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Road of Life Podcast


Road of Life


With Meredith MacKay & Craig Bennett

Road of Life



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Road of Life Podcast Episode 27

April 26, 202416 min read

onquer Fear of Judgment: Unleash Your Best Self in Life and Love

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Episode Transcription

Welcome back to the Road of Light podcast. This week, we've got a cool one. Fear of judgment. Yeah. I think all the big fears boil down to fear of judgment, fear of public speaking, fear of failure, fear of success, even. Well, when you think about like, we are social creatures, we grew up in like tribes and different groups and geographically isolated.

And, you know, we were members of these groups and that if you did something that was counter to the group's, you know, what they thought was right you were ostracized. You were sent out of that group and then your, your chance of survival, gone. The consequences of that were dire. Yeah, and I think it's an evolutionary trait that we still hold as human beings, is that: we fear the judgment of the tribe, the group, everyone that's out there.

So that's a good point. It's sort of innate within us, so I think it's, Always something it's a kind of battle you're fighting and a skill set almost you need to learn to not be so Consumed and afraid of what other people are going to think. And for me There's a good question to ask, and it's: "if you're not living the life I want to live if you don't have the relationship I want to have or Whatever it is that you're striving for), if you're not living that life, What do I care what you think?

Cause you don't know how to, you don't know how to get there. You're not doing it, so why would I care what you think? And it actually puts me in mind of Teddy Roosevelt? Teddy Roosevelt's speech. And this is, you know, this is for Dale, really. Cause Dale's, Dale's the man in the arena this year. The man in the arena.

Yeah. And so, you know, you've probably heard it before, but this is from Teddy Roosevelt.

" It's not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles. Or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.

Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. Who strives valiantly. Who errs, who comes up short again and again because there's no effort without error and shortcoming. But who does actually strive to do the deeds. Who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of his achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall not be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

So if someone isn't in the arena, isn't out there putting themselves out there and trying and Achieving the things that you want to be achieving gives a rat's ass what they think? Yeah and the cool thing is is that the people who are doing the things that you want to be doing, who have the life that You want to have, who are being successful, who have the relationship you want ,who have built the business that you want to have.

They're not the critics., They're not the ones that are tearing other people down. They're the ones that are uplifting they're the people that know what it takes, the the difficulty in getting to where you want to go, and all the Failures you have to go through to get there. Right. Those people Are not the ones that are trying to push you down and like crabs in a bucket They're not they're not the one judging you for your failures and for your trials that they're just not they're not and so another good question to ask when we're we get so worried about what are people gonna think is: Who exactly are the people? Put a name to that. We're so worried about judging us Who is the person? Yeah, name them and like, like, like actually in your mind, who is it? Who is that person that I see that's, that's pulling me down?

And then ask yourself, are they really? Are they really? But also if they are really, Does it matter? Like, who's that person to me? And does it really matter in the end? Do they have the life that I want to have? Do they know how to get the things that I'm trying to get? Chances are I can almost guarantee you the answer is absolutely not.

And so it's when I first started social media and changed how I use social media. So when I started to use social media as a tool to help people to get our message out, to start sharing our lessons and our experience with the world. That was a drastic 180 shift from how I use social media before I wasn't a big on social media at all before.

And when I was, I, you know, did what everybody does. I posted vacation pictures or, you know, random pictures of the... YOLO. Yeah. The curated life that we were leading on Instagram. And so the first time I tried to post something more meaningful. I was terrified. What are people going to think? And I wrote my whole post. I spent hours, hours writing and rewriting and rewriting this post. And then I waited. We were in Arizona, so we were in mountain time at the time. And I waited as late as I possibly could to press the share or submit or whatever button, hoping that nobody would see it. Because That's obviously why you would post something on social media so that nobody sees it.

So, that was interesting. And what, you know, helped me press the button is who exactly am I so afraid of gonna judge me? Like, who, who is the person that comes to mind when I think, what are they gonna think? And I, I struggled to bring a human face to mind. And so, it was like, Then there is no person like this this this made up grand generalization of people are gonna judge me... sure, people probably will judge me, but I don't know who they are. And if they are judging me, they're not living the life I want to live, and so I don't care I'm gonna press post anyway. And that's the thing is I think we all have to understand that when we do these things, There is always going to be that person that does have something to say You There's always going to be that negative person, that crab in the bucket that's trying to, you know, be negative and keep you down.

But at the end of the day, ask yourself, one, do I want to be that person? Do I want to live the life they're living? And do I actually care what this person thinks? Because they're hurting, they're sad. They're in a situation that They're not willing to do the things to get them out of that situation. So they're willing to pull you back in to their misery.

And, you know, there's, there's always going to be that person. You're never going to get away from that. But it's really what, what, what value or what meaning are you going to allow them to have? Right. You said, you gave the example of crabs in a bucket. But maybe not everyone understands that analogy, crabs in a bucket.

Right. If you have crabs, you put crabs in a bucket and one of the brave crabs sees an opportunity to escape. You know, it's a big hole in the top . And he, you know, the crab starts climbing, crab. Crab grabs to the top and is starting to climb. The other crabs in the bucket will literally grab that crab and pull him back into the bucket.

Mm-Hmm, . And so if you put one crab in a bucket, it'll escape. It'll likely escape. But if you put two. They're in there for good because they'll pull each other back in when one tries to get out. So as you're trying to get out of the bucket, there's always going to be crabs that are trying to pull you back in.

Kick them in the face. And like everyone's going to have an opinion, right? When you start living your life differently, everyone's going to have an opinion. Like what do they say? Opinions are like assholes. Like everybody's got one. Everyone's got one. But going back to if they're not living the life you want to live, who cares?

And I think fear of judgment ends up stealing a lot from our lives. I think fear of judgment stops you from taking action. It stops you from being brave and it shows up in your relationship. Fear of judgment could literally steal the connection and intimacy from your relationship, if you let it.

Because, I might be afraid of, have a fear of your judgment. If I share, you know, my wildest dream with you, I might be afraid you're gonna laugh at me. Or share a failure that I've experienced in the run of a day, and you might react like, that it was expected. Or, To be very clear If you're in a relationship with someone that Is going to judge you and pick at your failures, you need to rethink that relationship. Sure But that's in our relationship. That's not the case, right? But it doesn't mean the fear doesn't exist. We all have the evolutionary fear of judgment so when it comes time to share that I lost my job, I might be afraid of how you're going to react or You share something that happened to me in the past, I might be afraid of you looking at me differently.

You know, I might be afraid to ask for what I want or what I need in the relationship in case I don't get it. You know, that fear of judgment from your partner, whether founded or unfounded, because in our case it's unfounded fear of judgment. But, there, it comes from generations of ancestors, it's It's there.

And every time I bow to that fear of judgment and not share the thing that happened to me that day or not share what I want for the future, not share whatever I'm choosing not to share because I'm afraid of your reaction or I'm afraid of your judgment. That is stealing the intimacy in our relationship because I'm not showing up as my most vulnerable self in our relationship... puts another brick in the wall that I'm building up between us every time I choose not to share something because I'm afraid of judgment from you. And to be very clear. We talk about just... don't be don't be afraid of judgment, it's so easy to say and so difficult to To actually implement like it's my it's singularly the biggest fear I've held my whole life. Me too without a doubt. And something I still battle with and without and I'm sure that almost everybody does. But it's it's something that has plagued my my existence forever since I was a little kid there I've i've literally missed out on opportunities because I was afraid to try or I was afraid that if I failed The judgment that that I would feel because I didn't do the thing. It's hardwired in us and it's so hard to break free of but the more you do it the easier it gets.

And so how do you break free of it?

So we're like it's just like you did with the social media posts you hit send. You hit start on the podcast. You hit Submit. Yeah, and I think like the thing like we said asking yourself a couple questions helps. And the ones we already talked about is like, who are you afraid of judging you, and do they have the life you want, and if they don't Totally. Who gives a shit what they think. The other is, why are you doing it? And if the reason you're doing something, Should have a strong why, for sure. motivates you, then you'll be able to feel the fear of judgment, and press submit, press start anyway. Hit, hit go, run the race, do the thing. It's, it's Every time you do something that you're afraid of, it builds the courage inside of you more and more and it makes it a little bit easier.

It never goes away. There's always going to be that little kind of, I think in the back of your mind, that fear that's always there, that little voice that's telling you and name that voice too. We talk about that is there's always that, that voice in the back of your head that tells you that you're not good enough or that you can't do this or who are you or whatever, but you named yours, Jack, I did name him, name that voice.

And cause then it just, it, it's another identity. It's not you, it's someone else and it makes it just a little bit easier to push through that. I think, I think another way to start to overcome that fear of judgment or diminish that fear a little bit is we project out and get it reflected back to us, what we feel. So if we're judging other people, then we are expecting other people are going to judge us because what we get out, we put back.

And I'll be 100 percent honest, growing up when I was afraid of judgment, I absolutely was judging other people. For sure. I've been, you know, I tried many times over the years to become more aware and turn off my judgment. I had a high level of judgment for a lot of parts of my life, and I was also, at that same time, basically, deathly afraid of judgment, failure, but also the reason I was afraid of failure is because of what people would think when I failed.

And so essentially, I was afraid of judgment and at the same time, I was very judgmental. And so I think if you can start to reduce your own level of judgment to others, become some, because it's a great point because it's, it's almost like for me, it was automatic. I tried to not be judgmental and I tried to turn it off and it was like, It almost short circuited my brain at first.

So just become aware of when you're judging someone else. And Understand why. But I think the first step is just being aware of it because it happens on autopilot so easily that try and tune into the fact that you are judging others and try to just let that go. And so if you can be less judgmental to others, I think it becomes a little less scary that others are being judgmental of you. Yeah. I think that that's a great point. And it's something that we've, I personally, I won't speak for you, but over the last few years going through this entrepreneurial journey and understanding that who I am and, and, and hitting start and doing the thing and starting the podcast.

Running the race and doing the things that in a previous life I would have been afraid to even start I'm realizing that it's because i's also letting go of the judgments. I have for others like I'm less judgmental today Than I've at any other point in my life for sure, right and it's it's knowing that to the Teddy Roosevelt comment, It's: I was not always in the arena.

I'm now in the arena. I understand that To to do big things to help make the world a better place you need to You need to put yourself out there. When you're doing that, and others are doing that, and you can see that these other people, they have the same goals, they have the same dreams, you're a lot less judgmental because you know that they're putting in blood, sweat, and tears, and they're in the arena.

And they're doing the things that you are also doing. And there's almost like a respect there and the judgment goes down. Yeah. And, and even one step further than that, when doing what you can do to support that person you see in the arena, because again, what you put out, you get back. And so when you're putting out help and support and cheerleading and whatever you can do to support that other person, You're more likely to get that back, not just from them as a reciprocal, but from everyone.

And so I think there's one more one more thought that I had around reducing judgment, reducing your fear of judgment by reducing your judgment of others and It's another really sort of insidious Activity that comes up and it's gossip. Gossip is the manifestation of judgment, right? And so if you're talking about someone who's not in the room That's gossip.

Good, bad, or otherwise. And so, when you do that, when you talk about someone who's not in the room, then you automatically assume people are talking about you, and you're not in the room. It's another way of, again, what you put out you get back. And so, if you can give yourself a rule that you will not be part of a conversation about someone, whether you bring it up or someone else does, but you will not be part of a conversation about someone who's not there.

Then that's a boundary that you can hold that will reduce your fear of judgment because you're not partaking in that level of judgment for somebody else. That's another strategy to reduce your own fear of judgment. Totally. The thing is, fear of judgment, like we talked about, everybody has it.

To varying degrees, but I think it's really a lot more common than I would have thought at first, how how prevalent this fear is with most people. And the worst part of it is it stops you from A) being you. It stops you from your greatness and being the best version of you. It stops you from trying. It stops you from putting yourself out there. It stops you from having a great relationship, from achieving your goals and your dreams.

So anything we can do to bring that fear down a little bit and at the same time build the confidence and build the courage to feel the fear but do it anyway. I think that's it for that. So if you got any value out of this episode, we would love if you would share it with someone else who might get a little value from it and feel free to throw a rating or a review wherever you listen to it.

That would be great. And we invite you to join the Traveling the Road of Life Facebook group, where we continue these conversations, we support each other, we build momentum, we have accountability, and so it's just another place to come and be part of the conversation. On that note, have a lovely day.

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Meredith & Craig

Meredith (aka MacKay). Loves rules, processes, order and efficiency. All around badass and most empathetic human you will ever meet. She feels what you feel, as strongly as you feel it. Her emotions pour from her eyeballs. Has a borderline unhealthy obsession with saltine crackers and believes squirrels are just rats with better PR. Craig (aka Bennett). Basically a giant kid with a ginger beard. Loves any game that involves a ball and seeing how many of MacKay's rules he can get away with breaking (Spoiler Alert: not many). Has un uncanny ability to give you the kick-in-the-ass you need and make it feel like a giant warm hug. Can crush a bag of Chicago Mix like Popeye does spinach We're sharing our life experiences, funny stories, failures, lessons and wisdom from this epic adventure together in hopes that it will both entertain you and equip you to live your dreams on your own epic adventure.

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Meredith & Craig

Life partners, business partners, and best friends. We left the corporate grind to become fulltime entrepreneurs... with no idea what we were doing.

That made for some interesting, amazing, stressful, awesome, painful, scary, awful, awesome, insightful, unbelievable decisions, moments, experiences, relationships, and quite honestly, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Our marriage is the foundation for everything else we build in our lives. It is a cheat code for life, and we believe that having that part dialed in levels up every other part of life.

We help others live their dream life... and that starts with a rock solid relationship so they can level up the rest of their lives too.

Tune in for a dose of laughter, love, a gentle ass kicking, and game-changing wisdom that will help you unleash your potential and build the life of your dreams together.