I used to walk into a room or a new social situation and feel like everyone was judging me, almost like that their sole purpose for being there was to size me up and see if I made the grade. Was I dressed right? Was my hair right (I still feel that. Lol)? Did I look like I belonged? In fact, I spent so much time worrying about what everyone thought of me I forgot to enjoy myself. Does that sound vaguely familiar?
We are often so convinced we are being judged negatively by others because we can FEEL it. We can feel it emanating from them. We just know their eyes are on us, judging, sizing us up, deciding if we are good enough to be there, deciding if we have what it takes. This feeling of being judged by others can occur in business settings or even in social settings.
And we wonder if they know that we feel like a fraud. We worry they will suspect. How could they not know we wonder when it is so obvious?
This feeling like a fraud was particularly strong the first time I met an events manager to arrange a venue for my first ever singles function. It was because I was about to negotiate the possibility of obtaining the venue for free in exchange for bums on seats to fill their events room. Mind you I had no idea if I could manage to put any bums anywhere, so naturally there was some trepidation. And it was my first ever business meeting of any kind.
Imagine my surprise when I came away with a free venue every Saturday night for eternity. Obviously, business had been slow for them, but all that is another story.
I was positive the events manager could read me and decide that I was not the type of person who had the ability or the entrepreneurial skill to fill that venue every week. I felt judged. But I was wrong.
Have you ever walked into a room and felt judged? Have you ever been to a function and felt judged? Have you ever written a blog or a post and immediately felt judged? I’m sure we all have at some stage.
But here’s the truth. It’s our own judgement we feel. It’s coming from us and that is why we feel it so strongly. In psychology it’s called Projection. We project what we are feeling onto others and actually believe it’s coming from them.
How do I know that? I stopped judging myself and the feeling stopped. Now when I walk into a room I wonder if I’ll like them, if they are the sort of people I want to spend time with, if I can learn anything from them. I don’t worry about them judging me. OK, so I do worry about my hair, but I know it’s my judgement, not theirs.
If others are judging me I know it’s because they are also very self critical like I used to be and it’s their way of feeling better about themselves. I also know that what other people think and do and the opinions they hold are out of my control. I can’t decide how other people feel, so I don’t bother trying to mind read if they are judging me or not. Maybe they are, maybe they’re not.
All I know is that once I stopped judging and criticising myself, that feeling of being judged by others magically disappeared. If you’ve been feeling judged, drop the self judgement and start accepting yourself, warts and all and relax. This is all one big energy game we are playing at here on Earth so lighten up (imagine me saying that. Lol) and enjoy the ride.
If you are having trouble getting past your own inner critic, but you need to in order to create the type of success you want, drop me a line and let’s see how quickly she can be persuaded to adopt a different position.