The First Step in Getting Over the Fear of Judgment.
At some point in our lives, pretty much every one of us has hesitated to do or say something because we worried about what other people would think. Worried about how we would be perceived, and whether it would diminish their opinion of us. Worried about whether it would impact our status, likeability, or acceptance. Worried about whether we would fail and be ridiculed. And so much more.
It makes sense to avoid subjecting ourselves to the negative judgment of others- right? We aren’t idiots. None of us want that.
To that end, a lot of people allow the fear of it happening to have the last word.
Not that long ago, that was me. My internal dialogue ran something like this, “If I try that and fail, all the ground I’ve gained will be lost. My professional credibility will be gone. I can’t take the risk.” or “If clients know I dance competitively, they won’t see me as the tough, fierce advocate I really am, so I need to hide that part of myself at all costs,” and even “What if I spend all this time creating this program and people don’t like it? I’ll just wait a bit longer.” I missed some great opportunities to make an impact out of fear.
Here’s the crazy thing. All those places I told myself I was at risk of being judged by others? I was already judging myself.
I was insecure about taking a risk because I was scared to fail- for myself. First and foremost, I didn’t want to fail because of what that would make me feel about ME.
I was worried about people knowing I danced because I was struggling with my own perception, and felt guilt over leaving my kids to compete. It was first and foremost a ME issue.
Early on I was worried about providing the “perfect” value through my programs; wanting to be sure people would leave inspired and with tools they could use. Again, It was ME, wanting to be 100% certain I’d be successful before I began.
The “fear of judgment” I was worried about and trying to avoid by doing nothing was already happening- every single day- and it was coming from myself. I imagine that if you are honest about the things you fear being judged for, you hold some pretty harsh opinions about yourself on the subject. THIS IS WHERE WE HAVE TO START.
We hold back from doing things that matter to us because we claim to be worried about what other people will think, when in reality, we are vulnerable to that judgment in the first place because we are not truly convinced ourselves.
TRUTH: It’s a lot easier to be afraid of judgment from the world than to deal with the judgment you are inflicting on yourself. But to get over the fear, you need to deal with your own sh*t and stop projecting your fear about what other people might think or do as an excuse not to move forward. Harsh? Sorry, its the truth.
I’ve learned it is far better to take the risk and fall on my butt than be paralyzed by fear and never move at all. When I got clear with MYSELF about what was freaking me out, what mattered to me, and why I was inspired to do it in the first place- I literally stopped caring about what other people “might” think. If you want to move forward and do amazing things, you have to push through it. The place to start is by looking at yourself, and the judgments YOU hold.
So let’s be honest.
Can you identify the places where YOU are judging YOU? Let’s start here. Please comment below!
In my next blog, I will provide simple strategies for moving past the fear of judgment. Yours and theirs.
See you soon!