This one line from James Victore’s book ‘feck perfuction’, gave rise to this whole article — that says something pretty powerful about his book: “Have a f•cking opinion and go make something with it.”
I think that’s fair enough.
I have opinions, lots of them. Mostly good but some not so good, it has to be said.
I’m happy to share them, in fact, I’m happy to share most stuff because I think not sharing, not being honest, not having the courage to show up as yourself, is feeding an epidemic that is slowly killing our society.
That epidemic is called judgement.
Judgement comes from prejudice, a lack of understanding, a lack of motivation to understand, fear of the unknown, of being found out, but mostly of having to face an uncomfortable truth — life is messy, uncertain, uncontrollable and we are never far from being in the place of the person, who we are so quick to judge.
Judgement is the biggest reason why people hide their true selves, it stops us from taking action and connecting with others, in any truly meaningful way.
And that makes us deeply unhappy. We become trapped, by our own hands, in a world we were never meant to be in and worst of all, it feels like we are alone, because we are too scared to tell others, what it is that we really feel, think and want.
Because we are scared of being judged.
This article is my antidote to judgement — it’s about saying, actually I really don’t give a sh•t about what others think of me nor what I do. Certainly not enough to stop me taking action, of being who I am meant to be and to allow my whole self to be seen.
If I’m honest, there are some things that I do give a sh•t about. It bothers me if someone thinks I’m mean. It bothers me because kindness is such a core part of my value set. It bothers me if someone thinks I’m a bad parent, because being a good parent and not screwing up my children, is my core raison d’etre. And, it bothers me if someone thinks I’m not good enough because for many years I lived in a world where I wasn’t and I had to work my arse off, to prove otherwise.
But equally, I’m no saint, I do have opinions and yes, sometimes I do judge, I think we all do, in one form or other.
I have a deep dislike of superficial, airbrushed people who intentionally set out to persuade the world of a reality that is simply not authentic — it’s airbrushed, to make them look and appear exceptional to others. This is seriously harmful (and exhausting), to them as well as others. We are all struggling to keep our sh•t together as best as we can, we really do not need ‘salt rubbing in the wound’, by being shown how others seem to manage it all, therefore by implication showing us just how inadequate we really are.
I’m an introverted snob, I am wary of people who consider themselves to be of a certain class, because of their birthright. I respect people for who they are, how they treat others, what value they create in this world, not for their family name, property portfolio or prestigious education. In fact, the more a person has, the harder they have to work for my respect — in my book, everyone including myself starts at zero. Respect is earned, it is not inherited or automatically earned.
I really cannot bear social climbers. This category is probably the worst for me. Not only are people saying that where they come from is not good enough, but it also says, that the people who are good enough, are those who are judged as successful on the most egotistical, superficial and often, selfish criteria. It goes against all of my value sets.
In fact, I have just unfriended a friend on social media (somewhat of a dichotomy, as if they were a friend in the first place, I wouldn’t need to unfriend them), because they are social climbers. So much so, that they passed judgment on my son — and admitted it to me, as they thought my value sets were the same as theirs. The fact that they thought it was ok to even have this conversation, probably says it all — a lethal combination of arrogance, a lack of emotional intelligence and a completely f•cked up view of the world.
Now I know I should be bigger than all of this — I should lean into difficult people, as Brene Brown would advocate and not take feedback from the people who are not in the arena with me.
But the reality is, I am but a mere human being. I make mistakes, I still allow judgement a peek in now and again, I find it difficult to forgive and I self-flagellate far more than I should. Having said that, I’m beyond judgement enough to air my opinions, to try and inspire people to redefine this ridiculous reality we find ourselves in, to show up and own up and to have the courage to be exactly who they are meant to be.
Being beautifully coiffured, materially rich and promoting a perfect life, as our only form of success, just needs to be called out for the complete b•llshit that it is.
Being real, messy and screwed up, in one form of other, is raw, authentic, intimate and beautiful. And more importantly, it allows us to truly connect with one another.
So, that’s how I choose to use my opinion — I think you should show up and own up, everyday as yourself, warts and all, to find where the true value lies in life.