Jenna Rainey


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I’m Jenna Rainey. 

I'm an artist, self-taught designer, and multi-faceted creative entrepreneur who is hell-bent on teaching everyone how to find their inner creative voice.



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A highly creative nerd with a unique breed of humor and the proud earner of a self-bestowed award for being the world’s most curious and driven human.

Hey I'm Jenna!

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It’s like Netflix-binging Bob Ross videos, but with a dose of dry + quirky humor and fewer happy little tree references. 

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Overcoming the Fear of Judgment: Tips and Strategies to Embrace Authentic Self-expression

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The fear of judgment can be paralyzing.

It can hinder our growth, stifle our creativity, and deter us from pursuing our dreams. But if we're constantly worried about what others think of us, we'll find ourselves living someone else's life instead of our own. Embracing authentic self-expression is the key to breaking free. Here are some tips and strategies to help you overcome the fear of judgment and live your most genuine life.

Related: 3 Mindset Shifts Every Creative Needs to Make


Tips for Overcoming the Fear of Judgment

Understand the Source of Fear

Evolutionary Perspective: Humans, as social beings, evolved with an innate desire to fit in with the tribe. This was essential for our survival. Well, we haven’t completely outgrown that genetic tendency and in the modern world, this translates to a fear of rejection or ostracization.

Personal Experiences: Past negative experiences, especially during formative years, can shape our fear of judgment. Maybe we experienced rejection in art class from a teacher, or our first love dumping us. Recognizing these experiences can help in addressing the root of the fear.


Practice Self-awareness

Keep a journal (the ones I use are listed in my Amazon shop!) and note down instances when you felt judged or when you held back due to fear. Over time, patterns will emerge, and you can address specific triggers. We do this a LOT in my course The Art Within and I provide lots of journal prompts for your “Style Journal”.


Surround Yourself with Positive Influences

Cultivate relationships with individuals who encourage authenticity. Avoid naysayers or excessively critical people. Ain’t nobody got time for that! If it’s a family member who is judgey with you, boundaries! Seek out communities and groups that celebrate individuality.


Acknowledge Your Unique Worth

Understand that your value isn’t determined by others' opinions. Each of us has a unique blend of experiences, talents, and perspectives that make us irreplaceable. Solely seeking approval and attention from others is taking your power away and giving it to others. Prioritize self-acceptance first, the rest is a bonus!


Challenge Negative Thoughts

When you catch yourself thinking, “What will they think if I do this?”, challenge that thought. Ask yourself, “What do I think?” or “Is this true to who I am?


Limit Social Media Consumption

The constant barrage of curated perfection on social media can definitely exacerbate the fear of judgment. Take regular breaks, and remember that what's often being posted is often a highlight reel, not the full story.


Seek External Validation Less

The more you rely on external validation, the more you become enslaved to it. Instead, focus on internal validation. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small, and focus on personal growth.


Practice Exposure

The more you face your fears, the less power they hold. Start with small acts of authenticity and gradually push your boundaries. Want a small place to start practicing this? Try calling a friend when you feel the impulse, instead of ignoring the urge and going weeks without connecting.


Embrace Vulnerability

Understand that vulnerability is strength. When we open ourselves up and show our genuine selves, we forge deeper connections and inspire others to do the same.


Remember Everyone is Preoccupied

Most people are too concerned with their own lives to spend too much time judging yours. Even if they do, it's a fleeting thought in the grand scheme of things.


In the end, living an authentic life requires courage. It's about accepting ourselves, flaws and all, and understanding that our uniqueness is our strength. By continually challenging the fear of judgment and embracing who we truly are, we not only find inner peace but inspire those around us to do the same.

by Jenna Rainey 

add a comment

  1. Mindy Greenspan says:

    First thing I read this morning. I have a few of my paintings on display in my house. Family coming to visit soon, including my artist sister in law. Was uneasy about keeping them up, but now I have a new way of looking at things. Good advice Jenna.

  2. Tracy Knapp says:

    As a creative who is just starting the journey into becoming a professional, these are just the tips that I needed as I start to publicly put myself and my work out there. They will become part of my Daily Affirmations. Thanks for sharing!

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