Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Fear and the thought of rejection has played a major role for several decisions I made in my life- some for the good and some for the bad.. But I never paid attention to how much it changed me until my sister (who I affectionately call my mini-me) came to me one day and told me that she was running for a certain position at her school, but backed out last-minute for fear that she wouldn’t win and she wouldn’t want that rejection in her life.
If you would ever meet this girl you would never think she had those feelings.. She’s the most fearless and funny girl her age that I know… And my mini-me because that girl is absolutely following my footsteps in being a great overachiever in school from great grades (we expect nothing less), leader of various clubs, etc. She’s always been the outspoken one.. Don’t get me wrong I can speak my mind too, but I will be reserved a lot longer than she would before telling you what’s on my mind. I never thought I would see myself having to give her the pep talk about not allowing fear and rejection to consume her from pursuing new ventures in life.So here we are having this conversation and little did I realize that I had also allowed fear/ fear of rejection to hinder me from several things in life. First and foremost this blog… I have had this idea of releasing the thoughts of what I experienced growing up as lessons in life, but it took me nearly TEN YEARS before I actually allowed it to come to fruition. I sit back and wonder why??? Not sure if I felt like no one would hear me? Or start-up costs would be too expensive? Or would I fall flat on my face and it goes nowhere? I finally just said you know what- I’M DOING THIS… Whether I like it or not. No matter how uncomfortable I get or vulnerable it makes me feel to air out some of my experiences.. Because some girl, somewhere, even my sister, is probably at some point internalizing the things I felt.
Second was leaving away from home… I’m from a small town in South Carolina and I always had the dreams of seeing things in life and moving to a different city to just experience life.. I hated the thought of leaving my family behind though; I would never make that leap on my own. There were several opportunities lost because I was limiting myself to a job in SC. BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE (but a blessing in disguise)!!! It took two career changes and the second required that I had to move to a different state… Now a resident of the state of TEXAS! Biggest adjustment of my life, but thankful. This move has allowed me to grow and become more dependent upon myself. I’ve grown mentally, emotionally, and most important spiritually. I love to explore and see what little hidden gems I can find next to see the world because the beauty of the earth still amazes me. My family is still there. They are still supportive and proud of the accomplishments I’ve made. I love my job in Sales and Marketing. It challenges me, tires me out at times, but I enjoy every aspect when it teaches me something new.
So granted these are just two aspects I had to cope with as I got older but when I was younger I had the fear of not being accepted by my peers, somewhat similar to what my sister was going through. I hid things from friends for fear of not having their friendship anymore. Did more harm than good in the long run. I felt like I was lying to myself and losing my free spirit by conforming to certain people to simply “fit in”. But I learned later on in life that Mama Rose’s girls were never meant to fit in.. We stick out and people who get to know us either love us and can’t get enough of the infectious personalities or they don’t. Simple as that. But I learned this lesson the hard way- Fear or the Fear of Rejection not only hinders you from possibly accomplishing a major event in life, but it also cripples you. You begin to use it as a crutch and then has a domino effect for other things in life. One can never go through life and not expect to have your limits tested. There’s going to be an event that is going to test your faith and you either will firmly step-out on that faith or you will let opportunities pass you by. Doing so will only give you one of two results- wondering the what’s ifs and not being able to learn the lesson and see the growth in yourself had you tried. In life we have to Test the waters.. See if you can walk on it and when you realize you can… CAT WALK THE HECK OUT OF IT…
Test the waters.. See if you can walk on it and when you realize you can… CAT WALK THE HECK OUT OF IT…
My biggest take away in life was not allowing that fear to cause me to lose myself. To not allow it to cripple me and lose sight of my vibrant personality. Always stay true to who I am. One of my great friends will tell people over and over that she got picked on for loving and writing poetry and being an artist, and loving neo-soul music. But ironically what she got picked on as a child are three of the major genres or art that are booming for brown girls. Those who paint are able to sell their work like immensely these days.. Art showcases are becoming more popular and poetry slams are a favorite.. She never lost sight of herself (gladly because we bond amazingly for the love we have for all three). You never know who you can collaborate with in your future to create some great things in life, who shares your interests, or what paths those risks you take can lead in life for you.
Every brown girl possesses the ability to achieve anything put in front of her and show the magic we possess within. It may not always be easy, and we may not always get the result that we wanted, but it will always be worth it. Whether you actually achieve the goal or not doesn’t determine your success. Many successful women had to go through failures before they achieved the things that made those failures all worth it. There is even a beautiful quote that I recite from time to time which says, “Fear of failure and rejection is the greatest enemy of success.“ It’s my pep talk because you will talk yourself out of success quicker than you would pumping yourself up that you can do something. So constantly remind yourself “I GOT THIS” and never stop yourself from catwalking on faith. Don’t allow your soul to be diminished due to fear, but do yourself the favor of not giving up and actually try before giving up..ON YOURSELF. Agape.
My Antidotes to Fear
- Have faith in yourself- fear cripples you, faith guides and builds you.
- Surround yourself with like-minded, positive people.
- Don’t give yourself an excuse to give up.
- Follow your dreams.
- Be fearless, not with fear.