The Invisible Jury

What’s an invisible jury? It’s a jury you can’t see. It’s one that you create in your head. 

Do you fear its power to convict — of not being good enough, a bad person or a loser?

I used to think there was always one hiding. The mysterious “they.” I didn’t know who. I tried to be seen as innocent of everything.  

I was recently talking with a client who made a life change. 

“I always want to do everything well,” she said. 

“If you don’t, then what?” I said. 

“I will be seen as not good enough”

“By who?”

“People on social media.”

“Oh, the Karadashians.”  

She laughed. 

“Well, now that you say it, it sounds dumb.”  

It’s normal to fear judgment. You are the only one who can be convicted of anything.  

We are told we shouldn’t care what others think. That’s easy to say, but hard to do. It’s necessary to be aware of how others think about you. It’s part of relationships and community. It’s another part of human nature you can push against. Here’s how: ask. 

Whose judgment in the jury do you fear, and why? What real power do they have over you? The problem is we think the jury will forever convict us as fundamentally flawed, weak or damaged.

Use self-confidence. Remember your successes, your best moments and the people who love you.  

Use mental imagery. Identify the jurors. Imagine dismissing each person. When they are the Karadashians, you can dismiss them easily. Replace them with people who have your back. My wife and son are my real jury.

Most people don’t judge you at your worst. If you do that to others, that may explain why you think other people do, too. It means the juror you need to dismiss the most is you.

Want to learn more about how to be less judgemental of yourself? Watch this TED Talk by Susan David. She has also written a great book called Emotional Agility

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