Judgement is an innate part of human nature. It allows us to choose our breakfast, pick a song or stay away from threats. Yet, we no longer need to struggle to survive and judgement (or fear of judgement), as a defence mechanism, no longer serves us. In fact, letting go of judgement in all senses of the word will transform how you work, love and lead.
1. A fear of judgement
Judgement has hindered me and so many others. Darwin waited 30 years before he published his Origin of Species. Dr Seuss hid his first book for over 3 years. Stephen King filed away his first book “The Long Walk” for five years because it got rejected once before he eventually tried again and he even used a pseudonym. Judgement and a fear of judgement hinder us all from putting ourselves out on a limb and taking charge of our situation, or “Daring greatly”, as Theodore Roosevelt puts it. Don’t deny the world your greatest work.
A fear of judgement preys on our most primal fear. The fear of being ostracised, cut loose from the pack and losing love, or friends or people close to us. This is why we all struggle so much with the concept, even though we know we shouldn’t. Judgement has evolved to keep us small, part of the pack and passive to the flow of the tide. Oh – has it been successful. Yet, we can take back control, reverse this feeling of victimhood and transform it into leadership. As with any fear you can use it…
2. Letting go of judgement
“Your greatest growth lives in your biggest fear” – Robin Sharma
Fear is the compass you need. The thing you fear most is always the thing you need to do most. So, for judgement, we have to get rid of the underlying beliefs that breed this fear. We have to write the down to disempower them and then write down our truths. We have to laugh at these fears, laugh at ourselves, say these fears in a funny voice, make a joke out of them. Then, we need to write down everything we are grateful for. Have a daily ritual of writing these down, acknowledging the profound moments we experience and feeling abundance. So that we come to the realisation that we are enough, you are loved, will always be. It is a fundamental truth of life and it will allow you to move through a fear of judgement.
“Gratitude is the antidote to fear”
It is a struggle and inevitably will be, but what good has ever come from something easy. Anyone who has ever accomplished their dreams has toiled with judgement and still do. They have fought bloody in the arena, grappled with it in the sand, stood up before it and then walked on.
Sylvester Stalone, Tony Robbins, Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, Amelia Earhart, Brené Brown, Chris Martin, Rosa Parks. All fought with judgement, doubted themselves, feared being left out, felt the same fears we do. And all triumphed over that same fear.
So see judgement for what it is, an outdated defence mechanism. When you judge someone your own feelings of intimidation and insecurities reflect back on you. So for god’s sake don’t judge yourself least of all. Let’s leave the cult of mediocrity. Have the strength to laugh at yourself, be vulnerable, feel grateful and share your work, your true self, with the world. It will empower you and everyone around you.
P.S ( If you haven’t already, read Brené Brown’s “Daring Greatly” book, it was the inspiration for this post and for my own battle with judgement!)