Hi lovely one, welcome to Episode number 5 where we are continuing to tackle the fear of judgement.
If you haven’t listened to episode 4. Please listen to that now because it will give the foundation for this discussion. on why our brains judge. And the impact it has on us.
In this episode. I want to continue our discussion. by looking at the elements of our culture and society that make being judged so risky. when you’re creating your things and offering them to your customers, clients, audience, or followers.
And then I’m going to offer you the tips I use personally to make sure the fear of judgement doesn’t stop me from doing what’s important and meaningful to me.
By caring, we take a risk
This thing called the internet can be a pretty dangerous place for us.
And if you’re anything like me. Then your heart is sensitive.
You care deeply about people and the world at large. And your intentions are to make a meaningful difference.
Even just to one person who comes across your work.
When we care, we take a risk. Because the other side of the caring coin is pain.
There is no way to be open-hearted and vulnerable without the risk that your caring self will at some stage be stomped on.
And the risk of being stomped on is very, very real. In putting my work out into the world in books, courses, and social media posts, I’ve been vilified in various ways.
I’ve been attacked for daring to charge for my work. I’ve received negative reviews on my books. I’ve been accused of being a fraud by someone who received an incorrect link in an email. I’ve been threatened with being reported to my professional registration board. Because someone became disgruntled about me reminding her that in order to make change, she needs to take change-making action.
I’ve had my writing belittled. I’ve been laughed at and openly criticised and even stalked. I’ve had someone threaten me across multiple platforms. Because she commented that my “beginning of the week goals post” was in fact showing up for her on a Sunday. And not Monday. And when I pointed out that there are other time zones in the world outside of the US. She took exception and spent a few days making her frustrations known.
This stuff hurts me. I’ve cried over it. I’ve been paralysed by it.
I’ve considered shutting my entire business down over it.
And people have received much worse than me, and more frequently. They’ve had their careers and profiles ‘cancelled’. Thanks to a mistake made years ago. That they’ve not apologised for in a way that was acceptable to the internet today. A one-star review by a hater or just a person having a bad day has the capacity to bring a whole business down. Sometimes the judgement and consequences are warranted, sure.
Mistakes are inevitable
There’s a good reason why harming someone else is a crime.
But sometimes they are not.
Humans make mistakes all the time. What frustrates me is, I think there is a chance we are losing the capacity to give others the space to atone for their mistakes. And to learn and grow from them in order to do better. If we lose the space to improve, then we’re damned from the start.
I want you to be mindful of this when you judge others. If you have a flash of anger at someone’s poor service or mis-worded statement. Perhaps stop and consider how you would like to be treated if you had made a similar mistake. If we cancel people immediately. Then how on earth do we offer ourselves any room for personal evolution? Don’t get me wrong.
Most of the time, if you’re an ethical and socially aware person. Any judgement that is thrown your way is mildly hurtful. But it doesn’t have permanent consequences.
And judgement can often come from those who are sitting on the sidelines in their own lives.
Throwing barbs to those who are out there having a go. Because they are threatened by another person’s progress and success. The thing is, we live in a culture where public judgement counts. Even when the playing field has few common rules. Where the goal posts move every few minutes. And where the results can have catastrophic results. For the emotional and mental health of the individual being judged.
And we can’t avoid it. Which is pretty damn annoying. If you’re my people, then I’m betting you’re not out there actively harming people. But what if your critics are right?
What if you made a mistake? If your idea or product sucked? What then?
You’re definitely going to make mistakes. Which is even more annoying.
My question is.
Do you want to give away the power around what you do with this one and precious life to someone who is not you?
I don’t want you to give up before you start because the fear of judgement gets loud.
And what I will never say to you is just get over it and do it anyway because it’s not that bad.
The choice we all have to make
The truth is it’s not fun. But like anything important that we do in life, there are aspects to the experience that must be accepted in order to pursue what matters to us.
To create our lives around what we want to stand for and what lights us up.
So that leaves us with three options:
1. Do nothing with your life. In the hope that this prevents any reason that someone else will judge you negatively. Spoiler alert! You’ll still be judged. And you’ll have the disappointment and frustration. Of watching your dreams fail to materialise because you never gave them the chance.
2. Pretend you don’t care about being judged. Stay guarded, and suspicious. And on edge, and then when you are judged. (Because we’re back at that old chestnut again that we all are),pretend that you’re above it and it doesn’t get to you. But it does. You know it. And I know it, and by pretending it doesn’t. Your relying on psychological defence mechanisms that keep you from being truly vulnerable. And courageous enough to remain open-hearted.
3. Our third and final option is to take on the task of learning how to deal with judgement when it shows up. By acknowledging and validating our personal reactions. Our individual emotions. Which are shaped by our individual experiences, memories, and upbringing.
Lovely one, please choose door number 3 with me. Because I want future you to be proud of your courage.
I want you to be able to say at the end of your days that you did the things you wanted to do. Rather than regretting all the things you didn’t do.
7 Tips on dealing with fear of judgement
And while I can’t remove the fear of judgement. I want to leave you with some tips based on how I approach it. So that it doesn’t stop me from doing anything that I deem important in my life. The way I love, and the work I create:
- Choose whose opinions get the privilege of your attention.
- Are they also out there living bravely?
- Do they truly know you?
- Are they safe and non-toxic?
- If you were to pass away tomorrow, do they actually matter?
- Do they know your intentions?
- Be mindful of who and how you’re judging others.
- Who are you judging that might be hurt if they knew?
- What are you passing judgement on that’s not helping you stay in your own lane?
- Where are you casting judgement to protect yourself from your own fears?
- Mind your inner judge.
- Is the worst judgement you fear actually coming from yourself?
- Is your internal judgement in the voice of someone from whom you want approval?
- Are you speaking from your fearful self or from your courageous self?
- Use it as information about who you’re dealing with.
- Does the judger have a self-serving agenda?
- Is the judger sitting on the sidelines without any idea of what it’s truly like to be having a go?
- What do you know about the judger from the judgement they’re making?
- Consider the impact it’s having on you.
- Is it a good use of your time and energy to give your attention to the judger and the judgement?
- How is focusing on the judgement affecting your ability to stay in your own lane?
- What self-care strategies could support you through this?
- Come back to your own path.
- Remember that you are not them.
- Remember that your path is not theirs.
- Be mindful of FOMO – what we think we’re missing out on is usually magnified in our heads.
- Remember that comparison is toxic to relationships, including your relationship with yourself.
- Take brave action.
- Let fear ride along as a passenger.
- But give courage control of the wheel, the GPS, the radio and the snack.
- Make a conscious choice not to give your Radical Courage away to fear of judgement. (especially when it’s inevitable).
- Keep your attention on what matters.
- Consider ways that you can protect yourself from both good and bad judgements.
Lovely one, the most important part of all of this is.
That you give yourself permission to show up. Send your work, creations, and contributions out into the world as only you can.
I hope this has given you a foundation from which to move forward. You are not alone. Showing up is scary.
And those of us who are out here doing it are not doing it without fear, or without being judged. We’re just not giving away the power to decide how we live our lives to someone else.
You can do this. I believe in you.
And if you need a helping hand. I’m going to link in the show notes to my masterclass on. Imposter Syndrome to help you find release from the feelings of not being good enough. The masterclass is an hour long. And packed with valuable tips on harnessing courage and overcoming fear. I’ll catch you next time.
Overcoming the Fear of Judgement Checklist
If fear of judgement is something you struggle with lovely one, I’ve created a free checklist just for you. You can sign up for your copy here.