People hold themselves back because of the opinions of others. At work, if you’re too afraid to share your ideas, it will prevent you from improving a situation, contributing, and ultimately shining.
Believe me, other people are in the same boat. They’re afraid to speak up and stand out, too.
Sometimes this behavior of avoiding negative opinions can even make you feel isolated at work.
That’s when I like to ask, “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Think about it. The worst that could happen is someone judges your idea and you feel isolated. But that’s how you feel right now! You would be no worse off than you are currently.
Plus, not everyone would judge your idea in the same way. Some people may like and respect it and come to view you in a different light. You’re showing them a capability that they might not have realized you had.
But let’s go back to the people who do judge your idea and really think about what their judgment means.
You have to realize that you can’t control everyone’s opinions. There is the 50-50 rule that I like to refer to for everything in life: 50% will like it, and 50% won’t. Take the example of peaches. Some people will never like a peach, no matter how juicy, sweet, and beautiful it is, and others will love peaches even if they’re bruised. Your idea could be the sweetest peach and someone still won’t like it.
Someone else’s judgment of you and your ideas doesn’t determine your self-worth. [click self-worth post]
But it can be a big step to let go of what other people think. How do you go from fear of being judged to sharing your true wisdom?
Here are the three key strategies that will help you let go of your fear of judgment:
- Be clear and commit to your idea. Don’t get exhausted trying to please everyone — as you just saw, it’s impossible.
- Be willing to let someone be wrong about your idea and have their opinion. Stop trying to control what others think or feel.
- Be curious about ideas other people share. Help create an environment of receptive listening in your workplace.
When you keep yourself small and your ideas to yourself, no one can see your brilliance. In addition, it feels awful when you keep your mouth shut, and someone else shares your idea before you do and gets credit for it.
When other people’s opinions don’t bring you down or change how you view yourself, that is FREEDOM. Don’t hold yourself back. Tap into your wisdom, share it with others, and get ahead in your job!
If you want support with building the confidence to really shine at your job, I’m here for you. I’m a career coach, helping young professionals be their best selves in their careers. Click here for a free strategy session and see how I’ve got your back!
Image by Mark Solarski, Unsplash