One of the reasons we’re so often afraid to put ourselves out there is the fear of rejection. What if they say no?! What if they laugh at us?! But if we don’t put ourselves out there we won't stretch and grow ourselves. If we don’t at least ask, how will we ever know? We miss out on so much! If you don't ask, no one may even know that you want what you want.
Several years ago my husband and I had the opportunity to make an unplanned trip to see and hike around the Grand Canyon. It was early fall and breathtakingly beautiful there. After taking a quick peek at what lay ahead, we found our camp site, pitched the tent and spent the first evening having fun in Flagstaff. The next day we got up early and spent the day hiking. It was an amazing day. We stopped late in the afternoon for lunch and I said I wanted to hike down to the bottom and back out. I had read though that you have to get on the list to spend the night down at Phantom Ranch months, even a year, in advance. But I was going to call to ask. My husband looked at me like I had just grown a second head and said “Are you crazy?!” I rallied back a bit, admittedly already wavering and got a “Whatever, go ahead, they’re going to laugh you off the phone! ” response to my weak argument. And at that moment, I did in fact question my sanity. I didn’t want to be laughed at and more importantly, I did not want to give him the satisfaction of saying “I told you so!” But then I said what the hell, all they can do is say “No” and I called anyway. A lady answered, I asked and…no laughter. No one hung up on me saying “Uh, huh – sure crazy lady, an open spot for two at Phantom Ranch this weekend?!” Click. What she said was, “Would you like to stay tonight or tomorrow night?”
The following day we hiked down and crossed over the Colorado River to Phantom Ranch, spent the afternoon and evening exploring the canyon. We had a wonderful family-style steak dinner that night with all kinds of interesting people. They cooked us breakfast the next morning and we made the challenging hike back out the following day. It is a vivid memory and an amazing experience that I will always cherish.
So how in the heck did this come to be? That we had our pick of not just one night but several? It turns out that there had been a lot of rain before we got there. They hadn’t been able to complete trail maintenance yet to make it passable for the donkeys to get down to Phantom Ranch. So a lot of people either weren’t able or didn’t want to make the trip on foot and they cancelled.
I know being told “No” here is relatively mild compared to some of the things we want to ask or go for and fear being rejected by. But it is the same concept and I wouldn't have this wonderful memory if I hadn't asked. If you never ask, if you never try, if you let the naysayers talk you out of it…think of all you are missing. Is it really worth missing out in life because of the discomfort rejection might bring? Your Phantom Ranch adventure is waiting!
And if something doesn’t work out and they do say no, then at least you tried. You move forward from there taking what you've learned, knowing that rejection is the Universe’s way of protecting you from something that isn’t a good fit for you right now and clearing the way for the things that are perfect for you at this time in your life. As the Rolling Stones said "You can't always get what you want...but you get what you need."