As women we so often ask other people what they think about the things we make, how we look in a certain piece of clothes, what we should or shouldn’t do, and by doing that we’re actually giving away our power to them. We are also giving them permission to judge us. Maybe we don’t realize this and think that we’re just being friendly or polite and that you should ask for other people’s opinions if you’re well-behaved. Or maybe the problem goes deeper than that and is about us not trusting ourselves. And in the end it produces the same result. We confirm our self-doubts and invite others to decide whether we’re good enough or not.
This doesn’t happen over night. This is how we are brought up. From a very early age women get used to mirroring themselves in other people instead of looking inside for answers and confirmation. We learn to think that other people know better and that they actually are better judges than us. We learn to question our perception of ourselves and other people and we get hardwired to think less of ourselves and more of other people. We learn to look down on our own achievements and perceive other people’s achievements as larger and more important. We get used to thinking that what we do is easy and therefore not worth as much as what others do.
So is it any wonder that we feel judged when we actually are encouraging people to judge us? Every time you ask for someone’s opinion you open the door to judgement. If you don’t want to be judge – don’t ask! And if you’re sensitive to criticism and afraid that you’re not good enough – don’t ask! It’s actually a very simple rule that could change your life right now: to stop asking for other people’s opinions as long as you feel vulnerable.
Only ask what other people think of your creations when you don’t need approval and you won’t start questioning yourself if they’re being critical. Keep your hands off Pandora’s box! And I want you to go even further than that – don’t show your creations to other people. Not until you’re ready for it. Once you care more about your own opinion than someone else’s, you can start asking, but until then – keep your art work to yourself and to people you trust. That will give you the space you need to build up your self-esteem.
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This will provide you with a non-judgmental, safe space to grow your confidence muscles!