Release from judgement

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I have always worried about what people think of me.  I think it stems from the fact that I grew up in a small suburb of Chicago where a lot of people knew each other and where it was difficult to go unnoticed.

Rightly or wrongly, I felt that people were judging me. In my case, this resulted in me having a bit of a split personality – one side of me has always wanted desperately to fit in and to be liked, but I also have this side of me which wants to shatter the mould – to shock people.  On top of that, sometimes I’m not totally sure which “me” is going to show up. 

Not surprisingly, I have often been left feeling like I have done or said the wrong thing.  This situation has been compounded by the fact that I have moved around a lot, and I am constantly meeting new people through my work.

I am happy to report, however, that this internal struggle has eased of late.  One instance, in particular, stands out.  A couple of months ago, I agreed to become one of the run directors at my local parkrun. Although I am not a runner anymore, my husband is, and parkrun has become an important part of our lives in London.

At first, I was really excited to get more involved.  As time went on, however, and I got closer to my inaugural parkrun, performance anxiety began to creep in.  Yep, back to worrying about what people think of me!

One thing I knew, though, was that I didn’t want anxiety to be part of this experience.  So, with help from my coaching community and my meditation practice, I decided to go back to the motivation of why I was doing it.  Was I looking to be the best run director in the world – yes, I’m laughing as I write this – or was I doing it to give something back to a community that took me in even though I am not a runner anymore?

As the latter was my primary objective, I simply took myself out of the equation.  Although I still woke up at 4am on the day, it was with excitement rather than trepidation. Once things kicked off, the joy of the experience came flooding in.  Although I forgot a thing or two on the day, my fellow runners all pitched in and everything ran smoothly.

In the end, I was left with a sense of gratitude.  Firstly, that I was able to be a part of something healthy and fun, but just as importantly that I was able to enjoy the experience and not judge myself.  For in the end, I think the judgement I felt throughout my life was much more about myself than from others.  I still sometimes feel like I’ve said the wrong thing.  However, now I try to honour all sides of myself, and when that insecure little girl appears, I give her a big virtual hug.  That is true release!

 

Corry Klein
Relocation & Career Coach
www.corryklein.com