How can I shift the fear of other people's negative judgments when at work?
The questioner's philosophy
I love what I do with great passion and don't want to walk away from my career. I am aware that my parents used to put me down and tell me how useless I was. I fear that this will always stick with me. It would be my absolute freedom if I could shift this negative thing out of my Iife.
- Stop taking other people's comments personally.
Other people's comments are just that - comments. You need to develop the inner discipline that allows you to accept their comment or judgment without taking it personally. To achieve this, learn to "self refer" - this will give you confidence in yourself. What do I mean by self refer? If someone judges you or criticizes you, accept the comment as just that - a comment, someone else's perspective. Do not defend yourself against the comment but rather accept the comment and then examine your behavior and consider whether or not the comment is justified. If it isn't justified, ignore it. If it is justified, change your behavior.
To understand their comment, you are referring within yourself, i.e. self referring. This skill of self referring leads to discrimination and is the main skill you need to learn at this point in time - to be able to discriminate between comments others make that are valid and change your behavior as a result of them, and comments that are not valid and ignore the others' comments. I want you to practice this every day you are at work. It will take time for you to develop the twin skills of self referral and discrimination, but that is your main spiritual task at the present time.
As you develop and fine tune your skills of self referral and discrimination these two skills will help you in every area of your life, including your marriage and other primary relationships - so these skills are well worth acquiring and your job will provide the perfect training ground.
- Do not react emotionally to other people's judgments of you.
To go beyond reacting emotionally to others' judgments, change from seeing their behavior as an attack on your self worth to seeing it as helpful and constructive. See comments and judgments as constructive - then they lose their power to cause hurt. You will be able to find them helpful because you will be using your powers of self referral and discrimination, as outlined above, to change your behavior when needed. This in turn will be helping you to grow and mature as a person.
Before you go into work each morning spend 10 minutes quietly on your own. As you sit in the quiet, visualize each of your work colleagues in turn. Send out loving energy in the form of white light from your heart to theirs and visualize this loving white energy returning from their hearts to you. You can easily visualize this if you take time to sit in silence. By this means, feel a powerful bond of love and mutual support between you and your work colleagues before you go out to work in the morning. Doing this will help prevent you from reacting emotionally to others' comments and judgments and reduce emotion induced stress.
- Do not judge others in thought or word.
Practice not judging other people. If you do not judge others then you in turn will not be judged. Our relationships are like a mirror, in which we can see ourselves. If others are judging you then it means you are harboring judgmental thoughts about them. To learn to stop judging others learn to watch your own mind working.
To do this, detach your self from your thoughts. You are not your thoughts. You are separate from your thoughts. From this place of detachment, observe your thoughts working. Observe them as if they belonged to someone else. This is detachment. This is meditation. As you detach your self from your thoughts and learn to observe them you will notice that you are having thoughts that judge others. That is all you need to do. By simply becoming aware that you are having these thoughts you will cause them to decline and they will lose their power to control your behavior.