We’re put here to make something.
Babies. Meals. Buildings. Books. Roads. Stories.
And sometimes web logs.
Creativity is as part of being human as breathing and sweating and humping and enjoying fried things and feeling awkward.
I know this but still suffer from a big block.
I FEAR people JUDGING me.
This fear keeps me from making my best stuff.
Or any stuff.
And I know what causes it.
There’s only one way my fear of being judged is going to go away.
And it’s by taking off my own Giant Judgey Wig.
I’m the WORST judgey judge.
In my own brain.
And it’s strangling my output.
Fear Of Being Judged.
Or FOBJ — heh — Is a real block for me.
Part of it is that for my job, I evaluate blogs.
But evaluation is different than donning my Giant Judgey Wig.
Evaluation is looking at metrics, at reach, at tone and aesthetics.
Evaluation is looking at facts.
Judgey wig is making a mean-spirited, emotional snap judgement in 2 seconds.
I’m judging you, judging me, judgey judgey judge judge judge.
That outfit sucks.
Why are you using that lame phrase?
Could you complain any more?
Judging makes sense, evolutionarily.
We can’t possibly take everything in that’s presented to us.
We used to need quick yesses or nos when deciding which group of people or environments were best for us.
But online, when we’re nigh assaulted with images of art, of homes, of creative expression, being judgey isn’t necessary.
And if it’s in my head, it probably doesn’t hurt you, but it hurts me more.
It hurts me by creating a culture (in myself!) where I’m afraid to create.
I wouldn’t accuse you of taking this kind of mean-spirited commentary public.
Because I wouldn’t either.
But inside my head, I’m closing myself off from potential friendships, resources, opportunities for learning.
All because I don’t think I like your [insert dumb surface-based reason here].
So how do I stop judging?
The last few weeks I’ve been testing out some tricks for judging less. These three have been the most successful.
(But boy, howdy, this is an uphill battle.)
Under my wig I think of at least ONE nice thing about the thing I’m being stupidly critical about. It has a cascading effect, inspiring me to look for more and more nice things until, SURPRISE! I’m rather fond of the blogger behind the blog.
Think of people as collections of stories.
If I think of you as a bunch of collected stories rather than a blanket singular judgement, I’m eager to learn more. I want to hear about all the crazy stuff that goes on in your life. I want to be your friend.
It’s all experimental
This whole internet thing, its current incarnation is barely 5 years old. Would you harshly judge a five year old? (Wait, don’t answer that.)
Think of blogs as partners in this grand experiment of self-expression.
Hey! They’re learning!
And I’m learning too!
We’re all learning!
And for the first time in history, we’re all learning publicly.
(This is terrifying.)
By reframing your judgement as just participating in this experiment, all these posts and photos and stories become less daunting and more exciting. Truthily.
I want to raise my girls free from FOBJ.
The way I do that is by judging less.
Making more messes.
How do you stop yourself from judging?
Do you suffer from FOBJ?
Or is internet judgery is part of the package?