Hey there creator,
How do you get over the fear of being judged by others so you can stay true to yourself and keep moving toward your goals and dreams?
This came up in a group discussion I was a part of earlier this week about getting over the fear of "putting yourself out there."
This week I started this 6-week cohort for YouTube Creators which teaches you how to grow your YouTube channel along with other things like having camera confidence.
And in one of the sessions, the instructor spent a good amount of time talking about "the spotlight effect." 🔦
This is a term used by psychologists which refers to the tendency we all have to overestimate and exaggerate how much other people notice things about us.
Meaning, we tend to think there is a spotlight on us at all times, highlighting all of our imperfections, mistakes, and flaws, for all the world to see and pick apart.
It's those aspects about ourselves that we tend to focus on when we are about to present ourselves to the world...
That tiny stain you notice on your shirt right before you go into a meeting...
That single misplaced hair you fixate on as you review a photo you're in that's posted to your friends' Facebook page...
Or it shows up in our work or creative projects when we dwell over that one single detail that isn't exactly how we want it to be.
In my case, it's the endless amount of time I spend editing out a slight stutter I might catch in my voice when I'm creating a YouTube video. ✂️
We tend to think people are closely examining us with a fine-tooth comb.
But the truth is no one else notices these "imperfections" but YOU.
We do this because we all on some level fear being judged by others.
It's just the way our biology is wired.
We humans are social animals that crave community which stems from our evolutionary days of needing a tribe to belong to so we can stay safe and survive.
And judgment (whether real or imagined) means a threat to our belonging which triggers a threat to our safety.
But the funny thing about the fear of judgment is...
It's merely a projection of our own self-judgment.
The things about ourselves we fear being judged by others for are the things we judge in ourselves.
All this does is expose a greater truth... 💭
Our life is a mirror — a reflection of all our thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, and feelings.
There's a reason why many spiritual teachings and even quantum physics both deem reality as an illusion — meaning our perception is distorted and what we see isn’t actually reality.
It’s simply OUR projection of reality.
Or as the famous saying goes,
"We don’t see things the way they are. We see things the way we are."
Here are few things to consider to help further this idea:
- When we see others as judgmental it’s revealing our own judgment.
- When we see others as inspirational it reveals our spirits yearning to grow and expand.
- When we tell others that they shouldn’t do something it reveals our own fears.
- When we admire someone for a quality it reveals the values and virtues that matter most to us.
In other words, everything is a reflection of our own deeply ingrained perceptions.
And when we start to understand that our distortions are what fuels our own self-judgment and the judgment we place upon others, we can begin to create a different relationship with our fear of being judged.
Below I compiled some mindful ideas to reframe the fear of judgment.
Also, feel free to hit reply and share any ideas you have or tips that have worked for you.
The Fear of Judgement Pep Talk
- All criticism is self-criticism.
Just like your negative energy and distorted thinking is really more about you, the same holds true for other people. Any potential judgments or harsh critiques you face will speak more about the person it's coming from than it does about you. This is the mirror at work; it is the reflection of their own struggles, pain, inner child, suffering, etc.
- Respect that everyone is on their own unique journey.
But most importantly, accept that not everyone is going to get or understand your journey. While it's great if we happen to inspire others, we don’t need others to validate or agree with everything we do, say, and believe. Here's a great quote by Fritz Perls:
“I do my thing and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped.”
- People aren't thinking about you all that much.
Both the fear of judgment and the spotlight effect are rooted in egocentrism. This is not out of arrogance or because we value ourselves more than others but because we are all the center of our own universes. In actuality, people don’t have time to examine you or your life, they are too busy worrying about their own lives and struggles.
- You are not going to be everyone's cup of tea.
This one can be tough to swallow because we want everyone to like and accept us. But you as a person are not going to be for everyone and that's ok — just accept that putting yourself out there means criticism and judgment is inevitable. Plus, being for everyone means you are trying to be average. And if one of your main aims in life is to keep striving to be the most extraordinary version of yourself and live the best life possible, being
- Embrace your quirks.
Many of the quirks, traits and, attributes about yourself that you worry about being judged for are in fact the very qualities that make you uniquely who you are. Embrace them. Honor them. And use them as your 'calling card' to fuel finding your own voice and expressing yourself authentically when you do put yourself out there. All you can do is your best in every moment, and while your best will fluctuate at times, your intention to show up authentically stays the same.
// Goal-Setting Tips & Inspiration :: 🏆
1. Write Your Goals Down
There’s a certain magic about writing down your goals. Not only does this declare them to yourself, it activates your subconscious mind that will not only help you keep your goals in focus but also help you prioritize them and highlight their importance in your mind.
2. Don’t Overwhelm Yourself By Trying To Accomplish All Your Goals At Once
Besides overwhelm being an illusion, instead of trying to accomplish all of your goals at once, pick the most important goal from your list, set a loose date that you would like to achieve it by, break it down into sub-goals, and then every day do something meaningful that will progress this goal forward
3. Visualize Your Goals As If They Are Already Achieved
Besides visualizing your goals being a powerful motivator, regularly doing creative visualizations will activate your subconscious mind to go out and make your goal real since the subconscious can't distinguish between what is real and what is visualized. The key is to visualize your goal as if it's already been achieved.
4. Make Goal-Setting A Habit
This includes not only taking some type of meaningful action towards your goal every day but making attending to your goal a regular habit in your life. This includes planning at the start of each day and quickly checking-in and reviewing progress and strategy.
// Interesting Finds :: 🎲
Overcoming learned helplessness
Ness Labs | 5 Minutes
When bad things repeatedly happen, we may come to think they are unavoidable. And when we feel like we have no agency over the situation, we may begin to feel helpless. Learned helplessness is a mental state that occurs after someone has experienced a stressful situation so many times, they believe they are unable to avoid or control the situation, so they don’t even try.
The Riddle of Boredom
More to That | 6 Minutes
What is boredom? A simple definition might be the absence of stimulation. However, contrary to popular belief, boredom doesn’t have much to do with being idle. Instead, it has more to do with desire, and the inability to direct that desire toward anything meaningful. (Probably explains why I have such a low tolerance for it)
Thanks for reading.
If you have any questions, feedback, or want to share some of your own insights, feel free to hit reply and let me know. I read and reply to every email.
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As Always, Keep Creating,
Anthony V. Lombardo
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