Rejection Theory (or how to make job hunting less horrible)

rejectionmediumMy least favorite state is Rejection. (Or Arkansas. That’s a pretty boring state to drive though.)

For the majority of my life, this hypersensitivity to rejection has practically crippled me–keeping me from fully participating in life, to say the least. I was so afraid of not being good enough or being someone’s last pick, that I even got a tattoo about it!

I worked SO hard during college to not give anyone any reason to toss me to the side. I tried to always have perfect outfits, look cute all the time, be the favorite employee, work the hardest, be the best in class, be the most liked (–well, to be honest, I never tried to be the nicest person. I definitely fell short on that–sorry everyone who I accidentally made cry. ) It was exhausting and lonely, but I didn’t really notice. I was too busy.

Oh how the tables have changed.

During the past four months I’ve been home, God has really been doing a number on me with this whole “crippling fear of rejection” thing. I’ve been rejected from SO many awesome jobs, a friend who was my very best friend earlier this year, and a few other painful experiences. I felt like a total loser in the beginning, as if my worth was just in what I did.

 I’m no longer afraid. I’ve realized that in life, there’s a finite level of rejection a person has to encounter. Each rejection is just one less the grand sum!

Today I interviewed at a company I would absolutely love to work for. Will I get the job? I have no idea. BUT I do know that if this is a “no,” I’m just one step closer to my “yes!” God bless the broken road that leads me straight to… this job!

I’m glad this has been a summer of rejection. I needed it. If I would’ve gotten a job right away, I wouldn’t have begun to conquer this fear, nor would I have experienced a deeper level of trust in God and His faithfulness.

He is for me–God’s on my team! Rejection is just a change of direction when the Lord’s the one guiding your path.  If you’re going through the same thing, remember that this “no” isn’t the end.

Isaiah 41:9, “I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, “You are my servant.” For I have chosen you and will not throw you away!”

I’m a Loser (…but okay with that.)


“Little Miss Sunshine” is easily the scariest movie I have ever seen. I know I’m a good six and a half years behind, but I just watched it the other day for the first time and walked away feeling terrified.  I’ll save the effort of explaining the plot (what do you think imdb is for?), but know that one of the key themes is being a loser.  Throughout the film, several dreams and plans of multiple characters are foiled by cold, harsh realities.

As a soon-to-be college grad, the idea of watching my dreams crash and burn before my eyes scares me. Already, I’ve experienced post-grad rejection: I interviewed for the summer internship of my dreams in NYC , made it to the final round of interviews, and was denied (and the funny part is they most likely went with someone younger…read: still in college). “Little Miss Sunshine” was an one hundred and three minute reminder that sometimes you pursue the wrong dream in life and end up feeling like a complete loser.  I really don’t know how to handle losing (just ask anyone who plays a board game with me) and have grown up with the confidence that I’m a winner. But, dealing with rejection is a really fundamental part of becoming a thriving, healthy person. I’ve decided (as of four days ago) that I’m too young to be afraid of it. So I’m won’t be.

And you know what? It’s okay to be a loser.

A loser passionately and intentionally pursues their goal despite the odds.

A loser doesn’t get comfortable and sets up camp where they’re at, but knows there is always room for growth and improvement.

Most of all, a loser makes themselves vulnerable: like Grandpa Edwin in “Little Miss Sunshine” says, “A real loser is someone who’s so afraid of not winning, they don’t even try.”

Maybe someday I’ll rewatch “Little Miss Sunshine” again and not want to disappear in a small hole of sadness, but until then, I’m going to learn to not be afraid to lose. 


P.S. In all actuality, “Little Miss Sunshine” is a beautiful, humanizing film.

Real Talk: Condolence Prizes, “Literally,” & Hilary Duff.

That one Hilary Duff movie once said: “Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from the game.” 

And as much as I hate to admit when teen chick flicks are right, that quote has aptly described my life. I think I mentioned it in this post, but I’m terrified of being second choice (the condolence prize, if you will.) Every day, I struggle with performance-based worth and that’s why I literally run myself into the ground, because that’s really just me trying to prove to an empty room that I am worth the elusive it (time/love/friendship/effort/etc) and that I’m good/smart/pretty/funny/etc enough.

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Blast from the past: “Everyone Hates Greek Clubs: Here’s Maybe Why” (2011)

Originally written April 4, 2011.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the systems that we use to gain value, worth, and basically, false redemption.

Donald Miller enables this great metaphor in his book Searching For God Knows What: Basically, we are all on a sinking lifeboat that has one too many passengers. We are fighting to prove our value and necessity on the boat, lest we be cast out. And his metaphor makes perfect sense.

Being a human means that we are basically defined by who loves us. God made us so that He was the source of our identity and outside of our relationship with Him, we don’t have any worth at all. He tells us we are valuable, beautiful, and worthy of love. Because our sin severed this direct relationship with our Creator, we have devised this system in which we are desperately looking towards others for approval and worth.

I think one reason people hate clubs and associations that are of a more exclusive nature, for example Greek clubs, is because it reminds everyone of the lifeboat mentality. We are seeking acceptance from a jury of our peers, longing for them to say “You are good enough, you have value to us, we love you.” When faced with rejection from any sort of jury of peers, it hurts. We’ve lost our source of “redemption.” And so, the search for a new system commences. On and on and on until you are deemed “good enough.” Being utterly consumed by this process happens all too frequently.

But really, who is the judge of this confused cycle?  Who says one person is better than the other? None of us are capable of this task—only God. Our value system is completely silly to Him, as He created each person with inherent value. His speciality is creating the best. God’s ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts higher than our thoughts, as the prophet Isaiah confirms.

Our significance is in Christ alone. Only when we recognize this truth can we love ourselves, others, and God how we should. There’s rescue from this sinking ship of false security and redemption.

(Note. For those who legitimately hate Greek clubs, here’s the thing. Using the “jury of peers” model, I bet you can think of equivalent social environments in your life. The underlying foundation is all the same.)