I feel like I live with this strange dichotomy. I love to teach, to educate and share my knowledge. To be in front of others; a group of strangers leading them into a deeper understanding of a particular topic I am passionate about.
Yet at the same time
I hate the feeling of being judged. The thought of standing in front of a group of students or a group of my peers brings on huge anxiety. Days leading up to an event or course that I am presenting, I begin to experience a dreaded panic, anxiety, worry and fear. It seems ridiculous and I’ve had a difficult time trying to put reasoning behind the emotion I feel, especially after I’ve taught the same course and given the same talk several times before. Yet without fail, I’m struck with an anxious fear that keeps me up at night!
During a recent counseling session, it was revealed that I have a fear of being judged. Its not a selfish, worried about my ‘appearance’, ‘will I say the wrong things’, ‘is my fly down’, ‘do they hate my tattoo’ kind of judgement but rather a self imposed character judgment that I assume others are projecting. This goes back to the lack of self confidence and self esteem that is non-existent in my life. Stepping into any situation or social setting brings a feeling of increased nervousness and assumption that I am being judged. Even when I am with my closest group of friends, my thoughts will begin to erode the joy of spending time with fantastic gentlemen and I’m left asking myself “why would these guys hang out with me? why waste time with someone so damaged? they probably think I’m just a complete mess…
then the guilt sets in that I have wasted everyone’s time…
I certainly can’t be the only one to feel this way?!?
I could spend some time writing about the dangers of judging others. How its imperative that we choose to live with an open-mind, trying to understand life’s various perspectives and not judging others as they are likely fighting a battle we cannot see. But that would be a long post and you likely wouldn’t make it to the end (see what I did there…judged your attention span and your character a little…sorry).
But what I will say is that if we allow ourselves to impose our own judgment on others and how they perceive us, we will do them a complete disservice. When I question the motives and intent of my good friends, I rob them of the joy of being a blessing to me and sharing their love with me. When I push my insecurities onto those I’m teaching or speaking to, I limit the potential for them to truly experience and engage in what I can offer, because I hesitate to give the best of me…out of fear of an assumption, nothing legitimate.
The big question is how to change that mindset… how does one escape the fear of the assumption of being judged? I wish I had the answer! for now, managing the stress and anxiety is the only thing I seem to be able to do (even though I still don’t do that very well). Being present in the moment, focusing on the here and now, may offer some distraction to the thoughts of what others are thinking…. but today I will start by apologizing to those I have projected a false assumption that you are judging me… to my friends, thank you for being true to your geniuine love and friendship, and sorry for not being fully present to receive your gift.
Thank you for continuing to read this blog… I truly do hope you find some encouragement in the words and thoughts of a rambling, broken, imperfect human!! as always, feel free to to text 7058682616 if there is anything I can do to help.