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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Ustrzycki

Be Willing to be Judged

It’s kind of funny; the older I get the less I look at fitness as a way to get or stay lean or skinny or as a way to burn calories and the more I look at my fitness in terms of being able to achieve strength and performance. I still absolutely care about my physique, but it’s so much more than just ‘being lean and having abs’ for me; it’s about being strong in so many other ways.

I remember being about 20 years old (FYI that was over 10 years ago!) and being so worried about whether I was skinny enough compared to the other girls at the clubs; whether my makeup was perfect or whether people would notice if I wore the same outfit as I did a few weeks ago. Any how much freakin’ energy did I WASTE on worrying about what other people thought? Although I don’t have a definite number, it’s a lot! A lot of wasted energy, for nothing. These days, getting so caught up with the fear of social judgement is beyond exhausting. If only I could talk to my 20 year old self.

Let me ask you this: are you who people think you are? Or do you let them see only a character carefully crafted for likes and follows? Do you tiptoe through life, saying and doing only what passes through your internal social acceptability filter? Fear of social judgment wears many masks: shame, shyness, etiquette, perfectionism. Whatever form it comes in, its impact is to limit, to constrain, and to constrict. So why are we so concerned about what others think?  When you stop trying to impress others, you can express your true self more fully and connect with people, more genuinely, openly, intimately. The less time and energy you spend on image management, on making your life presentable to others, the more time you can spend on things that really matter.

How can you stop worrying about what people think of you?

  • Bring awareness to how your decisions are currently affected by what others will think of you.

  • Be unswayed by social pressure, unaffected by criticism, immune to embarrassment. And take fewer things personally. We’re biased toward sensitivity to criticism, insult, and rejection. And when these biases affect our behavior, we give up our power to others.

  • Don’t look to others for guidance on how to behave. And don’t wait for permission from others.

  • Don’t be needy. If you don’t need anything, you don’t have a reason to try to impress people.

  • Be authentic. Have the courage to allow people to see the real you and be willing to be judged. Everyone knows I still love getting glammed up, but you better believe I will wear the same shorts for 2 weeks in a row if I want to!

Rather than not caring at all what others think of you, start by just caring less. Be open to what they think and feel, and consider their opinions, but decide for yourself how to act. Care what the important people in your life think, but only those whose opinions you value. Strangers should not get a vote in how you live your life.

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