This is Lesson Five in a series on how the Myths of Modern Life are keeping people overwhelmed.
If you’re interested in busting myths so you can manage overwhelm and have more time to do what matters most to you, click here.
Myth 5: I will be judged and found lacking.
A core motivating factor that keeps people in a state of overwhelm is fear of judgment. The previous four myths all build to this final one; feeling like you have to keep up with too many things makes you feel like you have to be on call and if you’re not on call you’ll fall out of the loop, and if you fall out of the loop, others will judge you and find you lacking. You may be afraid that if you take a step back, even a tiny one, others will consider you lazy, selfish, or disinterested. And in fact none of those things will probably be true. Those thoughts are simply your fears about what others may think and you’re allowing those fears to hold you back from making a change. The key question to ask then is – why.
We all need approval, support, and understanding in our lives. Even if you’re an introvert, you need to feel as though you’re part of a close knit group and that those in the group care for you and “get you” on a deep level. This is the basis of our relationships, and also the basis for why we fear judgment; regardless of how close we are to others in various groups, we view their approval as the glue that keeps groups together. Without approval, we fear we will find ourselves shunned or excluded.
Any time you make a choice that doesn’t conform to what others are doing, regardless of what group they’re in, you’ll always face judgment. It’s up to you to decide how that judgment impacts you and if it prevents you from taking further action. Judgment stings, especially from those we care most about, but ultimately, you get to decide if taking no action for fear of judgment is more important than doing what matters most. Therefore keep the following in mind:
Judgment from others isn’t something you can avoid, because you can’t control another person, you can only control yourself.
One last yet vitally important point about judgment from others is that in most cases, judgment is actually more about the person doing the judging than it is about you. As you go through the questions for this lesson, think about your fears around the judgment from various people and how that judgment is actually related to them and their issues, not you and yours.
- Consider an area of your life where you feel most overwhelmed and answer the following:
- Where are you feeling most judged?
- Who is doing that judging and why do you think they’re judging you?
- How can you use your fear of judgment as an opportunity to better connect with and understand the most important person you listed in part b (by asking them to catch you up on a topic, by talking about common ground around what matters most, etc.)