I have a fear of rejection.
I’m afraid of being told “No”. I’m afraid that people won’t like me. I’m afraid of looking stupid and getting my feelings hurt.
My mind instinctively creates outcomes to situations that haven’t happened yet.
When I’m afraid and I don’t know what to do…
I do what scares me.
Fear is a total illusion. It’s an internal experience that grows in power as long as it stays up here 😳👈
When I express fear and share it with someone else, I’m able to recognize the false projection that it actually is.
It’s a neurological response to an infinite variable: the unknown.
There’s a stance on fear from stoic philosophy:
The obstacle is the way.
The idea being: Once a fear has been recognized, the mission is to move towards it. To face it.
And most fears share a common theme: fear of rejection, fear of failure, or fear of embarrassment.
The trick is understanding that fear is only experienced within. No one else is concerned with what you do or don’t do. In fact, to the rest of the world, you’re just a character in their own sitcom.
I used to be afraid of playing music on stage. I created a narrative to help me face it:
“Nobody really gives a shit. Like, the people at the bar are in their own world. They really don’t care.”
But what if you suck?
Spoiler alert: You probably will.
Its easier knowing that I’m gonna suck. That way, as long as I don’t spontaneously combust on stage, any outcome from the experience is a win.
I tell myself that I’m going to die.
Like, it’s going to happen. So why not go for it?
When I’m dead, I’m not gonna care that the people in the bar formed a posse to wrangle me off stage.
I used to be afraid of sharing my writing on Facebook.
“What will people think of me? Will they like it? What if they think I’m someone I’m not?”
Spoiler alert: Everyone thinks you’re someone your not. Hell, you don’t even know who you are most of the time.
And, people probably won’t like it. In fact, you’ll most likely be ignored. They’ll scroll past your status the same way you scroll past every viral video, animal photo, and socially charged rant that’s begging you to read an article about something that may or may not be important.
There’s no way to tell.
But that’s not what matters. What matters is that you tried.
I used to be afraid of talking to attractive women.
Spoiler alert: you’re still afraid of talking to attractive women.
Maybe if you workout more it’ll help your self-confidence?
Nope. Nobody cares how often you work out or how far you can run. Especially not girls.
What if you make a really funny video or show off your skateboarding skills? Maybe that’ll help?
Nope. Pretty girls are immune to whatever you’re posting online. They don’t exist behind the screen. They exist in front of you. In reality.
“The obstacle is the way.”
“I’ll probably be rejected.”
Yup. It’s going to happen. You will most definitely be rejected.
“I’m going to be real sucky on stage. I don’t even know how to play that well.”
You will be sucky. You’re going to fumble around and hit wrong notes. It will happen.
“People won’t like what you wrote”.
Nope. They won’t. In fact, they’ll probably scroll right past whatever you have to say. I mean, you do it too. You scroll past what people are posting all the time…
Cause, nobody really gives a shit.
And it’s a good thing. Because you won’t be letting anyone down.
I like to tell myself the truth:
Nobody really gives a shit, you’re gonna die, and you will suck.
Because when you train yourself to accept the worst outcome, all you’ll receive is income.
In come awareness, knowledge, opportunity, wisdom, and a new challenge. A new fear to face.