I realized that at least for me and my current stage, the obstacle is that I'm afraid to ask. Afraid to ask people to form a bluegrass group with me. Afraid to ask the guy that I'm attracted to on a date. Afraid to invite people to do things that I want to do. All because I'm assuming that no one will want to do these things, and I don't want to look dumb asking.
So my plan is to ask anyway, and keep my mind open to the possibility they might be excited, maybe even as excited as I am. And if they say no, I won't be worse off. I'll just be in the same place I am now - without the bluegrass band, without the date with the specific person I like, without the specific social gathering I want - but a little braver.
I suffer from the same syndrome. Asking sometimes feels like weakness to me. I don't want to feel ashamed if I am rejected, and I don't want to seem needy or annoying. But like you I'm learning to lean into the discomfort of asking. If I don't express my wants and needs, they aren't likely to be met. If I do express them, it's possible they still won't be met - but at least I did my part. I love your courage and vulnerability in sharing this post. I hope you get your bluegrass group and a date with a cute guy and everything else you want in life :)
I'm reading a book you may like. It's called "Rejection Proof," and it has some of these same ideas. Why are we so afraid of rejection? We're not worse off if we ask and someone says no. And sometimes people say yes, and then we're better off. So why not ask?
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