Common Fear of Rejection: Starting My Own HOSA Chapter
Have you ever suggested an idea in school and have been shot down for it? Did you ever suggest an idea again after? Often in school, you will be given a project to work on with a group. You are given the task of coming up with ideas for the project but are suddenly shot down as you suggest them. Next thing you know, you are sitting in silence with the fear that your ideas will once again be shot down. You have a fear of speaking up again because of that one particular situation.
It is quite common for us to come to the conclusion of being rejected without it happening yet due to the desire of wanting to be accepted. Before rejection has occurred, we tend to alter our personalities for a number of reasons so that we can ensure acceptance. These reasons can include being a people-pleaser, fear of failure, and being a perfectionist. There is a wide range of reasons that vary from person to person, but these are some common reasons among us humans. These reasons are where the fear of rejection tends to originate. This can negatively impact many areas of your life whether that be in a future career or in school. Fearing rejection will get you nowhere, rather it will set you back.
Personally speaking, I am guilty of being a people-pleaser, fearful of failure, and a perfectionist. These reasons were very prevalent through my journey of starting my own HOSA chapter at my high school. It was hard for me to even propose the idea of starting a chapter because I had been shot down for it before. That discouragement led me to fear the possibility of being rejected for a second time. Henceforth, I sat in silence moving forward. I sat in silence for almost 2 years, but longer than that may have been too late.
During my freshman year of High school, I was taking a Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science class. That class intrigued me in the field of medicine. I found myself constantly researching different pathways in the field. That same year, COVID-19 had hit where schools had gotten shut down and we were now moved to online school. I was frequently researching different healthcare organizations that I could associate myself which is when HOSA popped up. HOSA had caught my attention and it led me to dive deeper into it. I quickly learned that an advisor was needed to start this organization, so I proceeded to email my biomedical teacher. After some discussion, she rejected the idea due to many other things going on. That left me devastated and I thought that I was not capable of starting this chapter. In turn, I feared the thought of expressing my thoughts again because I believe it was not perfect enough.
That is when I believe my idea had to be absolutely perfect. Perfection overcame me and I had the tendency of making everything a certain way. I felt the need to remain silent and not propose my idea to anyone because I wanted to please everyone. I didn’t like the idea of being rejected once again so I remained silent. Freshman year slowly came to an end and there began my sophomore year. The idea of HOSA was once again an idea that had remained in the past and was not mentioned again. Internally, this was something I really wanted to start as it would benefit many other kids. As time went by, I strived to break my fear of rejection. I understood the importance of learning from rejection. I realized that it was time to finish what I had started.
As junior year crept around the corner, I once again wrote a proposal on starting a HOSA chapter. A new teacher had been hired and without hesitation, I walked up to her. I presented the idea of HOSA and how deeply it would impact our school. I looked at her fearing the words no. I soon started to give up and started thinking that I was not cut out for this. However, as I started walking away, I got a yes. A yes. I had finally met acceptance.
Starting this HOSA chapter with much prior rejection only made me come out stronger. Meeting that acceptance allowed me to only want to strive higher. During my first state leadership conference, I decided to run for state office which I knew I was not going to get since I was very new to HOSA. I still gave my best because, at the end of the day, there is only so much one can learn from this experience. I aimed high and learned to not fear rejection, which in turn helped me. Allowing myself to not fear rejection before it happened, successfully allowed me to go through the state officer process and even be elected.
In all aspects of our lives, there will always be a time when you will be shot down. Running away from that situation will only be a setback. Looking for a learning opportunity, putting things in perspective, and facing your fear will only make you stronger. When starting my HOSA chapter, I had to learn from my first proposal and face my biggest fear. By doing so, I was able to make my dream of starting a HOSA chapter true.
In essence, I have simply one thing I would like to say: Do not fear rejection, let rejection fear you.