Hi there. Michelle Barry Franco here. Let’s talk about the fear of being judged because that fear of being judged is at the heart of pretty much everything that blocks us from making the biggest difference with our speaking.
This comes in the form of a lot of different thoughts and some of these may be familiar to you. Things like, what if I bore them? What if I’m not as smart as they are and they realize that they actually know more about this than I do? What if I’m not funny or charming or attractive or whatever enough? What if I make a mistake while I’m up there on the stage? I mean, I could go on and on with the many thoughts that we can have and that we do have about putting ourselves out there in this way. They all come back to the same thing, or almost all of them come back to the same thing, which is, what if I am negatively judged by this audience?
What do we do with this? Because the truth is, as you know, we are judged, right. We know this because we judge when we’re in an audience, we are judging the speaker, so we know that our audiences are judging us too. In fact, that’s our brains job, is to judge things, to decide, will this serve my goals, will this save my life, will this cause me to die. Our brain is in constant survival mode, right. Our brain is actually going through this discernment process, this judgment process, all the time.
Really, it comes down to, what do we make it mean, that our audience is judging us? I want to offer you some ways to think about this. First of all, does the judgment matter? Should we ever care what people think of our speaking? Yes, of course we should because we’re on this earth to serve and there is a set of people, there is a kind of person, a subset of the human race that we are intended to serve with this message. We need to know if the way we’re sharing it is actually working and we will get so much rich, good information when we are open to hearing their judgments about what’s working and not working for them. Okay.
Yes, there are times when we definitely want that judgment and we want to do something with it. There’s also a huge part of the population that we are not intended to serve and in that case, their judgment is not useful to us. It does not help us serve with our message. It will confuse us and it is essential that we not listen to their input and ideas and I can tell you this because, oftentimes when I work with clients, what we are needing to do is untangle these two sets of feedback that they’ve gotten over a course of many years usually, the people who you’re meant to serve and the people who you’re just not meant to serve. Other people are meant to serve them with their messages. Your stories are not going to resonate for them. You’re not going to be the kind of funny or charming or whatever that they’re looking for. That’s actually right and good because the style and content that you are choosing is intended for this particular audience.
This is where we want to focus. Yes, we want to know, what are their judgments, what are the things that think we can do even better to serve them?
Then finally, I just want to offer to you this perspective on what do we make it mean when others are judging us and I mean that for both of these audiences. Of course, it’s obvious when you’re getting negative feedback from people who you aren’t even intended to serve, there is of course that discomfort that gosh, we kind of want everyone to think we’re awesome, right. But we can practice, actually, releasing them with love, like, okay, you’re not my ideal audience member anyway, so that’s okay, but we still sometimes make it mean something about us, that we didn’t know that they weren’t our ideal audience member, so maybe we spoke to a whole roomful of those people and we’re like, what was I even thinking?
Forget it, that’s a lesson learned right. Don’t make it mean something about yourself, that you learned a lesson through that process. Then when it comes to your ideal audience members, what do you make it mean, that they taught you something new. We can get caught up in the whole, why didn’t I know that before. If I was an expert I would have already known to teach them that way. Those are the kinds of thoughts about the judgments we’re making about this very valuable feedback, that are getting in the way of our ability to serve. It is our own judgment thoughts about this new learning that messes with us.
I want to offer you that as a new way of looking at judgment. Yes, judgment is going to happen, you’re going to do it to. You’re going to be judging yourself about this whole experience. Make sure that when you’re doing that judgment process and when you’re allowing information in that you’re going to take in and use, that it’s from your ideal audience member and that you are processing it in a way that serves your mission, which is all about making a difference for those ideal audience members. Okay.
Yes, judgment is going to happen. There’s a lot of radical acceptance and releasing of the people you’re not meant to serve and there’s a lot of really rich learning from the people that you are meant to serve. All right, see ya next time.