Deep breaths everyone because I’m about to tackle the elephant in every room, the fear in a lot of hearts and the ghost that follows us all around. Rejection, or more to the point, fear of rejection. I’ll start by saying now, I’m often scared and anxious of being rejected, and until recently that was difficult for me to admit. Why? Like millions of our insecurities, society doesn’t help. It likes us to paint a show of strength on our faces, like a second skin of fake confidence and self esteem, and to soldier on through life as the strong, independent women and men it wants us to be. Well, we are. We truly are all those things but at the same time (yes humans can be contradictory with their own emotions) we are scared of being rejected.
When I think of the fact rejection is so natural, it’s surprising to me that it’s managed to gain this seemingly ominous and childish reputation. It’s as natural as hope and love. As commonplace as anger or jealousy. But admitting it is to risk being seen as sad, pathetic even. As someone who is likely to be found on the the bathroom floor, mascara running down our face with Adele screeching in the background. As a loser who can’t control their sense of worth. And until recently, when I had to challenge my own fears by putting myself out there in a way I was totally not comfortable with, I felt like that too. God forbid I get rejected! How embarrassing?!
And now? Now I see being scared of rejection as just another fight or flight reaction. A moment in our lives that prompts us to fight for it, or get as far away from it as possible. Take a romantic love interest. You want to message them, you want to suggest a date, you want to see where it’s going to lead. But the fear of them not feeling the same way, of saying no, of turning you down is stopping you asking at all. Before you hesitate any longer, realise your emotions for what they are. Just emotions. You cannot predict the future, you cannot mind read and possibly know what they are thinking. Not until you ask anyway. Are you going to fight… or take flight? The obvious, albeit a thousand times more difficult, answer in this instance is usually to damn well fight. And RISK the rejection. That’s right. Approach the thing you fear because it can only end one of two ways. 1) Either they like you back and you were essentially fearing nothing at all, a monster that turned out to be a tree. 2) Or they reject you. So, you have a little cry, feel a little silly and then move on. Move on safe in the knowledge that no one died and you haven’t lost anything because you can’t lose something you never had to begin with. Breaking it down logically is the only way to make that decision. Believe me.
Rejection is just another way of sorting out who is meant for you and who isn’t. Who has your heart and who doesn’t. And who deserves it too. Listen to your gut, something I’m a big fan of, and go with the fight. Fight until you get rejected, then whack on some Adele, and pick another fight to fight. It’s cliche but there’s plenty of fish in that sea and you only need one to work out because newsflash… not every fish in the entire ocean can be yours.
And on a personal note… I’ll keep you updated on my own journey into risking rejection. So far? So good. Fingers crossed on this fish.
P.S For the rest of you, keep fishing. 🐟