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How to deal with people who judge you and your aspirations

woman standing by water

We’re all judged in one way or another… whether it be what we do, what we say, how we dress or what we aspire to do.

It happens when we are least expecting it oftentimes by those we never thought would be that way. The effect on our emotional state can be different for each of us depending on our personalities, backgrounds, life experiences, etc.

But here’s what years of being judged has taught me:

It shouldn’t keep you from doing what you love; if you love it, and put in the work… you will be successful with it. It’s that simple.

OK, now let me back that up with my story.

My career has always followed a winding path and continues to evolve to this day.

I wasn’t like many others who knew from day one what they wanted to do. I had no clue and the pressure was building up when it was time for college… but I still had no clue.

I’ve always been one of those people who gets interested in something, then pursues it, learns it, then wants to do more and that has been my career pattern. I was intrigued by architecture, but had no idea how a wall was built and no experience whatsoever. So I decided that I wanted get a degree in Architecture and attend one of the top ranked schools: Washington University in St. Louis.

If I’m honest with myself, learning has always come natural to me, but if I’m being 100% honest, I never really fully applied myself. I just did the minimum to get good grades and moved on to something else. I struggled with patience, but am getting better.

So, I took the ACT only once because I didn’t have the patience to do it twice, and didn’t score high enough to be accepted into Washington University. 

Wow, I was embarrassed that I was “judged” that I wasn’t smart enough to go to school there.

I didn’t want to accept that decision and was angry too because I didn’t believe it. I was told that I should attend another school, see how it goes and then maybe transfer. And that’s what I did. I took every class that would transfer from other local colleges and then transferred to Washington University to complete my degree. But that didn’t mean I had figured out what I wanted to do.

At Wash U., I continued the way I had always… doing the minimum to get good grades, which meant mostly A’s and an occasional B here or there. But then something clicked in my head and I had a wake up call: 

What would I accomplish if I truly applied myself? 

I decided to do just that…which lead to straight A’s every semester and I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Washington University. 

After college, I worked for several architectural and interior design firms and really enjoyed it, but still felt like this wasn’t my final destination. So, I explored different thoughts and experiences and decided that I wanted to get involved with real estate. I took classes, passed the test and got my license. I worked in residential real estate for a year while I was also working full time in design. I quickly realized that if I wanted to be successful, it wouldn’t t happen part time. 

Those around me were questioning my decision to get into real estate, saying why? Didn’t you go to school for architecture? 

And even more questioned why I wanted to get into commercial real estate, not residential. 

Most thought I fit be a better fit to pursue residential real-estate as there were not a lot of women at the time in commercial real estate. I didn’t agree with this, so I pursued commercial, and without going into all the detail, I took the broker’s test, passed it and got my broker’s license. Now I could do whatever I wanted. I started in property management, then worked for a developer, then went into the transaction side of the business.

Each time I had people judging and questioning me. 

But each step of the way, I was successful with what I was pursing… because I refused to let their judgement affect me. 

Now, once again, I’m pursuing ways I can help others improve others’ lives, not just through the financial aspect of real estate transactions, but more personally and in a way that I am passionate about. Recently, I decided to join a company called Arbonne International after I connected so well with their manifesto on a personal level. And I’m just in the beginning of this venture, 2 months into it, and I’m getting negative comments about “ruining your reputation”, “what are you doing? “etc.  This story has not ended, but…

I’m taking my own advice and staying strong, continuing forward, pursing my passion and enlightening those judging me!

My experiences being judged have taught me two key things that have enabled me to push forward.

Why do people judge?

Most often, I believe, judging happens when the person judging doesn’t take the time to understand the other person and jumps to conclusions based on their own perception, observations, skepticism and experiences. Get past the initial reactions and realize that their judgement stems from ignorance, and it’s not worthwhile to dwell on it! 

How to handle judgement.

Have empathy.

The judging person probably just doesn’t understand you, so take the time to explain, or if you’re not dealing with a reasonable person, just walk away from it. 

I worked with a man who we nicknamed “The Teflon Man” because nothing seemed to get to him, “it slid right off, just like the Teflon brand coated cookware.” He was so laid back and didn’t react but just kept going, doing what he was doing, doing what he loved. And we all loved and admired him for that. He was an inspiration to us!  It’s hard to do, but once you realize that most of judgement stems from ignorance, then it’s not so hard to deal with it. 

Keep doing what you’re doing and don’t let negative judgement affect you or keep you from doing something awesome that you were made for or heading in a direction that others don’t fully understand. Eventually when you are successful with whatever it is, those who judged you will realize this.

Stay strong and keep going!

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No fluff or "pie in the sky inspiration." Just real stories.

Written by Ann Dulle

Ann is the mom of two teens, enjoying a career path connecting her to her passions in life most of all:  Faith, Family, Friends, Travel, Fitness, and Improvement with a purpose to “Make It Count!” Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or her blog: www.annm2705.com 

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