SUBSCRIBE TO NEW BOOK REVIEWS
As an actress, I spend a good portion of my life being rejected. Most people think being an actor is about the performance and the accolades. They think it’s about getting roses tossed on stage, winning awards, and, you know, money. I’d argue that only encompasses about 20% of the job. The other 80% is willingly accepting rejection.
You go to auditions and get told you aren’t enough over and over and over and over and over….You aren’t tall enough, skinny enough, big enough, light enough, dark enough – you just aren’t it. Then, you reach the right door. You get the role. You do the show. The show ends. And you are right back at square one, ready to get repeatedly rejected.
Add on top of that being a geek and a misfit and, wow, you’ve got a lot of rejection issues on the daily.
You’ve got me, Chá Merri.
I’ve always been a little odd, even for the actor community.
I can’t remember a time in my childhood where I felt like I belonged. Even within my own group of friends, I felt like a sore thumb, a third wheel, an extra. That sounds sad probably but that’s just my life. I became okay with it around the time I was seven. I realized I would never be “normal.”
I learned to love how off I am. My weird style, my unique point of view. That, however, didn’t make the pain of rejection sting less.
Being told you’re weird tends to stick with a person. Being called “extra” for being yourself sometimes hurts. I’d be lying if I said not being able to fit into the mainstream crowd hasn’t hurt me at all.
While I feel I have great self-esteem and love myself dearly, thoughts of rejection do creep into my life. When that happens, I have an arsenal of tools I’ve prepared to keep myself from going to a dark place.
One of those tools I keep on me is this book, Rejection Sucks by Dr. Jennifer Johnson.
WHO IS DR. JENNIFER JOHNSON?
Dr. Jennifer Johnson is an Arkansas native who is the co-pastor of Full Counsel Ministries, based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
She is the founder of A Call To Excellence Ministries (ACTE), an organization that teaches leadership and business courses, helps children through its What About The Children (WATCh) branch, and more.
In her introduction, Dr. Johnson says she was inspired to write this book from her own battle with rejection and urge to people please.
“…I have personally dealt with the spirit of rejection for the majority of my life. But one day I accepted the love that was shown toward me by my Heavenly Father. I realized that the constant struggle to be a people pleaser, and the frustrating journey to perform to perfection was an unending, frustrating journey that was leading me to nowhere fast….”
Rejection Sucks | Introduction
Being a people pleaser is something I struggle with, too. It stems from the fear of being rejected. Keeping that side of me in check is another reason this book is a great tool to keep on my shelf.
HOW REJECTION SUCKS
HELPS YOU FIGHT
On first glance, Rejection Sucks is a 40 day devotional that works to retrain your perspective with short, one-page passages. But, after you finish the 40 days, you learn it is actually a self-help book designed to deliver you from your worst enemy: you.
The reason why I call this a book of deliverance isn’t because of the daily encouragement you receive. Yes, you will get your positive affirmations, however, that’s just skimming from the top.
Rejection Sucks guides you through your deep wounds that have caused rejection to fester in you.
Some of the issues you will deal with:
Fixing Your Inferiority Complex
Right out the gate the book comes for the heart of many peoples’ low self-esteem: other people’s opinions.
“Day One: Inferior To Who?” urges you to forget others opinions and love yourself.
“As you travel through life’s journey, you meet people who reject you. They have formed an opinion about you based on their own perceptions and beliefs. Remember that it is ‘their opinion’ and only that! It has no merit and carries no weight…”
Rejection Sucks | Day One: Inferior To Who
As someone who is guilty of being socially awkward, this plagues me on the daily. I like to turn to this chapter to remind myself only God’s opinion matters. (Yeah, I don’t always follow the order. I skip around to the parts I want to read sometimes.)
But just knowing I shouldn’t give too much weight to other’s opinions is the beginning of fighting rejection. We all know that but it doesn’t stop us from caring what people think. That’s why I love that Dr. Johnson included sections on setting your self-worth.
Determining Your Value
Day six has my favorite quote from the book.
“Someone said, ‘Your value is not determined by your valuables.’ This statement is so true. Self-worth and net worth differ. You can’t compare yourself with others based on what they own. Your value in life must be measured based on how God sees you. You are not to become intimidated by what others posses, their position in life, nor their presence.”
Rejection Sucks | Day Six: Have A Good Appraisal of Yourself
Tell me, is who you are as a person really summarized by what kind of car you drive? Are you nothing more than the amount of digits in your bank account? Is your purse all of you?
I can confidently say no, you are not.
If you aren’t careful though, you will start to measure yourself with money and things. You will find yourself depressed at 25-years-old because you haven’t “made it” yet. You will hit 30 and believe life isn’t worth living.
You’ll let “stuff” rob you of your youth. You’ll let the pursuit of success – of self-worth – make you play life timid and safe, missing out on your greatest experiences. Losing yourself to the rat race.
This isn’t hard to do living in American society. That’s why this chapter is so important. If you aren’t careful, you will measure your success and your self-worth with your net worth.
In doing so, you’ll be selling yourself short and allowing rejection to control you.
And you are so much more than that.
Learning To Be Comfortable Being the Authentic You
From the day you are born, society constantly tries to force you to check a box. You have to fit somewhere. If you don’t fit in one of these boxes, it’s a problem.
Being yourself, is a problem.
That’s what we’ve been taught anyways. That’s why it can be hard for many to be comfortable expressing themselves. Instead, you have a select few who see your true face. Everywhere else, you wear a mask that doesn’t even resemble you.
I thank God that’s not me anymore. Yes, you have the polished me and the laid-back me, but I am always 100% myself.
On Day 10, Dr. Johnson encourages you to be brave and embrace your authenticity. She warns of the danger of doing otherwise.
“As the title of John Mason’s book suggests concerning being oneself – ‘You Were Born An Original. Don’t Die A Copy.’ When we are not true to ourselves, when we are less than genuine, we lose ourselves in a cloud of pretense and can no longer discern our ‘true north.’ All of this is driven by this ever present, never ending desire to fit in.”
Rejection Sucks| Day Ten: The Authentic You
Don’t die a copy.
That’s why I fight so hard to be myself even if no one gets me. Even if no one likes my makeup, my face, my style – even if no one likes ME, I gotta do me. I can’t die having never experienced the world through my own lenses.
Healing from abuse, abandonment, and adultery
Unfortunately, there is darkness in this world. Thus the #MeToo movement.
I myself have been raped as well as survived an abusive relationship. Others have experienced the pain of losing a loved one or having a person walk out on them.
These are the deepest forms of rejection.
“What’s wrong with me?”
“You told me you would never leave.”
“I trusted you. I was dumb for that.”
“Why doesn’t my mom/dad want me?”
All these questions lead to a mindset of rejection and a life of closing yourself off from the world.
On Day Thirty-Three, Dr. Johnson gives you the answer to overcoming these thoughts:
So BELIEVE that God is faithful to keep the promise of being with you unto the ends of the earth…YOU ARE NOT ALONE. HE WILL NEVER REJECT YOU.”
Rejection Sucks | Day Thirty Three: Abuse, Abandonment, And Adultery
This book will not cure your insecurities. It’s not a therapist. However, it is a step in the right direction. If you are looking for a great devotional to help you get your mind right in the mornings, then try Rejection Sucks.BUY REJECTION SUCKS NOW