Welcome back, friends!
I wasn’t sure if, after asking you to write down all of your judgments, I’d have many people left to say that too. Witnessing your judgment can be super uncomfortable, especially when it’s heaped on top of the already emotional topic of finding your people.
You. are. a. rockstar.
So, why start there and where do we go with it?
It’s no secret that making friends is hard; we all have our stories that keep us disconnected. Our judgments of others are reflections of our own fear and insecurity, they are the product of our stories. By taking the time to witness and name them, you have taken a step closer to breaking down those barriers.
It’s hard sometimes to look at those judgments without judging yourself. Please know that your brain is doing exactly what it is supposed to do – protecting you! Those judgments and fears are its way of keeping you from getting it hurt. Think of it like an over-protecting, super-smothering mother who just wants her baby to be safe. We’ve all seen or met one of those right? Remember that scene in a Christmas Story when Ralphie’s mom bundled his little brother up so much to go in the snow that he couldn’t move? That’s what your brain is doing, bundling you up in fear and judgment so you don’t feel the cold. Like Ralphie’s brother, all those layers make you immobile and isolates you from the group.
Mama Fear Brain loves you… but it’s time to take a big girl stand.
In what ways are you judging others and yourself?
Take a look at your list, what recurring themes do you see?
How are you using those judgments to protect you?
For example, one of the judgments I find myself knee deep in often is “So-and-so has so much more to offer than I do”. I’ll compare my education/experience/finances/you-name-it to another person and make a snap judgment about my own worthiness. It’s a hard story to break out of, and one that is so common. I met with a colleague for coffee recently and found myself more than a little bit intimidated at the invite. She has years more experience than I do in many areas and so much knowledge. I was really excited and honored and, even though I was nervous, It felt really good to connect. We started talking about dance lessons and how my husband and I want to take salsa. She and her boyfriend also take lessons and my head immediately went to “Oh shit, I can’t even keep up in extra curriculars.”
Bam! Mama Fear Brain in overdrive.
I know my MFB loves me and doesn’t want to see me embarrassed or feeling hurt, and I love and honor her for wanting to protect me. She overstepped her boundaries.
Unlike Ralphie’s little brother, we have a say in how many layers we wear out in the world. In this specific situation, it looks like “I’m pretty nervous about dance lessons and this person already been through the beginning stages, I bet she can share some tips – and I’ll she seems like she’d fun to laugh with during those awkward learning moments”. In the broader theme of comparisons, it is “Our journeys are our own and I am not in competition with anyone”.
After examining your own lists, pick one or two judgments that really stand out, or maybe even a theme that you are noticing, and rewrite it in a way that tells your Mama Fear Brain where her limits are. Visit it daily and remind your MFB that you know she is there, you hear her, but that you are in the driver seat.
Next week, the final part of Finding Your Tribe, we actually get out of your head and out where the people are!