It’s quite simple really - “Stop giving a damn about what others think about you!”The real issue then becomes “How does one not care about what others think?”
At some point or another, most of us will have had that unpleasant feeling that everyone is watching you. As you become increasingly self-aware, you start to ruthlessly monitor your actions. This self- monitoring quickly turns into self- censorship until you may become too scared to even open your mouth. In extreme cases being too self- conscious can lead to high levels of social anxiety.
Being free from social judgement is crucial to your success in all areas of life, especially to your sense of well- being. It allows you to truly express who you are and to never hold yourself back from going for what you want in life. This article looks to tackle the issue of how to escape the judgement of others.
Where Does Your Value Come From?
Picture the scene: Two friends turn up at a social gathering at someone’s flat. The music’s blaring, people are chatting away, and the atmosphere is buzzing. One of the guys immediately feels extremely self-conscious as he walks through the door, while the other feels socially liberated and can’t wait to start mingling. Why is there such a difference in their states of minds?
In short, one of them is seeking validation from external sources while the other is seeking value from within.
For the self-conscious person, the opinions of others are more important than his own opinion of himself, whereas, the uninhibited character only values his own opinion of himself. If you value the opinions of others more, it means you’re constantly trying to live up to their expectations instead of being yourself. This image that you’re constantly trying to live up to is the work of the ego. This leads us to the next part of the puzzle - how do you brush aside the ego and start to seek value from within?
Build Up Your Self-Esteem
View your self-worth as a project to continuously build upon. The higher your self-worth is, the less power others have over you and the more you can simply be ‘you’ all of the time. There are various ways to build up your self-esteem but here are just a few to get you started:
1: List down all of your positive qualities, if you have trouble thinking of them yourself, ask your family and friends
2: Write down every single success and achievement starting from the beginning of your life to the present day. People have a natural tendency to not acknowledge all the good that they do so start making this a daily habit. Don’t focus on what’s lacking.
3: Perform random acts of kindness: E.g.Buying someone a cup of tea, cooking your parent’s dinner, or offering to cut your neighbour’s lawn. Any altruistic act that you perform will make you realize you are a good person and remind you that you are worthy enough to value yourself! Usually the more effort you put in, the bigger the reward.
4: Face your fears: Every time you confront a fear, you prove to yourself that you do possess valuable qualities.
You Can’t Escape Judgement Day
The truth is that everybody gets judged. Even people like Jesus and Gandhi will have been judged negatively at some point. Now if they couldn’t get it right all the time how do you expect mere mortals like us to? With this in mind, it is far more beneficial for your psychological well- being to make peace with judgement as soon as possible!
People can be on very different wavelengths for a number of reasons.There could be cultural misunderstandings, generational differences or just a generally incongruent outlook on life. All these factors mean that you never quite know how you’re going to be received.
Given that you can’t control what other people say or think about you, why fight it? Start to come from a place of acceptance, and then you can’t lose.
To summarise, if you want to become less self-conscious start seeking value from within and free yourself from the judgement of others. In order to do this effectively, you need to start to value yourself by increasing your self-worth. To achieve this, go and find evidence to prove that you are a good person,applying some of the tips mentioned above. Once you are seeking value internally your rock will be strongly positioned to weather the inevitable storm of judgements that come your way.