By Amy Reast

A woman is curing her debilitating fear of rejection by deliberately undertaking awkward challenges – and is becoming “immune to embarrassment”.

Sophie Jones, 22, felt held back how much she feared rejection and deeply cared what people thought of her.

Then she read about the idea of ‘rejection therapy’ – desensitising yourself to rejection and embarrassment by exposing yourself to those situations regularly.

So Sophie, from Warrington, Cheshire, decided to tackle her fears by doing 30 days of rejection therapy – putting herself in positions she was likely to encounter rejection.

So far she has asked to sing on stage at a theatre, have a tour of a supermarket warehouse, and take a pizza out of a stranger’s trolley – and been rejected each time.

She has also invited someone to film a video with her and joined in with a stranger’s TikTok dance.

The social media manager said: “I decided to do this after I went to film a dance in the park and realised the idea of doing it in front of people would terrify me.

“The challenge is about knowing you can do a silly thing and desensitising yourself to fear and judgement.

“It applies to all aspects of life – imagine what you could do if you didn’t hold yourself back and could push yourself out your comfort zone.

“I’m noticing little changes already.

“For my TikTok I often have to push myself out my comfort zone to do comedy videos and it can make me anxious.

“But I filmed one today and I didn’t even feel anxiety. Everyone was looking at me but I wasn’t bothered.

“It felt really freeing not caring.”

Sophie comes up with ideas for her challenges herself, or by searching on social media for similar challenges others have done.

Sophie said the most difficult challenge so far has been asking to look around the supermarket warehouse.

It was so anxiety-inducing for her that she was nervous to continue the challenge the following day.

But she pushed on and continued – as that’s the point of the challenge.

She said: “When I first started, I was terrified – but that showed I needed to do it.”

Sophie has only been doing the daily challenges for a week – but said she’s already noticing a difference in her mindset.

She added: “I’m realising it’s never as bad as you think it will be, and the world will keep turning!

“I’d recommend the challenge to others – it’s scary but when you push past the fear you feel more confident.”

Ideas for future challenges include going into a bed store and asking to have a nap, asking to slide down a fireman’s pole, and asking strangers if she can try on their sunglasses.

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