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Shoe shopping


Do you feel judged all the time?  A couple of years ago I came to the realization that a lot of my social anxiety was my own fault.  I felt like people were watching me and judging me all the time.  My internal dialogue was devastating.  It really clicked when I was asked a very straight forward and simple question.  “Why do you think people are judging you?” 

Why indeed?  What evidence did I have?  Was I such a figure that people simply couldn’t wait to see what I was going to do next?  The answer was hard and ugly.  It was because I knew I was judging them.  I knew I was looking at that woman in the store and saying, to myself  “I can’t believe she went out in public like that.”  “Why would she have an argument in the middle of the store with her husband?”  “Like we all want to hear that!”  and especially “Oh yes, lady, I came to the store without my children so I could listen to yours scream.” 

That paints a pretty ugly picture of me, doesn’t it? 

It was having a negative impact even though I never said the words out loud. 

From that point on, I made a conscious effort to correct my thinking. I would quickly replace those negative thoughts with positive ones.  Those negative thoughts still creep in sometimes, but it’s up to me and only me to change them.  I’ve found it easier and easier to go out without feeling looked down upon.  I’ve learned to be ok with where I am in life and who I am.  I’ve realized that most judgements are reflections on the person doing the judging and their own unhappiness.  

What does this have to do with shoes or shoe shopping?  You’ve heard the expression “If the shoe fits…?” 

STOP TRYING ON SHOES!  No one else is going to force them on you.  If you are feeling judged, stop judging others and stop trying on shoes.  The ones currently on your feet are just fine. 

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!