“At a certain point in my life, I realized that the fear of rejection for a moment is never greater than the years of regret I will suffer if I do not try at all.”
– source: Thought Catalog
Growing up has generally been great for me – apart from the usual hiccups. But behind all the smiles and silly jokes that I make lies a ton of insecurity; the kind of stuff that makes moving on hard. And it’s starting to show. Sometimes.
You see, I like to cling on to things – things that have hurt me; things that have caused me sleepless nights; things that made me cry buckets; things that shouldn’t matter anymore. And I find it difficult to let them go. Like the stuff of fairytales, someone or something needs to save me from these “things”. Also, I’m a hurricane of emotions. The concoction is toxic.
When I was a child, I loved to dance. So my parents let me do ballet. My teacher was a lovely lady and I’ll always remember how encouraging she was. But once she got married and left for Ipoh, I was stuck with another teacher. This time, the world was unkind. She told me to stop dancing because my left leg was crooked and I looked ugly dancing with it. Soon after, I quit ballet. I was 10-years-old.
This is a story that I have told probably a hundred times over in my lifetime up till now. The scar of that first rejection is still prominent. I cannot let it go. That was the beginning of a rollercoaster ride for my emotions and my fear of rejection.
Since then, I felt like I was never good enough. Sometimes, I still think that I’m not good enough. In arguments, I make myself the bad guy. I blame myself for not being the person they expected me to be. When I didn’t do well in school, I felt like a failure because I wasn’t smart enough. When guys tell me that they like me and then change their minds 10 seconds later, I think that maybe it’s because I wasn’t pretty enough.
Not good enough. Not smart enough. Not pretty enough. Just not enough.
So I lived trying to please people. Trying to make other people proud of me; trying to be good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. I wanted to be someone’s “enough”. And with the fear of rejection, comes worry, which to be perfectly honest, drives me insane – almost to a point where I might have gone into depression.
Now here I am. Stronger but still the suffocation of rejection sometimes and hoping to someday, be able to completely let go because that would be great. But I learnt that I am enough – with or without the recognition of other people. And I learnt that the only way to overcome rejection is to be brave. Even when things are uncertain, I have to take that step – if I am unable to leap – of faith.
I am a work in progress. And I will make it.
I am not defined by the words and opinions of others.
I am my own. I am me.
Because sometimes, all it takes is for you to reject yourself to truly feel your own worth.