It seems most of us are very concerned with what others think of us. Isn’t it frustrating to constantly compare ourselves to others? To be held back by what we assume others could think?
How will a career change look on my CV?
What will my parents think if I leave my corporate job?
Everyone else is far ahead in their career
Do you know this feeling of being inspired to start something great, perhaps your own business, but the first thought is what others will think of you? You may be tempted to leave your job at a well-respected company, a large corporate that provides safety and stability. But what will your colleagues think? Friends? Parents? Even worse, what if it fails?
As soon as we dare to think outside the box (or what we perceive to be accepted standards within society), we are suddenly confronted with very loud judgement and criticism.
Where is this criticism coming from and what can we do about it?
Firstly, let me share some ‘judgement stories’ from my own life, friends and clients. Perhaps you’re familiar with some of this judgement?
My client left a well-known corporate company to pursue different work, but didn’t know where to start and so he came to career coaching seeking help. In our first conversations, he never mentioned his temptation of setting up a business. But one day he did and he just lit up! He was so in his element and described the ins and outs of what life would look like. He was on fire! I asked him why he hasn’t mentioned this before? He replied: “I don’t know how to explain this to my parents. And no one in the industry will take me seriously if I fail”.
My mentor challenged me to write weekly articles here on LinkedIn, for the sake of putting myself out there with the work I love. Every time I publish an article, I look at the likes and the views. What do people think of my article? Does anyone actually read this? Who are the people engaging with the content?
My friend has 4 children and a husband who runs a respectable business. She was clearly at her limits with organising school runs, childcare for the little ones and at the same time keeping the house in order. I suggested to get help for a few days a week, someone who could clean the house and also help with the children. My friend pushed back as she was worried about what the neighbours would think. Other families manage without help so why couldn’t she?
This judgement is clearly not serving us! Quite the opposite; It holds us back from living happier, pursuing our dreams or sometimes even just coping. How can we manage it and remove the barrier to doing something great?
Let’s be honest, who is really judging?
Are other people really the ones who judge us for leaving a job? For posting work-related content on social media? For getting help in the house? Sure, there are people who don’t mean well and try to sabotage others by judging. However, usually it’s our internal voice that holds us back.
It’s our inner critic that keeps us comfortable and safe. It is there to protect us from getting hurt or even humiliated. It will therefore do everything in its power to stop us from thinking out of the box. It’ll get sneaky and creative whenever we expose ourselves to change, may this be taking a leap in our career to pursue something new or to start our own business. Click here to read more on the inner critic.
What’s the worst case scenario?
In order to deal with the uncertainty of stepping outside of the comfort zone, it may help to consider all possible outcomes, including the worst case scenario.
What are the possible outcomes for my client who dreams of setting up a business? In the worst case scenario, he will spend money, time and energy on a project that doesn’t come to fruition and therefore he will have to look for work in his previous field of profession. In the best case scenario, he will use his skills and strengths for something he believes in, connect with like-minded people and make a living for himself by doing something he loves. And there is obviously a whole range in between.
What other tools do people use to deal with judgement? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
If this content resonates and you would like support with a similar topic, let’s connect and have a chat.