People will judge you your entire life, whether you like it or not. That’s not the point. The point is, however, that the fear of being judged will keep you in complacency for far too long if you allow it to. So my question to you is, will you allow your fear of being judged to keep you from finding bravery?
Here are seven thoughts I have surrounding the fear of being judged:
- Stop trying to live up to the expectations and stipulations of others. Let me just say that to do something merely because others expect it from you is a waste of everyone’s time. You won’t be happy and you must remember that your life is, well, your life—not theirs.
- Also, stop judging others for not living up to your expectations. Need I explain this more? Trust me, the world has enough judges.
- Comparison truly is the thief of joy. Much of the fear of being judged is fueled by comparison. So how do we fix this? As my friend Glenn says, “Don’t compare yourself with others; aim only to be better than you were yesterday.” When we stop comparing ourselves to the highlight reels from everyone else’s lives, and begin living up to our own full potential, that is when good things happen—both internally and externally.
- Keep your circle of direct influence tight. Since our environment influences our mindsets and actions, it is important that we take notice of those who we allow to influence our lives. Not only for obvious reasons, but for freedom from judgment. When you have the right friends in your life, you leave uplifted rather than drained and encouraged rather than discouraged.
- Find what leads you to fulfillment. Notice that I am focusing on fulfillment, not happiness. The ups and downs of happiness happen so often, I believe that fulfillment is the better option to focus on. The key here is to notice those things in life that bring you more long-term satisfaction rather than short-term bliss. Happiness fades; fulfillment stays. This idea does rely on self-discovery, so it is important to take the time to identify what you are willing to endure hardships for. Because let’s face it—life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Joy typically comes after suffering because one must be able to look back at the journey they endured to truly appreciate the life they have been given.
- You don’t have to tear everyone else down in order to become successful. There’s enough success to go around for everyone. When you grab hold of this paradigm shift, less envy is harbored, comparison takes a backseat, others become friends rather than enemies, you become your best self, you live out your identity, your eyes are on your own deep work rather than what everyone else is doing, and you are more likely to innovate than replicate. All of this said, I’m rethinking the need for competition at the moment.
- Success becomes more about what you do for others than what you can do for yourself. I’ll leave this quote from President John F. Kennedy here: “…Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Can you fully grasp JFK’s powerful words? When we sacrifice our own desires for the well-being of others, I believe that we will finally discover how to suffer well. And when we repeatedly suffer well, we will eventually find ourselves.
The fear that others judge our every action and word is keeping us from reaching our full potential. Live your best life on your terms, surround yourself with those who are positive and encourage, and pray for everyone because we’re all trying to figure it out.
Remember, not everyone will like you, and that’s okay. What’s important is that your focus is pure, your actions are right, and the people you come in contact with are better off knowing you. When that happens, the question isn’t, “What are they doing?” or “What are you doing”. The question becomes, “What am I doing?”