Taking the Sting Out of Being Judged

It’s not the risk of doing something differently that gets in my way, it’s the possibility of being personally judged if what I do challenges others or doesn’t work out as planned that gives me pause. While the compliments I’ve received in my lifetime fade into a pleasant blur, I can recall many of the personal judgments that have been leveled at me with a crackling clarity. And they still annoy me. I’m guessing I’m not alone.Let me be clear, I welcome – and even pursue – insightful, constructive commentary and criticism that invites and challenges me to greater levels of self mastery. What I find hurtful are the personal digs, demeaning comments, and second-hand assessments of me as a person. Those can sting, if I let them.

Making change happen means making waves. You’re bound to get a few in the face. That’s no reason to stay out of the water.  If you’re going to contribute anything of true significance, you will have to rise above your fear of being personally criticized.

Here are a few things I’ve noticed about personal judgments:

Bottom-line: The judgments leveled against you are rarely about you, personally. They are much more a reflection of the person doing the judging.

To take the sting out of a personal judgment, try this:

Think of change as being like a wave, some people will be part of the crest while others will reach the beach later. And some won’t get there at all. The people in the crest get a better view, a wilder ride, and sometimes they crash into the beach. The more waves you ride, the easier it gets to leave the personal judgments behind you and focus on where you’re headed. I hope you’ll enthusiastically catch the next wave of change you see coming – and enjoy the ride!

What are your thoughts and ideas on dealing with personal judgment?

Dianna L. Anderson, MCC
CEO, Cylient

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