Why are we afraid of everything that surrounds us? Being afraid of the dark or of spiders are fears that are tangible and can be understood easily because you can see or feel what you’re afraid of but what of the fears that can’t be seen and can’t be felt? Why are we so afraid of them?
The biggest of these intangible fears – Social rejection. The fear of social rejection makes us do things or say things that we may not absolutely agree with but more importantly it makes us not do things or not say things that might be perceived as stupid or imbecilic. Everything in our life from the way we dress, the way walk or the people we interact with are shaped by this fear. Every time I walk into a room that’s host to 3-4 people, a multitude of thoughts bombard my brain about how these 3-4 strangers will perceive me. Am I walking funny? Is my hair alright? Should I look into my phone to appear busy and avoid eye contact?
The age of the social media has added so much to this fear. One of the biggest impacts it has had is on travel. When we travel in this day and age, there is so much pressure to ensure that the trip is perfect. Every single day must be the best possible day of our life. Our social media posts must be A+ and legendary. If a person travels for 10 days, it is entirely possible that every single day seems to be perfect but what when you travel for months on end? There are going to be bum days when you do nothing of great importance or significance, have no soul changing conversations with strangers or see a wonder of the world but that’s a beautiful part of travel because it teaches you to sit back, relax and be at joy with yourself. There is no reason to be afraid of all the people who don’t give a shit about what you’re doing. There is a great power in letting go and saying fuck it, I’m going to do what I really want to, not what seems right to hundreds of strangers. The power of letting go is the only way to overcome the fear of social rejection.