Whether you are expressing your romantic longings to the man you have pined for for months or you have put your heart and soul into an audition for the role of your dreams, you are exposed. You face the possibility of rejection. And that is terrifying.
This fear, which is in all of us, is deep and remote. It evokes our earliest experiences and the dread reminds us of our most harrowing questions from childhood: "Will I be cared for?" "How do I earn their love?" ""If I work and work and work at it, will I be embraced or discarded?" If you've put yourself out there in some meaningful way, you are likely experiencing some version of this terror. This means that you are doing something right.
Even though the feelings that emerge when you take emotional or creative risks remind you of your primal childhood fears, they are not one and the same. The fundamental difference between the past-you and the now-you is that you are an adult. You have come out on the other side of childhood and adolescence. Not only have you survived the trials of these life stages, but there is something inside of you that is insisting on pushing you forward in your development. If you are considering putting yourself out there creatively/emotionally, or are already doing so, you have a potential audience that is much, much larger than just your parents. It is true that the world can be a cruel and punishing place, but it is also large and welcoming. It is just a matter of when you will be heard and who will be there to hear you. There are scores and scores of people who can, and will receive you. You just need to keep at it.