I used to think that people judged me for just about anything I did or said. So I constantly censored myself and felt insecure and powerless in my own skin.
For example, I thought people judged me for the way I talked (Does my German accent sound bad?), for the way I presented my ideas (Will they think I sound stupid?), and for the way I looked (Will I make a good impression?).
The worst was on days when I felt chubby and met up with friends for a meal. Have you ever tried eating lunch while sucking in your stomach? It's the worst. Don’t do it.
My point is that I was wonderful at finding my own faults and feeling judged by other people. And today that's something I often see in my clients, so I know how painful feeling judged can be and how negatively it affects all areas of life: work, love, health, and play.
What's ironic is that I am sure sometimes people did judge me for something I said or did or how I looked, but I'd bet you that most of the time, it was all in my head. Releasing the power of judgement is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves.
Here are 5 things to sincerely consider in order to release feelings of being judged:
1. Be realistic. Are they judging you or are you judging yourself?
If you're the one judging yourself, you've got to start having an active dialogue with yourself about releasing these negative self-beliefs. You're holding yourself back more than anyone else. Get really clear: What are you criticizing? Why are you judging this part of yourself? Who taught you to judge yourself like that? How do you actually want to treat yourself? Switching from an abusive and negative inner dialogue to a positive and compassionate one will make the biggest difference in your life.
2. Ask yourself: If you are being judged, why?
Typically people feel the need to judge others if they are feeling threatened. So if someone in your office is judging you, it's more likely that they are jealous of your work. The way they cope with this is by putting you down so they can feel better about themselves. Don’t engage in this because neither judging others nor being jealous of someone else feels good. The best and fastest way to stop this irrational cycle is to disengage.
3. Instead of focusing on being perfect and eliminating any chance of being judged, focus on what matters for your own growth, success, and happiness.
Anyone who has ever done anything impactful has come up against criticism and judgement at one point or another. You can choose to get stuck in the pleaser role where all efforts go into avoiding judgement or you can step up to your own life and lead it with zest and passion despite the judgement from nay-sayers.
4. Realize when it’s time to leave.
If you are experiencing constant destructive judgement instead of constructive and loving feedback (there is a fine yet crucial difference!) from those closest to you, it might be time to draw some boundaries. Negative environments can quickly become very toxic and detrimental to your growth and happiness. It’s your job to implement parameters that allow you to thrive.
5. Refrain from continuing the cycle of negativity and judgement and choose to see love and beauty instead.
You can train yourself to focus on what DOES works, what IS beautiful, what people DO do great. It’s just a matter of shifting your attention away from the negative and toward the positive. Practice observing beauty. If you need a bit of help making this positive shift, click here. The energy you put out into the world is ultimately the energy you get back, so do what is within your power: work on shifting your own energy.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear from you what you feel judged about and what you can do to release this negative cycle.