Overcoming the Fear of Judgement
Why do we all feel judged? In her article Alice explores what human judgement is, why we do it and how we can overcome our fear of it.
Why do we feel judged? Why, if it makes us so self-conscious do we judge back? It’s simple, its human condition. What does that mean? We are beings who, despite striving to be individuals, are very much the same in terms of our innate nature. If someone does something, then we all do that thing, to an extent.
It’s been a while, and in that while religion has been very prominent in our lives- including the guilt, repentance and judgement inflicted on us as inherently sinful beings. It’s in the story of The Fall, Genesis 3 – we are told we are sinful from birth and are therefore innately judged.
In modern society, it takes other forms in terms of body shaming, intellectually shaming and shaming emotionally (in some cases people are ridiculed for this) and cognitively, where people who don’t understand the severity of some conditions believe it is their place to comment on mental health disorders.
You are not alone
I too have felt judged. By teachers, students, family members and my friends. Even by strangers on the street. It’s disappointing that social norms determine how things must be and that, by defying them, you instantly become ‘wrong’, ‘weird’ or ‘different’. Recently, I’ve experienced this happen, but to someone else.
I walk to the tram station every morning and I see a woman dancing along the pavement to her music. It brightens my day and puts a smile on my face. She too gets the tram, but in the opposite direction, standing on the opposite platform to me dancing away without a care. It’s brilliant! I work in a restaurant and she comes in regularly. I mentioned her to the bar man, who I am friends with, explaining how great I thought it was. His reaction shocked me. He just said “No!”. He went on to say how embarrassing it was and how she was a “headcase”. This is so disappointing.
This is a perfect example of judgment and how even the purest, brightest things can be made into the worst, attempt of socicide (social suicide). I dance to music too and sometimes I do bop about on the street, but I never actually dance. Dancing is an expressive, emotive releaser and a healthy form of it too. So why did the bar man have such a negative, dismissive opinion of it? I don’t think people like different, not really. But rather than hide it, let’s overcome it, like a ‘dancing queen’ as if we’re still young and sweet.
Take 5 steps in the ‘wrong’ direction
- Know your own strengths and limitations
Know what you are good at and celebrate that, as well as what your weaknesses are. By becoming confident in your abilities and knowing the areas that aren’t your best, you will most likely feel less bothered by people’s opinions about you. If someone does form an opinion of you, it doesn’t matter, any people who think negatively about you are not people you should surround yourself with. Remind yourself of your skills, your greatest attributes and any judgements and impressions people have become irrelevant. Harness and own your qualities, don’t strip anything away.
- Resist letting others define you
People have opinions, and you must understand they are entitled to have those opinions as a crucial step to overcome the fear of being judged. Let’s look at self esteem and confidence, tricky I know, but by coming to terms with this it can drive you to work on areas you’re not happy with. Resulting in a boost in confidence and a new found self worth.
- Be aware of your inner critic
Familiarise yourself with the little voice inside your head, it can be deafening sometimes. But by recognising the inner critic and those negative thoughts that creep into your mind, you can stop the self-sabotage it causes. Regardless of age, morals, values and beliefs we are all in a constant battle and this stops women from being their authentic self. Once you gain control of your thoughts and beliefs you begin a journey where you think positively and optimistically without caring what others think.
- Make yourself a priority.
Prioritize you. Don’t let other people’s judgment and their perception of you control your life. Don’t do it! You are the protagonist, re-evaluate your sense of self. Trust in yourself and your abilities and acknowledge what you’re good at and don’t avoid the things that need work. Prioritize your personal needs and don’t let anything else divert you, you have the power!
- Invest in yourself
Focus your attention on areas you want to improve on. Invest in your own flourishing and well-being. Do something you’ve been meaning to do, like get that gym membership and then actually go to the gym, go away, bury your head in a good book do what makes you happy, while also working on what you need to improve. What is your goal, what will help you grow as an individual if it means dancing to your favorite songs in the street, do it! Enjoy life by focusing on what makes you happy and positively looking at what you need to change to be the best you and for you to know it!
- Know your own strengths and limitations
Find Your Amazing
You may hear it every day, but you should embrace and listen to it. It’s easy for a friend to say ‘oh stop! you’re amazing’, but it’s you who needs to believe it. To do so, you must step by step work towards that mentality that releases you and helps you to feel amazing, and to know it too.
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Aurora ContributorHi, I am Alice Counsell. I am a sixth form student at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College. I am studying English Literature, Psychology and Religion, Ethics and Philosophy. I have a great interest in psychology and its relevance in modern society.