Journaling is great.
When I started journaling and discovering what holds me back from being fully self-expressed and showing up in my full power, I saw that fear of judgment was the other side of the coin of looking for approval. We want to look good and we want to avoid being judged or criticized.
But why? What is it about judgment from others that has us doing mental gymnastics trying to figure out how to make people think positively of us?
And more importantly, how might you give it up?
We must begin with trying to understand first what judgment really is. Judgment is a person's unintentional, involuntary thought about another person. Where there is insecurity, there is judgment. A mother perfectly secure in her own parenting will not be found judging the parenting of other mothers. A woman secure in her looks will never spend much time putting down another woman's looks. We judge when we find someone who we perceive is doing slightly worse than we are in an area of our own insecurity.
What's important for you to note, is that it's THEIR involuntary thought about you in THEIR head. Which also means their judgment is exclusively their business. What they think is their business, what we think is ours. So why is it that we spend so much time trying to manage other people's thoughts about us? We don't try to manage the rest of their thoughts that go on, after all. We don't concern ourselves with what our neighbor might make for breakfast, what shoes she will wear or if she is late for an appointment. But we constantly try to manage what she may think of us.
As you begin your journaling practice, try to recognize where you lose your voice because you are busy trying to analyze or influence another's opinion of you.
In becoming a bold leader, holding back because others might not approve or judge is off limits. Starting right now, in this very moment, you must choose that you will not let yourself hold back out of fear of judgment.
When we are afraid what will be said or thought about us we shrink and we stay quiet. We don't get to share the message.
Will your need to look good, to be approved of, and your fear of judgment ever go away completely? No. But you will build resilience. You will be less and less attached to that voice that says, "Be careful!" With practice you will start developing new neural wiring and the resistance will reduce.
But you will also always be human. And that means you will always possess a brain that is interested in one thing and one thing only: your comfort.
Our job is to teach our brain that, even if it's throwing obstacles in the way, we won't disconnect from what's truly important to us.
Becoming an effective leader isn’t just about learning to lead others, you have to learn to lead your own thoughts, too.
To read more, here’s a link to my book on Amazon: Dust Off and Rise: Stumbling Toward Success https://www.amazon.com/Dust-Off-Rise-Restauranteurs-Leadership-ebook/dp/B07H9HK8MP/