [a]Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?36 Just as it is written and forever remains written, “For Your sake we are put to death all day long; We are regarded as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]. 38 For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Challenges are there to make you stronger and prepare you for who we must become.
However, there is a breed of Christians who equate trouble with God’s abandonment. They equate struggle with the lack of God’s blessing because if God is with you then your life should be free from any sort of heartache.
Problems are not a sign of condemnation.
Because God has given you the faculties to deal with challenges. It’s our responsibility as Christians not to fold up but to find solutions.
So don’t listen to those who say when you have problems it’s because you are sinning or you have little faith.
God promises that we are more than conquerors. We only conquer when we are involved in battle, not when we seek to shy away.
In other words we have been enabled to be over-comers. We can overcome the rejection narrative which works an overdrive loop to keep our minds captive.
But it turns out you have to fight in order to get to your purpose. In order to get your business to be successful you have to make the effort but most Christians assume that they can short-circuit this requirement and instead through magic get their dream manifested without paying a price.
When things don’t go our way we complain and mourn. we allow the rejection narrative to define their story. It allows us to escape responsibility.
When money doesn’t grow on trees, when our children go off the rails, when our marriages crumble and when we don’t follow our purpose we can say that its not the will of God.
We don’t have the mental fortitude to put things into perspective. Our mindsets mean that we would rather fold our hands and blame God for living below average. We can blame God when our chants and rituals don’t work.
Don’t Let the Past Define the Future
The scorching sun beats down on the dusty soccer field where a group of school boys are huddled; listening to the coach as he welcomes them to the team try outs. There’s a lot of buzz as the coach guides them through their warm-up exercises. One drill involves the boys running in line the first one drops and lies down in press up position, the next boy jumps over him and he rolls into the same position five meters down the field which means the third boy jumps over two bodies and also takes a similar position.
This happens until everyone has been jumped over. The fifth boy does as the four previous boys but instead of being jumped over like everyone else the rest of the boys begin to step on him as the do the runs. The coach does not intervene he turn a blind eye. The boy hangs on until over fifty boys jump over him with about half stepping on his back.
He stands up there are no tears and he walks away towards the rest of the group as they prepare to do another warm up drill. I was that boy and I could have let this experience among a host of other similar situations make me bitter or make excuses for my failures but this only made me want to be better and to achieve greater things.
At that time, the other boys and the coach probably thought they were fixing me for not ‘being one of them’ because I came from a different neighborhood. But that incident taught me and prepared me to expect rejection and to deal with it.
Not everyone is going to like you and that’s fine.
He came to that which belonged to Him [to His own — “His domain, creation, things, world], and they who were His own did not receive Him and did not welcome Him. John 1:11
You will not be selected for every opportunity but you have to make the most of the opportunities that you do get.
It is not because you are less of a person. If the world rejected Jesus, you can consider yourself in good company.
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are 1 Corinthians 1:26-28
But the troubling thing is that we get stuck because we did not get validation from certain quarters. We Yesterday’s experiences frame today’s conversation.
If we made a mistake or a wrong business judgement, we accept that as the end of the journey. We let that moment decide the next fifty years of our lives.
The rejection narrative thrives on convincing us that we only get one shot and it’s foolish to try again. A success mindset rallies on the principle that not everyone will like your idea and that your product or service is not for everyone.
Do Not Let Your Experience Go To Waste
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Amplified Bible (AMP)
11 Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing.
I believe that we should share inspiring stories that encourage us a believers across the world.
We do not have to plod in the darkness of despair and think that a Christian lifestyle is impossible.
Enrich others through your story.
A lot of broken church people are ashamed of their stories but when you share how God helped you see your value you will be helping heal another soul. You will help in shaping a new mindset that will help people in the church to build meaningful businesses, create meaningful products and service, have meaningful relationships.
When you get it right, you will never feel or think about yourself the same way again and you will be winning at life more often.
You Have To Be Kind To Yourself
You are guaranteed that people will reject you because they don’t like you, because of your background, past or your beliefs.
There are moments that you will get rejected because you have rejected yourself. This reminds of my late sister who always used to tell me that you have to love yourself.
At the time it didn’t make a lot of sense. One day it clicked that maybe I gave of vibes that got me rejected because I had rejected myself even before I interacted with people. I had to re-frame my experiences in order to deal with the rejection narrative.
Be Kind To Others
At times we are so self-absorbed with ourselves we forget that there are other people.
In as much as you have been rejected. Look back over your life and count the number of people that you have rejected.
Does that give you a different perspective?
Does that help you to stop taking things personally?
If that doesn’t snap you out of your pity party, you are creating a pathway for the rejection narrative to stay in continual loop.
The End Of The Matter
There are more people who are rooting for your success than you realize. For every person who rejects you there are more who willing to associate with you are.
There’s not much you can do about people who don’t like you. But you can be kind to yourself and appreciate people who care about you. When you deal with rejection at a personal level. You will learn to manage it well in every other setting.
But it’s up to you to undertake the mindset shift journey if you want to start winning.