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Facing My Fears of Social Rejection

This is my first post. It’s taken me a long time to take the plunge. Fear of criticism, judgement, or even social rejection stands in my way. This post is a step towards overcoming my fear – being imperfect and showing up anyway. What do you do to ensure you are accepted socially? Are you compromising on your own values, or giving up parts of yourself in order to be accepted? I know that I have a tendency to make myself almost invisible which results in feeling like I don’t exist. It’s time for me to step up, step out and show my face despite my fears.

Watch the video and notice your own reactions to it. The voice you hear over the video is my reaction when I’m watching it back.

Showing up vulnerably

Did you notice the critical voice in me as I watched it back? I couldn’t see much good in it except for one part where I was yelling with approval! What did you see? Can you relate to my fears in your own experience? I’m hoping you will be inspired to step out of your comfort zone to try something you’re afraid of. What fears do you have and what action can you take to overcome them?

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Rosalie

    I watched it. And I started to think about how it would be for me to do this, to what extent I would feel and think the same things as you did/do, when showing something of myself to the world that’s intimately mine and that’s not ‘perfect’. What came to me was that there would be the same intense feeling of vulnerability. And that probably I would maybe even do the whole thing in a way that would give me the possibility to dodge the REAL vulnerability of it, for example by somehow still censoring parts of it, or censoring my reaction to it, or somehow ‘performing myself’ being vulnerable. And that made me realise how much what I show of myself to the world is a really narrow line, like a path with an abyss on either side. Most things of me I deem as ‘not acceptable to show to the world’, and what is acceptable is very little. And walking on that path, with that threat of falling into the abyss (ie showing something of myself to ‘the world’ that I’m ashamed of and the assumption that I’ll be judged negatively for it), is an extremely tense and exhausting affair.

    Like what I’m doing here: I’m writing this response and ‘showing myself to the world’ but it doesn’t feel like something that’s vulnerable, because I’m fairly confident about my ability to formulate my thoughts in writing. And I am, in some perverse way almost, also confident about talking about my vulnerability. There’s almost a pride in it (and now I AM starting to feel vulnerability, shame, for that particular bit), the fact that I’m ‘willing to go there’ (‘look at me, at how special I am for how much I’m willing to go there, as opposed to others’)… it’s almost like showing off.

    And so in a way, this act in itself is heavily censored. If writing this didn’t come easily, I’m sure I wouldn’t even show up here. Being really vulnerable in that sense seems like such an elusive thing; it’s really really hard to stay with the actual feeling and it’s really easy to slip into bypassing it. We have so many ways, so many tricks for not going there, we’re so fortified against it, layer upon layer. The only times I’ve really been able to go there, to be with the actual FEELING, is with someone else holding space for me and guiding me there.

    And here’s where I feel vulnerable right now: am I really going to press ‘Post Comment’ in a minute? And have my thoughts out there for the whole world to be seen and judged? Is what I have to say even important enough? Am I even saying anything that is worth other people’s time? Scary.

  2. Hi Rosalie, thanks for your comment. I’m encouraged by it – I have a real sense of being understood and that I have a companion in you wanting to explore this. I appreciate your honesty about how scary it was for you to write a comment because this is exactly the kind of openness we are hoping to encourage here. Arne and I were talking yesterday about what it means to show up vulnerably and I realised that culturally we are so ill trained to recognise it. That being angry or scared, speaking up, not speaking up, just being alive can be a vulnerable place. It’s hard to show at times and it’s hard to see. How can we show ourselves more fully and find the value in doing so?

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