“What other people think of you is not your business. If you start to make that business your business, you will be offended for the rest of your life.” Deepak Chopra
How true! People tend to judge others based upon their own core values and insecurities, because values and insecurities differ from person to person, it’s almost impossible to escape judgment. Most people don’t like to be judged but to someone with anxiety or social phobia this fear can be paralyzing.
How to Overcome Your Fear of Being Judged
Start To Define Yourself: The problem with caring about what other people think is that over time you start to let other people define who you are. What are your core values? What’s important to you? Who are you? Get to know yourself and take back the power you have allowed other people to take from you. When your anxiety alarms the “what if’s”- for example “what if they think I’m mean?” I challenge you to ask yourself if being mean is how you define yourself. If not, forget them -- you know your intentions.
Stay Focused: Focus on what you’re trying to accomplish and less on yourself. Think of the big picture.
People Don’t Care: “A study done by the National Science Foundation claims that people have, on average, 50,000 plus thoughts a day. This means that even if someone thought about us ten times in one day, it’s only 0.2% of their overall daily thoughts. It’s a sad but simple truth that the average person filters their world through their ego, meaning that they think of most things relating to “me” or “my.” This means that unless you’ve done something that directly affects another person or their life, they are not going to spend much time thinking about you at all.” Sean Kim -- How to Stop Giving a F**k What People Think.
Pay Attention to Your Thoughts: Are you overthinking the situation? Is this judgement a reality? It’s very easy to take a thought that has triggered anxiety and overthink every aspect of it in an effort to gain control. The truth is that overthinking can lead you down paths that don’t need to be walked. If you are self-aware when overthinking, then you already have an important tool in conquering this step. Simply put, overthinking can stretch our interpretation of a situation that judgement might not have even been present at. Overthinkers -- refer to my bog “The Overthinker”.
Seek the Right Feedback: Everybody needs feedback from others from time to time. Think about the people in your life that you look up to or respect their opinions. Think about the people who matter to you, not the ones who don’t. Always ask yourself if the person giving feedback has your best interest in mind.
Be Honest with Yourself: Remember that not all judgement is going to be favorable but when it’s constructive it can help you improve upon yourself- judgement with a purpose. Allow yourself to be criticized and let yourself judge if it’s something you need to work on or not.
Visualization: Visualize a positive outcome. If you are imagining people holding bad judgements towards you, flip it. Think of all the great things about yourself and all you have to offer.
We All Have Been Embarrassed: Embarrassment is a part of life and most of the time nobody is negatively judging you for it. As a matter of fact, people often feel empathy when seeing someone endure an embarrassing moment. We’ve ALL been there!
Are you avoiding or missing out on experiences in your life because you fear being judged by others? Or do you endure these situations with intense anxiety? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you’re not alone. Millions of children, teens and adults experience various degrees of social distress on a daily basis. The good news is that many people have successfully overcome their fear of judgement. Counseling is always an option if you have trouble tackling it on your own -- we all need help sometimes. Remember you can’t control the judgements of other people, but you can control who you allow to affect you. At A Little Counseling, we help our clients build confidence, identify core values and practice healthier thinking to better handle judgement. While judgement may be a part of life, those judgements don’t have to define yours!
“There is no reason to fear a judgement if you already know who you are.”