No matter how old, wise or mature we become, a small part of us will always be concerned about what others think, and especially how others will see what we perceive as our weaknesses.
The fear of judgment can apply to all different parts of our lives. We can fear disclosing a problem or issue we’re facing or we can fear expressing an ambition or passion. We can fear the judgment that comes with taking ourselves out of our comfort zone or of being in a situation out of our control. We can fear judgement for our parenting style, our intelligence and our words and actions. For how we dress and what we eat and how we look.
If you were the only person in the world, and there was no one to worry about and no one to pass judgement on you, what would you be doing? How would you dress? What would you do for a living?
Having a think about your answer to this can help to show up where perhaps you are not being authentic and gives you freedom to think about the real you.
You can then add people in and see perhaps which people it is that are causing you to feel insecure or judged.
The simple thing is that just by being yourself and not caring what people think, this frees you from any hold that their perceived judgement could have over you.
It takes the power out of it.
What is the worst thing that can happen?
You don’t get the promotion? I believe it is God that raises up, not men and so you can trust that God has a different plan for you.
You don’t get popular? What kind of friends would they be if they don’t actually know the real you?
You look a fool? We are all fools really at heart. We just need a few brave people to step out and take that risk to be real, and this will free others to do the same.
We are afraid to be open and honest about our vulnerabilities and flaws, but for the people that really know us, they will already know them! So much goes unsaid in friendships; often it is our acceptance and love for our friends that covers their flaws, and sometimes it is a fear to confront and upset each other which keeps us silent.
But equally when things are brought out into the open it may not always be appropriate to keep bringing it up- its out in the open and just needs a patient and loving attitude, knowing we too are flawed. They don’t need prescribed answers or judgement, just acceptance whilst they work things through.
The acceptance of someone else can be enough to help heal that pain.
Ultimately, fear about being judged is related to one thing: feeling like you owe something to the people in your life. And what helped me break free was the realisation that I don’t owe anyone anything. Seriously. I don’t owe anyone an explanation for who I am, I don’t owe anyone a perfect version of myself, I don’t owe anyone a version and construct of myself that makes them more comfortable.
People do judge- but generally we do it to feel superior- why? Because we don’t feel so good about ourselves in the first place!
And if there really is someone in your life judging you, it’s not your problem. Their judgement is an issue in their own character, not yours. Firstly, another person’s opinion can’t make you into that person that they are saying you are and why let them have that power? Secondly, judgemental people are the ones who are internally afraid of being found out.
They are more deserving of your compassion than your fear.