Learning to bear other people's judgement

If you say things that matter, and you say them loud enough to be heard:

Many people will judge you. No matter how you phrase things. No matter how hard you try to do things right. No matter how much you get right. Judgement is unavoidable.

Some people will think you suck. No matter how good you are.

Some people will be mean to you.

It will hurt. It will not be possible to grow a skin so thick that you never feel it.

And: The pain of being judged is bearable. You can’t avoid it all the way, but you can learn to bear it.

And: It’s so, so worth it. Being judged and hurt is not the only thing that will happen. Really good things happen too.

When you speak up loud enough to be heard:

Many people will listen to you.

Many people will respect you.

People will also learn from you, and you will learn from them.

People will respond in ways that teach you things you never knew before, and that you never could have learned any other way.

You will be able to meet fellow travelers, and make all kinds of new connections.

Learning to bear being judged is part of learning to speak up and be heard. It’s hard, and it hurts, and it’s completely worth it. In the long run, it’s far, far less painful than hiding and being silent.