7 practices to master to overcome the fear of judgment
When I was in high school, I always let people’s opinions affect me super hard. The fear of judgment was something I carried along with me since my childhood. I always had this idea of outperforming myself, being a perfectionist, the best in every single activity which made me beat myself up for every task.
As someone who’s unknowingly a people pleaser, I had somewhere forgotten my own identity, my real self. It was only after standing up for myself and doing things that made my heart full of joy that I learned to free myself from the fear of judgments.
This was not at all easy and I still go in the loops of caring what people think of me. It’s a hard practice to finally free yourself from other’s thoughts and opinions because we as humans are meant to judge. People judge you for everything you do, whether it’s the non-conventional career path or living the life of your dreams, they are going to judge you.
Sometimes this fear of judgment holds us back from living our purpose, our dream. Do you really think at the end it’s worth listening to their opinion and living your life their way?
We hold ourselves back just because we fear what are they going to think if we did this, what if they go behind our back and speak ill of us or criticize our every move!! I had the same thoughts.
Here’s a little story on how I stop caring about what people think of me.
Overcoming the fear of judgment – my story
As many of you may not know, I’m basically an engineer. I studied Electronics Engineering and graduated with the highest score in 2016. But right after that when a corporate firm approached me to offer a job, I was a little hesitant.
All my life I always dreamt of being an engineer because of the status that comes along with that degree. So when this renowned firm offered me an excellent package, this little voice within fumbled agreeing to it. I didn’t join the company and yes it felt scary.
I had no idea what I was going to do after studying engineering for 4 years and finding out that this wasn’t something I want to be. I cleared my thoughts and did some deep soul searching.
I had always been fascinated with the power of words and I did win many language competitions during my college days. Hence, I listened to this inner calling, took a leap of faith, and aimed towards being a writer. To this, I received numerous judgments and a pool full of criticism.
People opposed my decision and started making their hypothetical judgments. That was the toughest phase of my life. I too was affected by other’s opinions and thoughts and this little inner critic within me spoke to their tune too.
However, I had two options – Either to take a firm decision and dedicate my life to it or to listen to their opinions and live my life as they wished. I chose the former.
Fast forward to now, I am an author of a best-selling book with thousands of audience reading and appreciating my words, have my own freelancing company and most preciously – this blog.
Life has been super wonderful and I don’t regret even for a second of choosing this path. I did have my own struggles but the fire within of helping people through my words was strong enough to keep me driving.
It took me almost three years to finally accept myself and let go of what others thought of me. But I am proud of my becoming and living my best life. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Where does this Judgment come from?
People judge because they are insecure. This thought of proving someone wrong and showing yourself the right one comes from the deep feeling of insecurity. When you don’t feel good enough, you attack someone to satisfy your feelings and thoughts.
This judgment never comes out of love. You cannot love someone and judge them. This is the deep root of satisfaction and insecurity that you’re living with.
Love is the absence of judgment. – Dalai Lama
Here are the seven practices that helped me overcome the fear of judgment and I’m sure this will help you too.
Seven practices to overcome the fear of judgment
1. Know Thyself the best
When you know yourself the best, you don’t seek other’s opinions. If you already know what your strengths are or what you’re good at, you would be less likely to get affected by what others think of you. Have a firm belief and faith in yourself and know that you already are doing your best.
Being authentic is far more valuable than being a people pleaser. Be confident in your abilities and your decisions, you know what’s best for you because you know yourself. Other’s opinions won’t matter when you’re already in your truth when you already trust your being. The fear of judgment arises when we fail to know ourselves.
We tend to mold our lives as per someone else’s decisions and thoughts about us. You surely don’t have to worry about what they think or how people are going to judge you when you know who you are and what you want from this life.
2. Know that You Are Enough
Has it ever happened to you that you’re completely thrown back into the loops of comparison? We often compare ourselves with others, our journey, our success every single aspect of our lives. And this in turn makes us feel totally miserable. The only cure to this is knowing that you are already enough. You don’t have to compete with someone to be yourself.
14pt;”>Write this affirmation daily and put it somewhere you can easily see. Stick this on your mirror, near your kitchen stand, right in front of your desk, everywhere!
YOU ARE ENOUGH and learn this by heart!!
3. Always remember – it’s not you, it’s them
When we fall in the trap of judgments it’s normal to think that we are at fault. However, I realized this that if someone is judging you, it says a lot about them and not about you. Suppose someone is judging you for your body, the clothes you wear, they may be insecure about their own skin.
If someone is complaining about the life you’re living, or about your ambitions, maybe they are feeling sorry for not fulfilling their own dreams. Judgments come from the deep root of insecurity. Just to make ourselves feel good, we humans judge each other. So my darling, if someone is judging you, know that it’s never about you, it’s about them, their deep fears.
4. Accept that people are going to judge regardless of what you do
This literally took me years to understand that I cannot change what people think about me and well it’s not my business too. These people have their own thoughts and ideology which we definitely can never change. The only thing that will help you overcome the fear of judgment is to accept that people judge!!
Even though you may be kind to them or help them in their struggle, they’re going to judge you when you do something against their way of thinking.
Just in my case, people always thought of me to succeed as an engineer but when I changed my path, they all started throwing their judgments. I had no other option rather than accepting that this world is meant to judge us no matter what. You gotta be like an elephant, walk in your own bliss!!
5. Know your inner critic
Before silencing the outer noise, let’s know this inner demon. This little nudging voice within holds great power to make our life miserable. Sometimes knowingly or unknowingly we give so much power to this inner critic that tells us we aren’t enough that we don’t need others to bring us down. ( Well, we just did that for ourselves)
Your inner critic is going to judge you, make you question your every move, let you think everything negative, compare you with others but the only thing is to learn to silence it.
Let not your inner critic rule your life. This will sow the seeds of self-doubt which will never let you be your best self. Know your inner critic, hear it, numb it!!
6. Avoid people who trigger you
Okay, let’s be real. We cannot totally get rid of someone who throws their judgment at us every time. Let it be our relatives or friends, it’s hard to totally disconnect ourselves from their presence. But we can surely avoid them as much as possible.
When we know that there is no cure for their thinking and judgments, the best thing we can do is to save ourselves. If you really worry about what others think of you, you really need to do a little housekeeping and keep these humans away.
Sometimes when you’re not able to avoid such people in your life, the best thing is to engage in some positive activity after their contact.
For instance, if you have to meet your old aunt who keeps judging you for your life choices and you simply cannot avoid the meet, you can indulge yourself in personal development by reading books, taking few courses, or listening to some podcasts. This will keep your mind away from all such noises. The fear of judgment shouldn’t take your best life away from you.
7. Stop apologizing and stay untamed
If you’re a people pleaser and have fear of judgment, you would be apologizing for everything that you do. I would highly recommend you to read this book if you always feel sorry for who you are and if you always doubt yourself.
Understand this, we just get one SINGLE life to do everything we want, do you really wish it to be dictated by others? Do you really want to live your ONE life as per what others think?
How can you ever live a full-filled life when you’re constantly under the pressure of judgments? My dearest, set yourself free, and live your damn life the way you want, the way you dreamt.
Chase your dreams, achieve your goals, live as if you were to die the next day, and most importantly, stop apologizing. These all judgments are temporary but your single decision fearing those judgments can change your entire life. This is your life, own it like a QUEEN!!
Overcoming the fear of judgment – the conclusion
We all suffer through this typical beliefs and thoughts which leads to judgments. The only cure that will make this world free of judgment is kindness. When we are kind to each other, we respect our thoughts, and hence there is no space for judgments.
However, we cannot expect everyone to be the same and leave their judgmental thoughts. So instead of having the fear of judgments or what people will think of you, be your own light and know your truth. You know yourself the best and this is your SINGLE life to do everything you’re meant to.
You surely don’t want to regret it later. I would love to know how you save yourself from the fear of judgments in this modern era. Do drop your views in the comments below and I will get back to you super soon.