How to Overcome the Fear of Being Judged? 6 Ways to let go of Others' Opinions


How to overcome the fear of being judged?

How to Overcome the Fear of being Judged? 6 Ways to let go of Others' Opinions

[Contributors- ShabbirNoor (Recycle studio), Lindsay Hammond (Relationship coach)]

 As rightly stated by Wayne Dyer, “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself”. Judging others is quite easy. But, it is tough to be on the receiving end.  Feeling judged can be debilitating, as a critical comment can fill a person with self-doubt and damage their confidence. And it is often impossible to sidestep judgment entirely.

In this article, “How to Overcome the Fear of Being  Judged? 6 Ways to let go of others' opinions”, we shall examine how to overcome the fear of being judged by others. Here, we shall look into 6 highly effective, and science backed ways.

Human tendency: Why are we afraid of being judged?

As humans, we need to feel like we belong and we crave acceptance from others. At some point in our lives, we all feared being judged by others. Let's face it, human beings are always judging others, it is inevitable. The reason we fear being judged is that no one wants to be disliked. We have a natural desire to be liked for who we are. No one wants to be discriminated against and placed as a minority and be disliked by being judged. People typically have fear in three areas. Fear of loss, fear of rejection, and fear of failure. When it comes to fear of judgment, it is coming from a place of being rejected or lack of external acceptance. Humans are hard-wired for approval: from the time we're babies we're dependent on the love and care of adults to ensure we physically survive and emotionally thrive, and we often carry that need into adulthood, even though we are more capable and empowered to care for our own basic needs.

 How to Overcome the fear of being judged?

“It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts,” quoted  Robert H. Schuller, American Christian televangelist. The majority of the time, our problems can be set right by altering our thoughts about the problem. Here are six ways that will help you overcome the fear of being judged.

1.Don't be defensive: Optimistic approach

Another strategy that can help in coping with judgment is to see it as an opportunity for self-growth. People often feel defensive when they receive a comment that they perceive as being critical of them. Instead, they should try seeing the critique as an opportunity for improvement. One of our most basic human needs is that of connection, love, and belonging. We fear being judged or criticized because we fear the loss of that connection. If we can put our fear of disconnection aside for a moment, criticism can actually be beneficial. It's important however to consider the source of the criticism as well as the intention behind it. If the criticism is coming from a place of judgment and condemnation, disregard the criticism. However, if it's coming from a positive and affirming person or place, it can help us to see our blind spots and empower us to become a better version of ourselves. The only way to get over the fear of being judged is to stop caring about what people think of you. When you get super clear on who you are, what you value, and what you stand for, other people's opinions no longer matter as much. 

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2. Self-care and Acceptance

According to Lauren Baptiste, International Speaker and Wellness coach, some actionable ways we work towards the alignment of body, spirit, and soul, would be by incorporating a daily yoga practice, regular self-massage, eating foods that boost digestive health, building a consistent meditation practice, and more. "Yoga" means to yoke or connect, and when the soul is disconnected from the mind, it can be easily swayed/disrupted by external circumstances. The goal is to make that reconnection for the individual to thrive.  Breathwork and meditation are both highly effective at building a deep inner core of stability and wellbeing that does not wax and wane with outer validation or criticism. 

According to the evidence-based science of Ayurveda, we can overcome this fear by connecting to the truth of who we really are. There are four tenants of health: body, mind, soul, and the 5 senses. If we can find harmony and alignment in each of these areas, we are less bound by others' words/criticism. We then become situated in ourselves ("svasta" in Sanskrit) which not only serves our physical health but our mental health as well. Be selfish and invest in yourself. Do the things that make you happy.

3. Don’t let others define you

As rightly quoted by  Les Brown, “Someone else’s opinion of you doesn’t have to become your reality”.  Resist allowing others to define you. What they say about you does not make it true. If you live your life afraid of what others have to say then it is time to re-evaluate your self-confidence. You are prioritizing them over yourself and your needs. The little voice inside your head can be your harshest critic. Becoming aware of your negative thoughts is often the first step in overcoming fear.

Remember that no matter what you do, people are always going to form some sort of an opinion. As cliche as it sounds, learning to love yourself helps you overcome the fear of judgment. No one is perfect, so learn to love the imperfect person you are today. We all have lessons to learn and that either will make you better or bitter. The choice is yours in the end.

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4. Psychology of people who judge

When someone judges, they're finding insecurity of themselves in another person/thing. Unfortunately, as receivers, most of us take their biased judgment as fact which then erodes at the recipient's confidence.  According to psychology, people who are insecure about themselves and their personalities are the ones who judge others. The same goes for the bullies. The harsh reality about the ones that judge or bully someone is because they are jealous of others or insecure about themselves. And in doing so, they achieve a peculiar sense of satisfaction and contentment.

5. Examining yourself

We are not all afraid of judgment, and when we are, it's often about specific things. For example, some people are afraid of being judged incompetent but not afraid of being judged anything else. 

Often we have these fears because we ourselves have doubts about the topic. So if we have doubts about our competence, we're more likely to fear being judged incompetent by others. Then, once we find out what our core fears are around being judged, and then also what we desire in our connections with other people, we can become more aware of ourselves. It is in this awareness that we become intentional around our interactions with others.

The way to overcome this fear of judgment involves examining your fears about yourself. Are you afraid you're no fun? Not good at your job? Not interesting? Whatever it is, examine your fear and see if there might be evidence you're overlooking that speaks to how fun or interesting you are. If possible find ways to improve yourself on the concerning matter. Strive your best. Discern the truth that no person is absolutely perfect. We all have our own flaws. Unlike what many think, flaws are lovable and beautiful too. For, they too are nothing but a part of you.

6. Face your fears

There is no better way to overcome your fear than to face it. The first and most crucial aspect that people with a fear of being judged need to know is that fear of judgment is a socially acquired fear as the result of growing up. Usually, the fear of being judged fits like a glove over other insecurities such as not being good enough, worthy enough, smart enough, or professional etc. 
The answer to overcoming this is rather simple, face it.

According to Rima Jalba, Mindset hypnocoach, overcoming this fear means first acknowledging what has molded us. Because once you do so, when you find yourself in a situation that makes you uncomfortable you will perfectly be able to see how that matches something similar from your past. 
Secondly, work on the wounds that make you doubt your worth and contribution. Bringing these wounds to light and identifying your coping mechanism to them means that you will catch yourself in the action next time it happens. All this requires is some moments of reflection for you to sit down and write down your thoughts. Once you’re done with it, the next step is to face it. Your fear strengthens you. Perhaps, that’s why Eleanor Roosevelt stated, “Do one thing every day that scares you the most”.

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Concluding: ‘How to overcome the fear of being Judged?’

“The fear of judgment can honestly be one of your greatest downfalls and prevent you from being your authentic self. No one can live your life but you. You are allowed to listen and take on the advice of others, but in the end, you are the person that will live with the consequences. Make yourself a priority, how you feel about yourself matters. Think of it this way, when your last days come and you think about how you lived your life, will you be happy with the answer? Are you going to have any regrets? Are you going to care that what someone had to say about you 40 years later? So be selfish and focus on yourself” stated Piyushi Dhir, Author, and Writer. Remember that this is your life. You’ve got only one shot at this. Live your life on your own terms. Do not let yourself be disturbed by someone else’s judgments or opinions. As long as life is a mixture of fun and seriousness, things will be bright. Always remember that the best is yet to come!

I hope my article, ‘How to Overcome the Fear of being Judged? 6 Ways to let go of others’ opinions’ is of assistance. Subscribe to my newsletter and get all updates delivered straight into your inbox.

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