People are always going to judge us, always. It’s simply the way most humans are wired. We learn something about someone, see them acting a certain way (or not), or we hear what they have to say, and we judge them. Sometimes it’s a simple flash from our intuition, other times it’s drawn out, calculated, and discussed with other humans. It’s natural, it’s human, and it’s life.
The problem is, many times we get too caught up in what other people think of us. We hold a clear self image of who we want to be, and we do everything in our power to uphold that self image through the eyes and reflections of others. We seek approval, validation, and praise, because without it we feel lost as to where we stand.
If someone isn’t telling us they love and adore us, are we really lovable? If someone isn’t praising our generosity and kindness, are we really a good person? If someone isn’t smitten with our success, are we really successful? If someone doesn’t see us for how we want to be seen, are we capable of being that person?
What’s worse, if someone is saying something negative, or simply doesn’t like us, it shatters our delicate sense of self. We start to run circles around what they’ve said or how they’ve acted, wondering what we did wrong and how we can change their view of us. We obsess and stress, and sometimes we even take action where we normally wouldn’t, just to prove to them (and ultimately ourselves) that we are, in fact, worthy. That our self image is real and true.
But here’s the fact: people are always going to be judging us, so are you really going to let them hold you back?
Will you let them hold you back from doing what you want to do, and showing up how you want to show up in the world? From expressing yourself how you desire to, whether it’s your clothes, hair, words, art, or anything else you choose as a medium? From living life to the fullest, in a way that makes your heart, and yours alone, sing? From following your passions and purpose? From loving the people you deeply love?
If you’re going to be judged (which you are my friend) you may as well be judged for doing the things that light your soul on fire.
How to stop letting other people’s judgments hold you back:
Recognize that you’re being judged.
It’s happening, and there’s not really much you can do about it. I know that’s unsettling to hear, but it’s true. If you’re out in the world, if you’re creating something, or if you’re expressing yourself, someone is judging you. The sooner you stop resisting this fact, the easier it will be to move forward anyway. It starts with knowing that it’s happening.
Understand that it’s not really about you.
It’s really not. People judge us based on their own personal filters… they take what they see or hear, and they pass it through their beliefs, past and current experiences, values, and fears, and they project back onto you. Sure, maybe you did something that triggered them or that they don’t agree with, but that’s about them, not you. Triggers are windows to our own shadow side, the parts of ourselves that we’ve tucked away or are afraid to face. Whatever they think of you says everything about them.
Stop seeking outside approval.
If you want to be happy and live a life you truly love, surrounded by amazing people who see and support you fully, you have to have a solid sense of self. You have to know who you are to your core, and you have to love and accept yourself fully. More importantly, you have to understand that your approval is the only approval that matters. Your love, acceptance, and appreciation of yourself, is all that matters. When you know, love, and fully accept yourself as you are, it stops mattering what other people think of you. Because you know you, and you really don’t need anything or anyone else outside of you to validate what’s true.
Know your worth.
In order to fully love and accept yourself, you have to know your worth as a person. You are worthy of self love and acceptance, of success and happiness, by the very nature that you’re alive. And again, that’s all that matters! Your worth should always come from you, not from anyone or anything outside yourself. When you know your worth, you don’t get hurt as easily when someone else can’t see it, and you don’t fall apart. You are an amazing individual, and if someone else can’t appreciate that, it says more about them than you, and it simply doesn’t matter. Let them fall away so you can make room for the right people, and to keep on being your truly amazing self.
Live your life.
Life is way too short to worry about what other people think. I promise that when we’re on our death beds, the last thing we’re going to be thinking is, “I should have made sure Joe Smith liked me more…” No. We’re going to be saying, “I wish I hadn’t worried so much what other people think and that I’d just lived life to the fullest”. Tape it to your mirror and remind yourself of it every day. You’re going to wish you’d lived, and that you’d lived life on your terms. So just do it already, okay?
Stop judging other people.
Taking it back to their judgements being about them, your judgements are about you. Stop judging other people! Let your intuition guide you in relationships and interactions, but don’t sit around judging others for their decisions. And when you do, ask yourself what it says about you, and where you need to shine some love and light towards yourself so you can keep on living an amazing, true-to-you life.
Do something today that you’ve been afraid to do for fear of being judged. Take a deep breath and just lean into it, whatever it is for you. Remember: live your life to the fullest!