The Fear of Being Judged

To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others – Siddhārtha Gautama (Buddha) c. 563 – c. 483 BC

This evening, I spent some of my time reading in a café and then off to exercising in the gym. When I was at the gym, it suddenly hit me.

I felt threatened. The calm feeling I felt when I was reading was not there anymore. Unlike reading, exercising is quite new to me. It provides an element that I have yet to successfully tame.

It almost keeps me away from continuing. It is the feeling that the audiences are (secretly) judging me, a novice with only little experience on exercising.

It was not a nice feeling, but.. I have to admit that it could be nothing more than my own worry. Why?

  1. They must be absorbed in their own activities. (When you are absorbed in something, would you bother helping others, let alone judging them?)
  2. They might actually understand the phase you are going through. They were once a beginner. Therefore, they might actually be sympathetic.
  3. Even if they are ill willed – and at worst they giggle at your amateur moves, they don’t know you in person, and vice versa. (Someone told me thatjudgment from some strangers would not hurt you as bad as if it comes from your dearest.)
  4. If #3 happens, is it really that bad to be commented on? It might be a sign that you are shining too bright to be ignored.
  5. Furthermore, we must also realize that we cannot (and must not) control others. We would always fail to do so. We can only try to control our own thought. (And also, follow #1)

So, for you, starters in a new adventure, remember that one’s worst enemy is actually oneself, one’s inability to conquer one’s own thought, be it in starting a new routine, building new business, following new career path, or pursuing something others might not understand.

In reality, there would be people who are ill willed. But, what those people say badly about you matter less than what you think of yourself. 🙂

Be content being yourself.


2 a.m. yesterday, I was in a room with no electricity. I felt threatened, as if someone (or something) is going to spring towards me from behind. But, nothing happened, fortunately.

Lesson learnt: I worried too much!! (Actually, I want to say that I am so precious that someone or something would bother surprising me..)


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