Overcome Your Fear Of Being Judged - Mark Bowden

Overcome Your Fear Of Being Judged

News

Feb 26
fear of being judged
Reading Time: 10 minutes

Your fear of being judged can take hold of your life, and you go to great lengths to avoid the possibility of being negatively judged by others. In fact, for most people, simply telling the truth is rarely an option because that could affect the image of the persona they’ve built for themselves over the years.

So instead of being sincere and open with each other, people hide behind these fences they build around themselves. Sometimes, it feels like all of us are living in a world of hidden truths and petty lies.

When you’re young, you avoid speaking up in class because you don’t want your peers to consider you a geek. Then, you avoid speaking your mind in a meeting because you’re afraid your boss will not approve. You’re afraid of asking for a raise because you think your boss might confront you.

And it gets worse. Your fear of being judged affects your personal life as well. You avoid telling your date where you want to go for dinner because you don’t want to seem cheap or materialistic. You don’t tell your lover your real desires because you’re afraid she or he will consider them silly or strange. You hide truths from your parents or children because you don’t want them to think you’re particular or atypical.

When you’re afraid of being judged, your decision-making process is affected. All your decisions come down to conserving your image or persona instead of promoting your real desires. Because deep down, the only thing that really matters to you is being liked at all times.

craving for everyone to like you leads to fear of being judged

Many people are afraid of other people’s judgment because they want to be liked by everyone

Why You Fear Being Judged

Your fear of being judged is closely connected to your desire of being liked by all those around you. But being liked by everyone at all times is impossible. You’re playing a game you have no chances of winning and the stacks keep getting higher with every compromise you make.

Every little lie and hidden truth you use to boost your persona is ultimately a huddle you have to overpass if you want to express your true self. Instead of boosting your image you’re boxing your true personality.

Let’s be honest, people will always judge others. That’s how the human brain works. We see people as good or bad, helpful or not, witty or boring, and every nuance in between.

Our brains assess every new piece of information we learn about someone and files it away in a drawer containing more or fewer details, depending on what we already know about that person. This is an ongoing natural process in your brain, so you can’t fight or avoid it.

But instead of making decisions based on what everyone else thinks about you, you should learn to accept their judgment and make the best decisions for yourself, no matter how they influence your image.

How To Stop Living In Fear Of Judgment

You can learn to stop living in fear of judgment. Changing the way you see trust, improving your compassion and empathy, along with defining our expectations can help you overcome your fear of being judged and lead a life that makes you truly happy.

Reframing Your Understanding Of Trust

Support groups are great for those who want to stop drinking. People from different backgrounds come together in a group and share their experiences. They open up to people they’ve never seen in their lives and they answer difficult questions without feeling intimidated.

But when you ask the same people to share those thoughts with their coworkers, friends, and family – they panic. People feel free to share their thoughts, experiences, and secrets with strangers because they do not fear being judged.

Unfortunately, when it comes to being honest with those who are closest to you, your first thought is probably about how you’re going to ruin their trust.

fear of being judged influences your behavior at work

Fear of being judged can affect both your professional and personal life

Trust Is Overrated

Trust is defined as the firm belief in the strength, ability, reliability, or truth of someone or something. Trust is a powerful and complex concept. But our society has developed an idealized version of trust.

We attribute trust so much strength, we put all our faith in it. We idolize it. And you can see how much power we place in strength by checking out the dictionary.

When someone fails your trust, you feel betrayed. Your trust does not diminish. Your trust is broken. You have complete faith in someone. We believe trust is so powerful, we can only describe it by using other powerful words.

But in reality, trust is not something sacred. Trust is not something you should be able to break in an instant. Trust is a dynamic engagement between two people. And like every other dynamic engagement, trust cannot be perfect or symmetrical.

Trusting someone is not the same thing as being trusted. And you cannot expect someone to trust you completely just because you trust them.

People are accountable for their actions, but you are the only one responsible for your reactions. When someone wrongs you, you do not have to think they have broken your trust. You can admit that every person can make mistakes and that you can make them too. True relationships can survive small losses of trust from time to time.

Admitting That Trust Is Imperfect

You are afraid of judgment because you set high standards for yourself. All of us are perfectionists at times, and that makes it difficult to deal with failure. Our perfectionist nature also makes it challenging to deal with our own flaws.

And when someone you trust doesn’t live up to your standards, you feel betrayed. But the thing is, you’re not feeling this way because they hurt you. You’re feeling betrayed because their failure reminds you of your own setbacks.

Admit that trust is imperfect. People are prone to making mistakes. You are prone to making mistakes. You shouldn’t be afraid of taking risks because you fear failure. Failure is humanity’s greatest teacher.

When you avoid taking risks and refuse to get out of your comfort zone, you’re not only limiting your experiences, but you’re also stopping your growth potential. Guiding your decisions on whether or not making them will break someone’s trust might make you unhappy in the long run.

Letting Others Expectations Define You

It’s ironic that people put so much faith in trust when they let other people’s expectations get in the way of who they really want to be. Why would you base your decisions on what other people think of you when you constantly show them a highly edited version of yourself instead of the real you?

Everyone you encountered throughout your life – parents, teachers, friends, bosses, even bullies – have somehow defined who you are. You let their expectations derail you from your real self. By trying to meet their expectations, you lost clarity and focus, and you developed a persona that doesn’t reflect your real strengths and values.

You were so afraid people will reject you, you created a mask everyone can like. But that means you will not know how people will react to the real you. And at the end of the day, it’s always better to be rejected by some than hiding yourself.

being compassionate helps you overcome your fear of being judged

Improving your compassion and empathy helps you overcome your fear of judgement

Learn To Be Compassionate

Compassion means being sensitive to suffering while being committed to alleviate and prevent that suffering. Even though being compassionate is not always easy, compassion is necessary for our society.

Many people believe we need to show compassion to others, but in reality, it’s more important to show some compassion to ourselves. You don’t need to include everyone in your decision making.

It’s better to ask yourself what would be better for you. The real you, the one you hide from the rest of the world. Being compassionate to yourself will help you get a grip on your real emotions, not the ones projected on you by others.

How Self-Compassion Helps With Judgment

Being in an intimate relationship with your true self can be liberating. Opening to others and showing them your real values can make you happy and increase your self-confidence. Being compassionate with yourself will help you express your beliefs even if you would normally be afraid of sharing something negative or unpopular.

If you’re compassionate with yourself, you get to express yourself instead of second-guessing every decision you make and backing out from your plans. A good way to start doing this is by asking yourself what you’re really afraid of every time you back out from making a decision.

Ask yourself “Why is being sincere so frightful?” and “People will think *that* about me? Is it worth being afraid?” Once you identify your fear, think about how you would handle it if it did come true. Would you be able to deal with it? You probably would, so why are you afraid?

Keep in mind that intimate relationships prosper when people open themselves and risk judgment. If the other person does not reciprocate or does not appreciate your sincerity, you don’t need to despair or feel betrayed. You simply assessed your relationship differently. He or she might not have the same capacity of being in an emotionally intimate relationship as you do.

Improve Your Empathy

Empathy means understanding another person’s thoughts or feelings from his or her point of view rather than your own. Empathy is closely connected to compassion, and it’s necessary for our natural prosocial and helping behaviors.

Unlike sympathy which means feeling bad or sad for someone, empathy promotes compassion and acting on the behalf of the other person. And this skill is crucial if you want to overcome your fear of judgment because it helps you understand how you judge others.

Be The Master Of Emphatic Judgment

There’s no better way of learning to care less about what other people think about you than conditioning yourself to empathize with others when you judge them. Judging others is unavoidable, and you cannot avoid doing it. Your brain will judge everyone around you, whether you like it or not.

But you can observe and change the language you use when judging people. Instead of thinking that someone is a “loser”, ask yourself what you should be aware of if you want to avoid making his or her mistakes in the future. Instead of thinking that the person speeding past you on the freeway is crazy, ask yourself how you would drive if a close friend or a relative needed your help getting to the hospital.

All of us have different needs and wants. You cannot control what those around you do or think, but you can control your reaction to their actions. Would you be angry with someone who stood you up? Probably. Would you stand up someone if you had an emergency? Very likely.

So instead of assuming the worst of people, try to see their actions from their point of view. Mastering emphatic judgment and walking in someone else’s shoes is not easy, but doing so just for half a minute before judging them will teach you how flimsy and insignificant the judgments of others are.

People do not know your story, your reasoning, and your wants, so why should you care if they approve or do not approve of your decisions?

not caring about other people's opinions will help you overcome your fear of being judged

People do not know what convinced you to make a decision, so why should you care about their opinions?

Judgment Is Always Changing

Judging others and being judged is unavoidable, but what’s interesting is that our brain does not store a lot of data about people. Despite being the smartest beings in the known Universe (according to the brain), the human brain does have a limited data capacity. We do not store insignificant data in our memory for eternity.

This means that our brains are constantly reassessing other people, and their brains are always reassessing us. Sure, you might know several facts about a person, but the truth is, our brains remember emotions better than events or other details.

Our understanding of other people develops in time. The personas most of us create for others do not include all the minor mistakes and setbacks we observe over time. Instead, most of us create personas around the things the other people say or do, on how they interact with us and make us feel over time.

And you can use that to your advantage. If you’re afraid of other people’s judgment, a simple solution would be changing their minds about yourself after you make a decision. Since people remember emotions better than anything else, making them happy or proud can change their impression of you.

So you don’t need to worry if your decisions will make those around you judge your actions. After all, that impression shall pass, and you will be able to convince them otherwise with another occasion.

Define Your Expectations

You are afraid of people judging you, but why do you care so much? Would the same people you’re afraid of disappointing back you up no matter what if you’d be going through a rough patch?

You should learn how to define your expectations. Every relationship is different, and you should treat it accordingly. Learn to define your expectations and set boundaries for every relation.

You can’t expect everyone will be happy for you, no matter what decisions you make. Some people might be jealous, some might be mean, and others might not care enough to react to your actions. And yet, you think about their reactions to your actions before making a decision.

Letting the decisions of others influence your life is a ticket to unhappiness. Do not expect support or positive reactions from people who are not close to you, and do not base your decisions on what other people think. After all, you’re the one who has to live with the consequences of your decisions, so your judgment trumps every one of theirs.

Using Hypnosis To Overcome Your Fear Of Being Judged

Hypnosis can help you overcome your fear of being judged. First of all, hypnosis will lower your anxiety levels, helping you in your decision-making process.

Second, listening to the ‘fear of being judged’ audio hypnosis session will increase your self-confidence and give you the positivity you need to ignore your fear of judgment and do whatever is best for you.

The self-hypnosis session will help you switch from a negative mindset towards a positive one, empowering you to follow your judgment and making the best decisions for yourself. The audio track will encourage you to develop a pattern of positive and solution-focused thinking that will aid you in the pursuit of happiness and success.

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