Hey there friends! OK so let's talk about being judged because we all hate it right? But first, a little bit about why I am stuck on this topic at the moment... I recently watched a film called , have you seen it too? Wasn't it so inspiring? It's the story of Raf Simons' premiere couture collection at the house of Christian Dior. I was surprised and equally inspired by Simons - especially that he doesn't sketch and that he didn't speak a lot of French when he first started at Dior. I remember how held back and limited I felt when I first moved to Germany and today, how I still feel limited because I'm not fluent yet, so this film inspired me to see that the goal for Simons was simply to communicate in whichever way he could - translators, collaging images to show a final look he'd envisioned, broken French, French and English combined, through lots of mood boards, facial expressions, hand gestures... Even tears. Whatever worked, he did it. He communicated in many cases, beyond language.
So much of communication is visual and also "felt" through touch or the way someone looks at you, don't you agree? Hand gestures, body language and eye are what you first rely on before learning a language but even during. When people get intimidated because they can't speak a language fluently they should remember that communication is the single goal regardless of how that is accomplished. Get your message through no matter what! Who cares who judges you with your bad accent or horrible grammar? Just speak!
Lots of bloggers ask me if they should write their posts in their mother tongue and in English to reach more readers. I always say yes, do it. And then the next question usually is, "Do I still write in English if my English is not good?", and I still say yes, because it will get better the more you write, it's endearing to others to see you writing in another language despite the grammatical errors, and communicating is the goal, not perfectly, just honestly.
I said this about my photography, but by putting ego aside tasks become so much more enjoyable and the perk is, you learn faster. I agree with this more each day, to sometimes place the ego aside, and just let your heart take you. While I've never been egotistical, I definitely held myself back at times when I felt "not good enough" at something. I was afraid of judgement.
Interestingly enough, I wasn't this way when I lived in America.
This fear of judgement only occurred after I moved to Germany and slowly started to see how cultural it is to be suspicious, envious and to fear judgement. There is also this deep-seated desire to be seen as great at everything which can be so limiting and even simple-minded in my eyes. I slowly absorbed the local "fear of judgement" which caused me to be less free-spirited, more guarded, and quite anxious that friends would envy me if I did do very well at something.
During the times when I place ego and fear of judgement aside and just jumped, I generally have the most fun and ended up finding the most success. My new attitude has been to say, "Screw it", when ever I get too hung up on what others think of me.
Another great thing about following your inner truth, or voice, is that you attract the right people to you and friends who really love you for who you are. I am working backwards in many ways now to try to get back to being the me that I was before relocating to Germany. I know I live here but I want to go back to my free-spirited ways when I didn't give a damn what anyone else thought and I certainly didn't care if someone judged me.
I want to laugh and live and not conform or be someone I'm not. I also have a little boy now to set an example for and children can quickly tell whether mommy and daddy wear two different faces.
I really loved when Simons' was being interviewed during a car ride to Belgium and he was asked about his work in ready to wear Men's fashion and how much of a minimalist he is, that the general idea was that he wouldn't fit the House of Dior with such a minimalist aesthetic. He sheepishly grinned and said that those people need to wait until his first show, then they could judge him, because he's actually not a minimalist at all just because he worked for some brands that were.
When gorgeous dresses merged with walls of flowers at his show, it was evident who was right and who was wrong. It was evident that those who judged him needed to adjust their view. It was also clear that judgement from others' wasn't going to bring him down.
I'm not shy and quiet, reserved or understated. I am bold but tactful, clear but loving. I like being the life of the party. I like communicating my ideas in any way that I can - gestures, smiles, laughter, broken German, English and German, tears, hugs, a gentle hand squeeze with eye , and sometimes very clear and good German. In the end, judgement from others will never stop me. We all need to work at becoming a bit more unstoppable don't we? Just go for stuff and stop worrying about what people will think. What would Beyonce do? Right?!
Screw them. She'd say that and Raf Simons would say that and most people out there who have success say that. Sure, there is always this fear of failing or whatever, but the fear of NOT trying has to be stronger. The fear of being judged can never be so strong that you don't bother trying.
So yeah, screw people who say you can't, question you, ask why you would bother, challenge your belief in self.
Feels kind of bad to say that but also really good, doesn't it?
How does judgement from others affect your life? Is your culture generally supportive of free-spirits and creatives or a little skeptical? Does your family or do your friends tend to hold you back at times? Does fear of judgement hold you back? What has helped you to push beyond fear?
(image: holly becker for cattledogs)