The fear of being judged by others is sometimes the thing that holds back us folks with anxiety from attending certain events, having a certain job, or being our true selves. The fear of being perceived as something inferior, undesirable, or odd manifests itself in all aspects of our lives whether we know it consciously or not. These fears are rooted with our internal lack of self-worth. When we feel we are not worthy of love, friendship, a promotion, a job, a life…our world becomes smaller and smaller. When we get rid of this fear, only then are we truly free. However, living free of judgement is not possible. Our boss may critique our work, a professor may give us an F on a paper we worked really hard on, or we may strike out at bat and get heckled off the field. Although we cannot remove these external judgements, we can do something about them. It would be easy for me to say “just don’t fear judgement, you know it possibly will come at some point or another in your life unless you live on a remote island.” But that would be too easy and not very helpful…
What needs to happen is you need to get to the root of this fear. I’ll use myself as an example, My fear of judgement is rooted in my feeling of not being good enough or worthy of something I desire. The way this issue presents itself in my life is that I automatically prepare for the worst. I anticipate judgement. I anticipate not being liked. This manifests itself and rears its ugly head through my panic attacks. When I have to perform or become vulnerable or be uncomfortable in certain situations, I have associated my fear of judgement with these different events (subconsciously of course) and they present themselves as panic attacks in certain situations. Not being completely comfortable in my skin, with who I am, and what I stand for makes this even more problematic.
I am here to help give you some tools to manage your thoughts. If this sounds like you or if you relate to this experience or have a general fear of judgement, maybe the judgement actually starts with you. You pre-judge your situations by subconsciously thinking that the baseline tone for every situation is judgement. What I mean by this is…you already assume you will be judged and this creates anxiety–basically you’re the one doing the judging! When you let go of the fear of being judged, you free yourself to be yourself.
My mantra that I have created for myself, to stand in my power pose and repeat a few times out loud is what I call the 3 C’s. The three C’s stand for Capable, Competent, and Confident.
I am capable, I am competent, I am confident.
Try creating your own mantra, or use mine! And remember, walk out into the world and boldly be yourself.