by Matt McKee

In my life, I have plenty of experience with setting myself up for judgment. I used to audition for plays; I put my application in for jobs that I wasn’t really qualified for; I often speak in front of large audiences; and a while back, I even auditioned for the show Shark Tank. All of these are opportunities for others to look at me and judge me.

Why would I do all this to myself?

Well, I prefer to see it as an opportunity. You never have new experiences without taking chances. If I audition for a part in a play, I still may not get it, but the only way to guarantee I don’t get the part is to not audition in the first place. As the saying goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” You can’t reach new heights if you don’t take the risk of stepping out.

But another truth to realize is that being judged isn’t always a bad thing. Often you get great feedback about your own strengths and about the weaknesses you can work on. You learn about yourself, your idea, your product, and even the way you make a presentation. Don’t consider the judgment of others to be final or fatal. It’s just a step in the process of getting better and finding your way. Even negative judgments can help give you direction for next time as long as you don’t let them discourage you.

So try it. Take the risk of being judged and see where it takes you!

Matt is the CEO of ROAR (, a mobile software company focused on providing solutions to churches and non-profits. He is also on staff with reThink, in social media, leadership, and marketing communications roles. More importantly, he is a husband of one and father of two.