We all worry about other people judging us.
We call it people pleasing, or lack of boundaries, or not being confident, but it all comes down to one thing – our relationship with ourselves.
The thing is, people are always going to judge you. There is always going to be someone who disagrees with you or who gets angry when you do finally start setting some healthy boundaries.
The real reason you are worried about people judging you is because you are judging yourself. You are never going to be able to stop other people from judging you, but you can learn how to stop judging yourself.
So what do you do when someone, inevitably, judges you?
Amy dreaded her mother in law coming over. Her mother in law ALWAYS had something to say about what Amy could be doing better. How she shouldn’t work so much, or how she didn’t work hard enough. It didn’t matter what Amy did, she felt like she couldn’t please her and constantly felt judged.
The thing is, Amy was already judging herself, even when her mother in law wasn’t there. That's why it hurt so much when her mother in law said those things. We’ve all been there. No one even has to be in the room for us to look around and start telling ourselves why we aren’t doing enough and how our lives should be better.
One on very typical day Amy's mother in law came in, saw some dishes on the counter and some pet hair on the couch and declared, "Your life is a mess!"
Amy felt awful.
When we let what other people think about us decide how we feel, we are giving away all of our power. What other people think doesn't hurt us, it's what we think about ourselves, the thoughts we choose to tell ourselves that hurt us.
When Amy's mother in law said that, Amy chose to belief her. She chose to think that her life was a mess. She chose to make the dishes and the pet hair mean that she wasn't good enough.
What if someone came in, pointed at the dishes and declared “Your life is a mess!” and you pointed back at those dishes and said, “Those are dishes. That’s a white bowl that I ate spaghetti from and a coffee cup that held the most delicious iced latte. You know what was great? Eating that spaghetti. It was the best. Maybe I should make some more spaghetti.”
Your life would be completely different. You wouldn't have to fear what other people thought. You wouldn't have to let yourself be drained by constantly not meeting other people’s expectations. You'd get to be you. You’d be a better more free you.
Instead, most of us feed into what someone else thinks. We believe their story instead of realizing we can choose our own story. We can choose to see the dishes as a reminder of what we’ve done, or make ourselves feel guilty about not washing them.
To letting go of judging yourself,
P.S. It's not just about the dishes. We worry about being judged for basically everything - how we look, how we parent, what we do or don't do at work, saying no to someone, etc. Start letting go of judging yourself for the little things and it'll be easier to let go of judging yourself for the big things.