Can I share with you a dirty little secret of mine?

I feel fear and self-doubt about my business and passions every single day. That’s feel, present tense — and I help others release fear and self-doubt in their lives.

Starting in elementary school, I was bullied. I had this strong urge to be inauthentically MORE than who I really was. I felt the need to impress others with what knowledge I had, what I could do or accomplish. Even if they weren’t true.

As I got older, I wanted to “fit in” and be accepted to so badly that I created almost an alter ego to project out the person I “thought” I had to be to be liked. And, the thought of not being liked or accepted beyond terrified me. I mean everyone wants to feel liked, loved, and accepted.

Wendy louise gerhardt

As I got older, I wanted to “fit in” and be accepted to so badly that I created almost an alter ego to project out the person I “thought” I had to be to be liked. And, the thought of not being liked or accepted beyond terrified me. I mean everyone wants to feel liked, loved, and accepted.

I had self doubt out the you know what. In particular when it came to switching from my pretty respected career as an anesthesia provider to an online spiritual business coach. What would my friends think? How would my parents feel about this? What about all those people on social media that knew me before my transformation…you know as that girl who tried too hard, was always negative, and super uncool.

When you forge your own path and step outside of the norm, you will be judged by others. And often, that judgment can feel harsh.

Often, the more unconventional you are, the more you can expect to have that “nobody gets me” feeling and all the fear and anxiety that comes along with it.

The hardest part of this kind of transition is always the beginning. People will not necessarily understand what you’re trying to do. This is when it is most crucial to get this fear under control.

How do you get over the fear of being judged by others so you can stay true to yourself and live on purpose with confidence and freedom?

This is one of those concepts that there is no work around for. The only want to move past fear is through fear. So, first, you need to identify and understand where this fear is coming from.

What is Fear of Being Judged?

It is that feeling that someone won’t approve of what your doing, how your doing, who you are showing up as, how your changing, and any other list of things that simply boils down to meaning “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not liked.”

It shows up as you changing your outfit 5 times before heading out to dinner with your friends because you want to impress them with what you wearing.

Or perhaps it shows up as you triple checking your instagram post before hitting that submit button so you can make sure what you’re saying isn’t controversial, will upset people, or make them not like you.

Sometimes this fear manifests as going along with something you don’t agree with just to be liked. Or feeling indecisive when you know you can’t please everyone.

You can’t be an important and life-changing presence for some people without also being a joke and an embarrassment to others.

Why do We Care About Other People's Jugements?

Have you ever felt insecure talking about what you do for a living? Or worried that everyone thinks you’re a fraud?

Your specific fear usually points to what’s most important to you, not necessarily to other people.

For many of us, we fear others will judge us for the things we judge in ourselves. We internalize critical thoughts like:

You don’t make enough money.

You should be married by now.

You have no idea how to run your own business.

You’re not good enough.

When you tell yourself these nasty lies, it’s easy to believe everyone else is thinking them, too.

Why do we hate being Judged?

Humans are social beings and have an innate needs to be liked, accepted, desired. We crave belonging.

According to researchers, the need to belong “is so basic to human behavior that the first premise of virtually every theory of social or cultural behavior could be that people have a pervasive drive to form and maintain at least a minimum quantity of lasting, positive, and significant interpersonal relationships.”

On a biological level, feeling socially anxious stems from our need to be socially safe to survive.

And judgment = threat to your belonging. No wonder judgement is scary AF.

I truly believe that fear of judgement is the number one belief that holds entrepreneurs back from the success they dream of. And, if it is holding you back, obviously we need to move through it so we can experience the magic that is on the other side of it.

Know that everyone has this fear. As an entrepreneur, success looks different than the same old same old mediocre product or service. It looks bold. It looks unique. It looks polarizing. Wait, what?

People don’t want vanilla when they walk into an ice cream shop. So the thought that we need to sell vanilla content, products, or experiences is kind of bananas.

Does everyone like rocky road? Nope. There are people out there that actually hate chocolate. I mean there is seriously something wrong with them (kidding), but they exist. That is why there are so many different flavors. Everyone can choose which flavor they enjoy the most.

So, If your product is rocky road, and you show up as rocky road, and you say “hey, I’m rocky road” guess what? You will find your tribe that loves rocky road. And, I don’t just mean tribe…I mean die hard NOTHING can be better than Rocky Road…ever.…kinda people. Those are your people! They need and want your help.

So, everyone else can say “yuck” who in their right mind would like rocky road. But they aren’t your tribe anyways. So who cares that they don’t like it. People will criticize you no matter what you do.

Unapologetically Be You

Pretend just for a moment that you are standing in an Ice cream shop RIGHT NOW. You are standing off to the side loving the heck out of your scoop (or two) or rocky road ice cream. A couple walks in, and the lady looks in the case at all the flavors and makes the comment, “Definitely don’t want rocky road cause it’s disgusting.”

Would you be offended? Or would you think to yourself, “You don’t know what you’re missing. Ice cream does not get better than rocky road.”

I’m going to bet the latter would be your response. Yet, when someone does not resonate with your product or service it is no different than the scenario I just painted for you above. So why do we let it hurt us at our core?

In Conclusion

If you spend your whole life caring more about other peoples opinions than your own, you would not be allowing your light to shine. You would not be helping the people who need you most.

Whenever you feel the fear of judgement creeping in, remind yourself that it is normal to feel this way. Remind yourself that this does not make you weak, or inferior…it makes you human. Then ask yourself what is my purpose? Who am I serving by playing small?

The answer is No-one. You aren’t even serving yourself. If you want your business to make a difference, and money, then it’s time to get out there and say what you want to say, do what you want to do, and unapologetically be who you want to be. Otherwise, no one will ever know you’re NOT vanilla.

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