Suppose I am sitting alone in my home. There is no one around to talk to or to judge me. So, there is no fear of being judged right now. But suddenly, a thought crops up in my mind. Let’s say this thought is a so called positive thought which says that I’m a good person. Now, this is also a type of judgment that I have passed on my own self but since it’s a compliment, I don’t look at it as a judgment. Now, suppose I suddenly experience a negative thought that says I’m a bad person. Since this is a negative thought, I would look at it as a judgment on myself.
Troubled with this thought I moved out of the house to have a walk in the big park at the end of the street. The whole way, I kept thinking about the negative thought and the judgment I passed on myself. Upon reaching the park, I walked for sometime and then sat under a big tree on a bench. I felt relaxed in the shade of the tree and with people around me. Now, a man sitting on the opposite bench, not too far away from me, started laughing. I don’t know whether he was laughing at somebody or something else. If my mind was blank at this point of time, I would have told myself that he was laughing at someone else and without being bothered by it I would have continued to sit at my place peacefully. But if the thought of me judging myself sometime back was still going through my head, I would have thought that the man was laughing at no one else but me. Did you see how easily my own judgment about myself transformed in my mind as somebody else judging me? Now, I will either give him an unfriendly stare or getting troubled by this fear of being judged I would start moving out of the park and towards my home.
Let’s rewind the scene a bit and come to the point where the man sitting in front of me had laughed. Now, consider the case where he has actually laughed at me and was actually saying some nasty things to someone about me. He judged me. Now what would I do? I would either get into an argument with him or would just run back home!
This is the whole scenario of ‘THE FEAR OF BEING JUDGED’!
Now, let’s analyze whatever happened above in totality.
The first important thing to know about the fear of being judged is the fact that because we sub-consciously judge ourselves, others may seem to be judging us! But why do we judge our own self negatively? See, either you have reached a stage in life where you have totally mastered your mind or you are still struggling with it. ‘Mastering the Mind’ means that either it doesn’t matter what the mind says to you or you have learnt to take every negative thought positively. So, you need to learn how to make positive use of your mind. There are two ways of doing this. One, stop listening to your mind irrespective of whether it gives you a positive thought or a negative thought. When you do this, you will overcome your mind and it won’t matter if it judges you. But this is quite hard to do for many people. If people could come out of their minds so easily, they would have done it much earlier. So, what is the second solution? The second solution is to convert every negative thought into positive ones. How do we do this? See, when your mind says that you are a bad person, ask it why did this thought occur in the first place? In most of the cases, it would either say that you hurt somebody or you did not do certain things you could have done for others or for your own betterment. Tell your mind that this doesn’t make you a bad person as it’s impossible to accomplish everything at the same time. You have to forgo something for something else at a given moment. Intent, willingness & efforts matter more than the results. If we have honestly put sufficient efforts into something, the result would come in our favor sooner or later! But it is possible that you might not have been able to put in sufficient efforts due to various reasons. But the important thing here is that you have not given up on your efforts. You are still trying and would continue to do your best. And you always have the chance to improve. So, in this way you can easily change any negative thought to a positive one. Whatever the negative thought may be, just tell your mind that it’s not a given and that you are a responsible person who will definitely change it through your efforts. Initially, you may find it a bit difficult to convince your mind but don’t give up and continue doing this exercise irrespective of the initial unsatisfactory results. Once you become peaceful from within and your mind starts working in your favor, it won’t be much of a problem to handle others and their respective minds!
Now the second case is where someone else judges you. First of all, If you have already made peace with your mind, it won’t matter what others think or say about you. When you have learnt to ignore the negative thoughts of your own mind you have also mastered ignoring other minds and their opinions about you. If you haven’t done this yet and are still in the stage where you are training your mind to be positive, then it’s just a bigger load of work and nothing new from what we did before needs to be done. Along with turning your own negative thoughts into positive ones, you will also need to turn the opinions of others to positive opinions about you in your mind. Take every opinion positively and let it improve you. If people are talking about how you are not good at something, first ask yourself whether it’s true? If it says ‘No’, forget it. But If it says ‘Yes’, try improving yourself. This way you have turned the judgments against you to work in your favor. Fighting with somebody because they passed a negative judgment on you should never be the case. It will pull you deeper into the mess. By reacting you are actually giving evidence against yourself and in favor of the judgment. It will make it more difficult for you to get out of the judgment both mentally and in reality. So, the first thing is not to react to negativity but to respond to it with your positive efforts. Remember that whenever someone has an opinion against you, you have two options – Either move away silently, introspect & improve or Fight with the person who passed the judgment. Always, choose the first option because it makes you better and stronger. Sometimes walking away doesn’t mean you are a loser, it means that you have the strength to ignore negativity!
Fear of being judged turns into an opportunity to improve when you open & take control of your mind and start looking at every opinion & judgment about you positively!