Too often I hear many people say they don’t want to become a Speaker, Teacher, Leader, Entrepreneur, Dancer, Singer or anything that puts them in the public eye for fear of being judged. But I can promise you, you’re being judged anyway. We are all judged, not just those in the spotlight. It’s not something that we can escape. It happens every single time we are around other people. We are judged. And we all pass judgment on others. It’s how we decide who we like. It’s how we know who our people are! This is a necessary step in building relationships.
One of the most difficult things for me to adjust to when I became a Speaker is judgment by others. When I teach Continuing Education classes I pass out an evaluation form. There is no place for a name on these forms so they are completely anonymous which encourages people to be quite honest and give their unguarded opinions.
Most of the time the comments are overwhelmingly delightful! But every once in a while there is someone who just doesn’t like me. At first these comments cut me very deep and I tended to dwell on them for days. But as I’ve progressed and grown more confident, I’ve learned to let go of these thoughts. After all, everyone isn’t my person. It’s unreasonable to think that everyone will like me, even if I wish they did. Yes, I want to be liked by all which is silly because I don’t actually like everybody else. But we are all different and don’t think the same way or see things the same way. Not everyone out there will appreciate my point of view just as I don’t always agree with their point of view.
If there are several comments suggesting ways that I can improve then I do take those recommendations into consideration and adjust where needed. We can all benefit from healthy constructive criticism from time to time. It helps us grow.
If you are afraid of being judged don’t let it stop you from doing the things your heart yearns for. Understand that we are all judged and withdrawing from the public eye won’t avoid it. It’s going to happen anyway. I’m including some of the negative comments that I’ve received over the years to help you see that it happens to everyone. Of course most people won’t share these kinds of comments with others because we don’t want others to know about them. I’m doing this to help you feel better about the haters that you may have out there.
Remember, the bigger the spotlight, the more haters you’ll experience, but it’ll be worth it. The people that love you will grow exponentially and think of all the good you can do by sharing yourself with others. You have so much light that only you can bring to the world. Don’t be frightened.
From those who are not my people:
The speaker should wear pantyhose.
I was wearing a dress that came down to my knees. This one had me looking at my legs and wondering how bad they really looked. It was an attack on my physical body. I laugh now at the absurdity of this but this one really hurt.
Didn’t need to hear the personal stories.
I didn’t learn anything new.
Even my 12-year-old son already knows this stuff!
She’s teaching a public speaking class and I can’t hear her!
Yikes! This one hurt too.
The other guy was good.
I gotta say here that I never start late. Ever!