The art of rejection
I have been fascinated by the recent hashtag #ShareYourRejections. I have found all of these stories somewhat inspiring. All of these people with just sheer determination and that 'never give up' attitude. In most cases, they knew what they wanted and they went out and got it, not disheartened by these rejections but just kept plugging away.
I would love to be able to share my rejection stories but I don't have any. This doesn't mean that I have been successful in everything that I have ever put my mind to. Quite the opposite in fact - I have never put myself out there through the sheer fear of rejection. From an early age I have always been the one to hang back, not wanting people to know who I was just in case they laughed at me or made fun. Once, when I was about five or six years old, I'd won a competition but instead of being happy with the new stuffed teddy bear to add to my collection, I was filled with a dread that my name would appear in a newspaper somewhere and that someone, anyone, would find out who I was. This fear has stayed with me through most of my life now, I talk myself out of situations, never pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Any kind of mistake or bump in the road completely knocks any confidence I have, sending me into a panic to get out of the situation, get rid of the stresses, move on - thank you my friend anxiety. Of course, it never happens. I carry on regardless, just going over and over in my head all the mistakes I have ever made in my life questioning 'what if this had happened instead'. It really is quite tiring.
I have been very lucky that my circle of friends are still the same group that I had when I was at school. Yes we have all grown up, married, children, moved out of the town we grew up in but we're still together. But whilst this group have managed to 'Facebook Friend' others from our school year, nobody remembers who I am - could I have changed that much? Or is it just down to the fact that I just didn't want to be noticed. I have the same problem at work - conferences and dinners are spent reintroducing myself to the same people that I had shared a dinner table or drink with the previous year. It could almost be hilarious if it wasn't so sad. If I could go back and tell my five year old self anything it would be to not worry about having your name in the local paper - my name has been printed in a magazine for the last 20 years and people still don't know who I am!
I know reading this would give you the impression that I'm not happy or successful with what I have. This is not true at all, I have an amazing family, great friends and a good job - but, as the old saying goes, life is too short, and I want to see what else I can do.
So, I guess this is the point of me doing this really. Putting myself out there, albeit hiding behind another name for now... one small step at a time. Who's to say in a years time that I could have some rejection stories of my own to finally share, at least it would mean I was finally doing something.