The Fear of Being Judged
Updated: Aug 8, 2022
What others think of you, is none of your business.
Not too long ago, my son and I were riding in the car discussing what he could do on all the different days at school for Spirit Week. For those not familiar with this concept, the school pics a week in the middle of the year, and gives each day a theme for the kids to dress up or do something fun. One day may be "Wear your favorite Team colors" or another might be "Favorite Super Hero Day." One of the days was "Crazy Hair Day." As a kid with platinum blonde hair cut short, there isn't much we could do - but I had an idea.
"How about we do a blue mohawk!" I said with excitement! Blue is his favorite color, and I just KNEW he'd love this idea. His eyes lit up, and he shouted with excitement "YES!"
I did what any busy working mom would do, and I picked up my phone, did a few taps, and ordered it next day via my BFF Amazon, just in time for "Crazy Hair Day." The next day, we stood in front of the mirror, spiked it up, and sprayed it with temporary neon blue spray - and if I do say so myself, it was one of my better attempts.
But his eyes didn't light up - and he looked at me sheepishly and said "but what if everyone laughs at me?" And right then, I saw how early the fear of what others think about you starts.
That even at a very young age, we can be plagued with the fear of others pointing, and laughing - and that it can hold us back from the very thing that excites us and makes us come alive!
I can relate. Take my podcast for example. I have said for YEARS that I would LOVE to do a podcast. I knew I had the gift of gab, and I had lots to say, and I KNEW I could make a difference in the world helping people (MY PASSION) but I never did anything but dream. I was scared. Worried what other people would think, I never took action. I kept thinking
…."But what if they think I suck?"…
…"Everyone is going to think I have no idea what I'm doing - and they aren't wrong."…
… "They are going to think I'm ridiculous."
But you know what is RIDICULOUS? That I let those thoughts and dreams sit there, untouched for the longest time because I actually worried what other people would think! I didn't even take a moment to bounce the idea off my best friend because I had convinced myself that others would find my dream laughable.
I took a deep breath and looked at my son. This was a teachable moment - I could feel it in my bones. I needed to get this right NOW, while he was still young, and instill the idea that if HE finds it worth while, and it makes HIM smile- who cares what anyone thinks?
And I asked, "Hudson, do you like it?"
"Yes… but…" he started, but I cut him off.
"Then great!" I exclaimed! I got down on his level and said these words: "It is none of your business, what others think of you. If it makes you happy - then do it. If you think its cool - rock it out!" and with a little extra mom support, I added "Besides, I think its SUPER awesome."
Later, I dropped him off at school, blue hair and all. A little tentatively, he entered his classroom and was greeted with shouts from his friends "WOWWWWW!" and "That is SO COOL!!!" and his nerves melted away to be replaced by a face lit up with joy.
Just like when I finally got out of my own way, my sticky floor, and announced the launch of my podcast, I was greeted with support, love, and high-fives. All that worry and wasted time for nothing.
And so, when the next big thing in my life comes along - I've learned - from my blue eyed, blue mow-hawed boy - "What others think of me, is none of my business.