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Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

Mark Twain once said, “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” The fear of being judged can hold us back from doing the things we want to do in our lives. Early sobriety is often a highly emotional time and we may be in the process of rebuilding our self-esteem. During this crucial time, we may feel uncomfortable with ourselves. In the past, we would self-medicate this discomfort with drugs and alcohol. In sobriety, however, we begin a process of spiritual and emotional growth that truly addresses our lack of self-esteem and allows us to gain a newfound sense of comfort with ourselves.

Most people want to live without caring what other people think of them, but it is much easier said than done. We can’t help but hear the things other people say that are critical of us, and we may take on negative and self-critical thought patterns that make our lives significantly worse. One of the best things we can do to overcome our fear of judgment is to become aware of our own negative thoughts.

Andrea V. Schroll, in a 2017 Huffington Post article entitled 5 Ways to Overcome Fear of Judgment, explains that it is important to know what role our self-critical thoughts are playing in our lives:  “Once you get control of your thoughts and beliefs, you can begin to make shifts in your thinking to be more positive and optimistic without worrying what other people will think about you.” Taking on a code of love and tolerance of others and ourselves allows us to escape from the fearful ways we have been living.

Fear of judgment is often the product of social anxiety to some degree. Dr. Thomas A Richards, in an article for The Anxiety Network entitled The Least Understood Anxiety Disorder, explains that social anxiety is “ the fear and anxiety of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression.” We may be aware of the irrationality of our fears, but our fear of judgment can cause our hearts to race, our hands to shake, and our palms to sweat.

If our fear of judgment reaches a point where it is not manageable, Dr. Richards suggest cognitive behavioral therapy. He explains, “With cognitive-behavioral therapy, we do not wallow in the past and continually bring it up — because it doesn’t do us any good.” Instead, therapists focus on problems that are occurring and “use many small techniques and methods to eradicate anxiety thinking and negative expectations.” Eventually, we will find that our fear of judgment from others and our own self-critical thinking begins to subside.

Your life doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction. You can make the brave decision to seek help now and begin building a brighter future in recovery. Resilient House, a treatment facility in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, offers a highly effective residential treatment program that includes medically-supported detoxification, maintenance care, individual therapies, counseling (including family therapy), and plans to help clients build life skills that will help them after discharge. For more information about residential treatment or other individualized treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431