6 tips to overcome the fear of being judged and be more self-assured

how to stop fear of judgment

Do you hear that little voice inside your head that says, “What will they think about me?” Do you often contemplate your actions based on the point of view of others? You may have the fear of being judged. In a world that has always set standards and stereotypes in almost every aspect of life, it may be genuinely hard for many people to let out the true version of themselves. We are expected to fit perfectly in neatly shaped moulds as per societal norms. So, we tend to think deeply before we act, even if that action is in our best interest. We talk, dress, walk, and eat a certain way, all to just live up to the expectations of others. But to live a wholesome and happy life, it is important to overcome the fear of being judged.

By fearing judgment, we end up wasting precious time and do what others think is right for us. This hinders our growth by keeping us in familiar zones. If you fear being judged by others, check out these effective, expert-backed tips on how to stop fear of judgment.

Why are we so afraid of judgment?

Our fear of being judged stems from the worry that with the life we live, we might never be accepted or fit in. It usually starts back in the days of early childhood when we were taught that we needed to be accepted and loved. As a child, we might have been told several times that we are futile. It wires our inner conditioning to act in ways that society feels good about us.

How to overcome the fear of judgment?

Fear of being judged can be thought of as a natural mechanism that helps us humans keep perspective of how well our actions meet the larger societal and cultural context that we are part of. In simpler words, we ask ourselves, “What will others say?”.

Understand ways to cope with fear of judgment! Image courtesy: Freepik

We need to evaluate how much of this fear is getting in the way of our journey of being authentically praiseworthy and growing in life. It is useful to stop every now and then to assess how much of what we are doing is for the sake of pleasing other people around us, and how much feels meaningfully satisfying to one’s own self, says psychologist Geetika Kapoor.

Here are some effective tips to combat the fear of judgment and develop a better self-image.

1. Build awareness about existing stereotypes

We live in a society that has constructed norms about everything. One thing is right, and the other is wrong. Something is ethical, while the other is not. Having lived under these conditions for years, we start believing, accepting and implementing them in our lives. Once you are aware of these stereotypes, you will be able to step back from them and work in ways that will serve you well, even if it means daring to be different. Work towards separating own voice from societal constructs. Building awareness about stereotypes and rules that we all internalise unknowingly is a useful step in this direction, reckons the expert.

2. Seek professional help

Seek mentors and guides who seem to help clarify thoughts and channel our actions towards useful growth. Being surrounded by people who help us navigate the fears and confusions can prove a powerful influence on how we respond to some of these naturally occurring, automatic thought patterns, suggests the expert.

3. Watch your self-talk

So often we are caught up in our vicious loop of thoughts that say things like” “Oh I sounded so stupid”, or “They must be thinking that I am daft”. We might not realise it, but our brain registers our thoughts and ends up believing them. This leads to poor self-image and low self-esteem. We then start making images in our mind of others judging us negatively. The moment you spot yourself thinking negatively, stop yourself right there and switch your self-talk to something positive to boost your self-esteem.

QUIZ TIME: Don’t think you judge other people? Then take this quiz and prove yourself

how to stop fear of judgement
Positive self talk is important while dealing with fear of judgement! Image courtesy; Shutterstock

4. People and situations are ever-changing

Nothing lasts forever. Even if you were at fault for something on a particular day, people’s impressions of you would not last forever. The world can be a good place, and some people look at the larger picture of you and can forget these trivial matters. If what you do is for the larger good, people will quickly forget that one blunder you made at work during the day.

5. If they think bad about you, let them!

Some people have the habit of judging others, and it is a reflection of their insecurities and not yours. If someone at work criticises you in a wrong way, chances are that they lack inner security about themselves, and they demean you to make themselves feel better. So, stick to authenticity because the people who really love you will always acknowledge you for who you are, all flaws included!

6. Accept that as a human you will never be perfect

To err is human! When we fear being judged, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be always perfect, liked, and stand out. Perfectionism is a myth, so stop chasing that. Embrace your mistakes, and learn from them to become the best version of yourselves. Do not let the fear of being judged stop you from advancing because you are afraid of a misstep. Taking risks is the only way to progress in life.

Most of all, be gentle on yourself, and accept all of yourself with love!

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