Confidence When You Are Not Chosen

Confidence When You Are Not Chosen

We’re talking about confidence, when you are not chosen, we can all say that we have experienced rejection in many areas of life. It hurts. It's painful. Divorce itself is an acute version of rejection. Often this is a deep wound that forces us sometimes into social isolation and other kinds of destructive behaviors. 

Not to mention when we find out that our ex finds love again or marries that person, we ruminate on why we were rejected. And it certainly heightens the sense that we weren't chosen. 

What does it feel like to not be chosen as an adult?

One of the most painful circumstances in adult life that you feel rejected is ending a long-term relationship. In some ways, this is similar to a divorce, but maybe harder because it may be a relationship in which you intentionally did the work on yourself, investing in yourself to show up healthily compounds the rejection.  The reality is you chose a person you valued but ultimately it didn't work out. The feeling of rejection is painful. 

The loneliness comes when you ask yourself, “What could I have done differently? Where did I go wrong?” Sifting through these feelings again is a definite part of dealing with the adult version of not getting chosen.

Another situation is breaking up over the blending of two families. If you were in a relationship with someone who also had kids, sometimes the blending of the families can be a significant part of the difficulties that led to the breakup. This situation hurts in its own way because it involves your children. Having a well-blended family is an important reason for a relationship to make it but when there’s a question about how well the families will blend, it feels like your kids are getting rejected too. If you are dealing with this, you're not alone. Be gentle with yourself. You may need to cry, talk to friends and cry out to God as part of your healing process. 

Adult friendships are hard. In friendships, when you've invested time and someone deeply knows you, and then your friend rejects you, it’s really painful. 

And finally, another situation is when your marriage is falling apart but you decide you want it to work out and you try many things. But your spouse doesn’t want the marriage to be repaired and leaves you. This kind of rejection makes you feel like a fool. It's embarrassing and it’s easy to go into isolation after this kind of terrible breakup. 

How do you move into confidence when you are not chosen? 

You have to own your feelings and let yourself feel what you feel. You have to separate your feelings from your identity. It’s through your feelings that you’ll reach confidence and that you can try to make some sense of why it hurts and be able to reach a place of acceptance because it is sad and it's hurtful. Going through your sadness leads to acceptance. The gifts of going through the hurt are healing and the courage to trust again.

You can try again knowing it's not going to kill you to get hurt. Be able to get on the other side of your feelings and let that lead you to a healthy place. Then you will experience confidence in knowing that you won’t feel this way forever. And then you will feel confident that you can get up, get back out there and date again. 

You cannot have a sense of confidence without dealing with the grief. You need to take the time to heal. You can't rush the process. You may have a false sense of confidence if you don’t take the time the time to heal. You may tell yourself you can power through or that you’re strong enough to get back to dating again. But if it's not built from a place of grieving and mourning, you'll be on shaky ground. 

When your confidence is built on a firm foundation then you will know that even if you get hurt you’ll be okay. Once you process the grief then you can start believing that not everyone will hurt you. You’ll learn a lot through the grief and the result will be the confidence to start dating again. It gave me the confidence to go into another relationship that I showed up more authentically. My identity won't be shaken to the core like it was before because now I'm pretty self-aware of who I am. 

It’s the ability to be honest about the pain and not isolate yourself in it, to reach out to others, to talk it through, and to hear voices of truth in the experience, which includes God’s voice and your community. How do you get through it? Cry a lot and let yourself feel the hurt.  After the pain lets up some, you can take an honest assessment and think about what happened, what was your part, and what could you have done differently.

A place of self-examination and getting honest before God and yourself about what you want in a relationship is a good place to go that can be a powerful tool after being rejected. It can help you find the truth. You can ask yourself, “Why did that go sideways? What were my choices that we had broken up and gotten back together?” And “What was good about that? What do I need to look at more carefully?” 

Letting the voice of truth speak into your rejection can protect your identity while helping you own the parts of your story that may need external feedback. You cannot healthily do any of this in a vacuum. Isolation will lead you into a further downward spiral of grief and sadness and maybe even depression. So, you need to grieve it and you need to let people into your grief too.

As you process your grief, you may realize your breakup may not have as much to do with you as you might think. It may have had a lot to do with the other person; it can be both. God and His wisdom and His kindness may show you that there are things that are yours to own. He will graciously show you there are things you can’t change or control about the other person that are significant contributors to what happened. There can still be hurt and longing but there can also be peace and some acceptance. This process will help you have confidence again in your ability to date and remind you that you have so much to offer.  

Coping by trying to control people or circumstances is not the same as confidence. Control is a false sense of confidence because you feel if you can manipulate and control in any sort of way, is coming from an unhealthy place. The sense of power and control that you can feel that you’ve got the relationship under control can give you a false sense of confidence because it's rooted in your performance and not what the other person is bringing to the table.  

This is type of control is called over-functioning and under-functioning. You over-function, thinking, “If I do more, I can save the relationship, and I can make it happen,” and then the other person under-functions and they don't do what they need to do. So your confidence is in your ability to make it happen. It doesn't place responsibility in a healthy way to either you or your partner. 

To move from the feelings of rejection these situations bring, one step is to reflect after you have started healing. Let hindsight be a tool for reflection because hindsight is 2020, and it can be a way of seeing God's protection. It doesn't feel good. But in hindsight, you can say, “Lord, I see why this relationship didn’t work out the way I wanted it to.” Reflecting will help you see God does have a bigger plan, even in the things that hurt. You can trust Him even when things don’t go the way that you had hoped.

And ultimately this is where your confidence needs to be; in regaining your confidence when you’re not chosen, to trust there is a much bigger plan than you cannot see right now.

How do you deal with it when your ex finds someone else? 

One of the hardest situations is when you have gone through a divorce and then your ex-spouse marries the person they had an affair with. Also difficult is when your ex-spouse moves on with someone else.

You need to grieve it. There may be a lot of anger. Allow yourself to feel whatever you feel and you can pray to let it go. One of the hardest parts about your ex moving on with someone else is that person will have a relationship with your child. You may feel jealous of this person. You may feel jealous that this person gets to benefit from having a full sense of family with your child at their house. 

The root of how you have confidence when you're not chosen is that you’re healthy enough to see the other side of hurt, abandonment, rejection, betrayal, and jealousy. When you can know that even in all the hurt good can still come. You don't get stuck in the woe is me. It doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. It’s that God has a bigger plan, and sometimes His plan is, to bring you through a journey you didn't want to embrace or expect.

The hurt of not being chosen can move into a place of identity and become a voice. What helps quiet some of those voices?

Be careful and intentional about turning down or cutting out the voices—wherever they come from— that are sending you the wrong message about anything related to who you are. And then conversely, turn up the volume of voices that you know are true and healthy, like God's voice. Turning up the volume of God's voice and then allowing other voices that are healthy to also speak into your life through Solo Parent, your church family, and through the people who love you and know you.

That feels so grounding and so true that through everything I can trust God's voice and I can follow it. If He's calling you forward, even through a difficult time, He will be with you in it.  And you can trust His voice. Really trusting His voice and His sovereignty with timing and His plans is grounding and will help quiet those voices.

A very important piece of finding confidence is grieving the pain of rejection. The feelings of rejection and hurt are normal. 

Stand firm in your value and who you are.

Do not let your feelings become your identity. They're real feelings and they’re absolutely part of your story, but they’re not your identity.

Trust God has a bigger plan for you. Your confidence is only realized when you understand that your Creator knows you better than anything else, is very capable, and is close to you right now. He will not only help you through this, it just may not be the time yet, but He is faithful and you can trust in Him.

Each one of us has a unique situation and a unique story, even though we are all connected through being single parents, whether divorced, widowed, or never married. Our unique situation calls for unique solutions and unique circumstances. God will show you how to walk through your circumstances, and how to navigate, and He will lay on your heart what's right for your unique situation. He does have a bigger plan than you can imagine for you.  

Listener Question
What's the biggest logistical nightmare you've had to figure out? Because there's only one parent at home and how did you overcome it?

One word. COVID. It was a logistical nightmare and I had to rely on outside support—grandparents, other single parents, and friends.

Another logistically difficult situation was when, and it happened almost once a week, getting a call from the school nurse. Inevitably I would be in a meeting.  It was so hard to juggle. 

It’s huge to someone else and having a community around you. Not everyone always has people on call all the time, but it's important to find a couple of people that you can count on to go pick up your kids or to help you in other ways. Definitely have multiple single parents on your school pick-up list. This way you can pick up their kids when they need it and vice versa. 

Don't be afraid to ask. Don't be afraid to have needs. Also, where you can meet other single parents’ needs, lean in. Maybe your schedule allows for you to be the school drop-off person or the pick-up person. You really need to be willing to accept help and be willing to give help.  

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