Viola Davis said it best in her recent interview [click here to interview] with Brene Brown:
“This is who I am.
This is where I am from.
This is my mess.
This is what it means to belong to myself.”
It’s not about having thick skin. As Violas says, “Thick skin doesn’t work anymore. Thick skin will keep everything from getting out.”
What she means is thick skin keeps you hiding, keeps you from having authentic relationships. It’s better to be transparent so that you can create true connections, whether at work or in your personal life.
Here is my four-step, no-fail plan for detoxing from the judgment and criticism of others.
Step 1: Belong To Yourself
Start by developing beliefs, like Viola, that are the guide that drive your life.
“You are Enough!” If nothing changes—your looks, your success, your status—would you be okay? When you decide that you are enough, you’re free of shame, and you realize that your past is not going to define you.
Step 2: Develop New Thoughts
I’m doing the best I can.
I will allow myself to be seen.
My life is supposed to happen this way.
How do these thoughts make you feel? Confident, Content, Accepting.
Step 3: Understand People Can’t Hurt You
This is a really powerful concept to understand. Other people’s opinions can’t make you feel bad (or good). It’s how you are thinking about what they said that is causing the pain.
You can choose how to think about what is said. You can have the thought “That’s mean” and feel hurt. Or your can think “That’s his/her belief” and feel confident.
It’s completely OK to feel hurt. I believe it’s a useful emotion at times. However, you need to own that emotion as yours, process it, and be in control of letting it go when you’re ready.
Step 4: Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Let’s say you do experience being uncomfortable from the thought you’re having about being judged or criticized. I invite you to process the emotion you’re feeling versus blaming someone for your pain.
Stay with that feeling of being hurt. Ask yourself these questions to process the feeling:
- Is it cold or warm?
- What color is the feeling?
- Where is the feeling in your body?
Thinking about your feeling in this way will help you get some distance from it so that it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.
Also, I want to offer you this: A feeling won’t kill you. It’s just a vibration in your body.
When you truly feel your feelings all the way through, and take responsibility for them and the thoughts you’re having that create them, then you can rid yourself of so much suffering from criticism and judgement.
If you want more powerful strategies to manage your mind in difficult situations, contact me today. [click here to work with me]
Image by John Baker, Unsplash