Fear of Rejection | Xiaojie's Story
Updated: Aug 20
In Sep 2015, I went visit NYC and friends there. As I was walking in China Town, I passed a fire fighter station. Growing up watching American TV shows, fire station to me is an immediate attraction. So as a tourist visiting for the first time, it caught my eyes. In the mean time, I was on my 42-day abs yoga challenge too. As part of the routine, every day I would post a yoga picture after I finish my practice.
So for just a second, a crazy but cool voice came to mind.
Wouldn’t it be cool to ask them if the fire fighters would take a yoga pose picture with me?
Well, I didn't stop walking cause I know it’s just a bit too odd to ask. I mean, come on. Asking a fire fighter to take a yoga picture? You'd just be rude and silly. But the voice lingered"Xiaojie,you know you want that picture. It’d be so cool to have that picture ”“I don't know. But I don't think they’d even let me in. I mean, how am I gonna ask them? It’s crazy!”
The two sides of me started to argue. I stopped.
I was a block away already, pacing back and forth.
I remember that my heart started to beat so fast. I am not the kind of person that gets nervous easily. But I definitely felt it right there. It’s not about being inappropriate or silly that I worry about, it’s the fear of rejection that overwhelmed me.
I don't do well with rejection. Rejection hurts.
10 minutes passed and I was still walking back and forth on that street.
"Try think logically! If I walked away, I’d always look back on this day and feel disappointed in myself; If I did ask, the worst thing that can happen is get rejected. And I just need to be okay with it. That makes sense, yeah..."
After a bit of self pep talk, I started walking back. My heart beat faster, and my palms were sweating. The fear of rejection got even stronger as I walked closer to the fire station. I stopped.I was hesitating again.
Aaaaarrrrg, nothing’s more stressful, agitating and scary than having to make a decision for the second time. Moments later, after taking a deep breath, I walked in.
like "The Ocean", there's always that diving in moment.
“Hey, I am visiting from China. I’d never been to NYC before, but I’ve seen fire stations on TV millions of times. I was wondering if I could come in and visit?”
All the fire fighters stopped talking to each other, they turned around, looked at me and paused.
“Yeah, come right in.”
So the next 20 mins, I was going up and down the fire truck, trying the fire fighters work uniform, chatting with the fire fighters about their work life.
Right before I left, I asked,
"Would you take a yoga picture with me?"
I walked back on to the street with so much joy, contentment, proud, and feeling of ease. I did it!That’s such a valuable lesson that I learned that day. Never give into fear of rejection! I know I still have more to work on than just walking into the fire station.