Ah, the old fear of being judged – have you ever dealt with it?
Unless you’re one of those ultra comfortable in your own skin, walk to the beat of your own drum type of people, chances are you’d answer “yes” to that question. I certainly would have when I was younger.
The problem is, we know intuitively that this fear doesn’t serve us, and can actually be holding us back from achieving what we desire in life.
So, it’s important that you learn how to overcome and push past the fear of being judged, if you want to create a great life for yourself.
“But how, Justin?” I’m glad you asked. Keep reading to learn 3 truths that’ll help you overcome the fear of being judged.
1You’re not that important
Before you scoff at me in disgust, thinking that I just casted stones at you from my high horse, let me explain. Because the truth is, this is one of the most freeing truths about yourself that you can ever accept.
When I first got into public speaking, I was deathly afraid of being judged. And, as you can imagine, that made my already not that great presentations even worse (if that was even possible).
After really struggling with my first few presentations, I told my speaking coach that I just couldn’t get out of my own head about how much I thought everyone was judging me the whole time.
I’ll never forget, my coach looked at me and said, “Justin, you’re not that important.” I’m not going to lie, I was offended at first.
But, after I picked my ego up off the floor and gave him time to explain, it all made sense.
You see, the reality is, life is not easy for anyone. Whether you’re born into poverty, with a silver spoon in your mouth, or somewhere in between, we all have our own struggles.
We’re all just trying to make it in life, so to think that you are that important for someone to really care that much about what you have going on is kind of arrogant.
I remember when he told me that, and how free I immediately felt. It’s so true!
Each of us is on our own journey and trying to navigate this crazy thing called life. So, chances are, those people you’re worried about judging you, aren’t even giving you the time of day.
And if they are, then that leads me into my next point.
2You shouldn’t care about the opinions of those who are judging you
Don’t worry, I’m not going to lecture you like a parent about how you shouldn’t care what other people think about you. In fact, I think that’s terrible advice.
You SHOULD care what others think about you – but only the RIGHT people.
There’s a great quote, commonly attributed to Rachel Hollis, that says, “Don’t let someone in the cheap seats have an expensive opinion in your life.” Geez, that’s powerful! And so true.
Like I explained before, most people aren’t judging you. At least not in the way or to the extent that you might think they are.
And, even if they are, so what?
Ask yourself this question, if you have to worry about whether or not someone is judging you, is that the type of person you really want in your life anyways?
For me, the answer is no! I don’t want people in my life who are judgmental and look down on me. I can’t tell you what to do with your life, but if I was coaching you, I’d strongly advise that you not want relationships with those types of people, either.
And, to go even one layer deeper, at the end of your life, do you want to look back with regret knowing that the fear of being judged by those types of people is what held you back from creating and living your best life?
Which brings me to the last truth.
3You can have your dreams or your fear of judgment, but not both
Whether you realize it or not, life is about sacrifices. Every time you say yes to one thing, you’re saying no to everything else. It works that way in all of life.
When it comes to trying to live your best life, as cliché as that sounds, that truth remains – you can’t achieve your goals, dreams, and desires and be crippled by the fear of judgment. You have to pick one.
Will the fear always be there? Most likely. But that’s okay. It’s one thing to have the fear, but it’s another thing to allow that fear to hold you back.
As much as I believe in living in the grey area between absolutes, there are a few things that I feel pretty certain about. One of those is that life is way too short to allow the fear of being judged hold you back.
As a growth-conscious individual, I know that you want to push the limits and live the absolute best life that you can. Well, in order to do that, the fear of judgement has to go.
Putting it all together
I want to reiterate that I’m writing this as a man who struggled for years to overcome this very issue. I also write these tips as someone who has coached dozens of people through overcoming this fear.
I know firsthand how this particular fear can rob you of the goals and dreams you have for your life.
So, the next time you find yourself feeling stuck or consumed by the fear of judgement, just remind yourself of these 3 truths: you’re not as important as you think you are, you shouldn’t care about the opinions of those who are judging you, and you can have your dreams or your fear of judgment, but not both.
Here’s to breaking free!