Urban Sunset

Image by DomiKetu via Flickr

I have an irrational fear of the word ‘no.’  The idea of being told no to anything paralyzes me on a daily basis.  I don’t ask anyone anything for fear of the rejection.  This applies to everything from asking for a glass of water to talking to a  cute guy at a bar.  I have no idea why I have this fear.  Evidently I never learned the “All they can say is no.” mantra as a child, so the word “No” continues to plague me in adulthood.  This becomes a problem when I have to ask for help.  It would hurt me so bad if a family member or friend refused to help me that I never even ask.  Unfortunately, I am in a place where I need help.  Some days I can’t even tie my shoes because of the numbness in my fingers, so it’s flip-flops everyday instead of asking for help.  (Which was fine with me…until it ended up snowing all winter in the South.)  I also don’t wear button down shirts anymore for the same reason.  This ridiculous fear stops me from doing quite a bit of things and I  know that I need to overcome this fear of rejection.  The worst that could happen is a two letter word spoken from someone’s mouth.  But that word can hurt me so badly.  So I’ve decided to attack this in the same way I would at work.  Develop goals, create an action plan, implement the action plan, and follow-up for good measure to see if I have learned anything.  The goal is to overcome my fear of the work ‘no.’  And then I get stuck on the action plan.  How do I learn coping skills for rejection without getting rejected?  Do I have the courage needed to just throw myself out there like that?  Do I have a friend that could support me and push me out there despite my protests?  I don’t have the answers to these questions yet, but I’m giving it my best shot.