Are You Hurting Yourself with Self-Judgment?
How much of your life have you tried to fit in while feeling like you didn’t? How often do you compare yourself to others and wonder, “Am I doing it right? Or, am I doing it wrong? Am I good enough? Am I smart enough? Am I pretty enough? Why can’t I get things right? What is wrong with me?”
For many of us, waking up in the morning and throughout each day, our minds are filled with thoughts of self-judgment; thoughts that tell us we just don’t measure up. All too often the litany of self-judgment we are so familiar with stops us from living the lives we truly desire.
Where It Began
We come into the world, wide-eyed and full of wonder, not judging, not comparing, and simply receiving everything. But, we quickly learn from our parents and others around us how to judge. It’s what we do here. There’s this idea that judging things is the way to fix them and change them. So, we judge ourselves in an attempt to change what we’ve decided is wrong with us. The problem is, judgment doesn’t change things. Judgment gives you more of what you’re judging.
Living Beyond Self-Judgment
What if something else were possible? What if you didn’t have to be in constant self-judgment? What if there were a way to live each day with a sense of joy, having gratitude for you and the gift that you are?
Here are Seven Things You Can Do to Stop Judging You
1. Interrupt Negative Self-Talk
If you have a pattern of judging you, you want to interrupt that pattern. One way that you can do that is to ask, “What’s right about me that I’m not getting?” every time you notice that you are judging you.
The moment you ask this question, the judgment dissipates and you start to perceive the gift of you rather than the wrongness of you.
2. Start a Gratitude Journal
This may sound to simple or maybe even ridiculous, but it works! Every day write down 1-3 things that you are grateful for about you and your life. Gratitude is the antidote to judgment. You can’t be in judgment and gratitude at the same time. The more you write in your gratitude journal, the bigger that journal gets, the less judgment will rule your life. Eventually, the gratitude for you will outweigh the judgment of you.
3. You Are Not Your Thoughts, Feelings and Emotions
Don’t let your thoughts, feelings and emotions define you because there’s a really good chance that those thoughts, feelings and emotions aren’t even yours. You are like a giant radio receiver picking up on everything that’s going on around you.
The next time notice that you are judging you, ask, “Who does this belong to?” If you feel lighter when you ask this question, it was never yours in the first place.
4. Hang Out with People Who Are Happy
The people we hang around influence us. If you are prone to self-judgment and you hang out with judgmental people, you will judge yourself even more.
Find the people who are having fun. Find the people who look for the good; the ones who don’t judge. Choose those people to spend time with.
5. Move Your Body
What body movement is fun for you? Do you like to kick box or jog? Maybe you enjoy yoga or dancing. Getting your body moving is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. When you move your body, you feel better and your energy increases.
6. Ask Questions
A question empowers. Answers and conclusions disempower. Self-judgment is a conclusion. You conclude that something is wrong with you. To go beyond this, ask questions. Two great questions to ask are, “What else is possible?” And, “How does it get any better than this?” These questions take you beyond judgment and when you go beyond judgment, everything in your life begins to change.
7. Acknowledge that You are Different
Often, we look at what is different about us and judge those things. There is this idea that sameness is valuable so we look at where we are NOT the same, we look at what makes us different, and we judge ourselves for that.
Your difference is actually part of your greatness. Be willing to acknowledge what’s different about you; not from the place of judgment but from the place of gratitude.
Imagine having zero judgments of you. No preconceived notions of what’s wrong with you, how you should be, how you shouldn’t be, what’s a right choice, what’s a wrong choice. How many things would you experience for the first time? How many possibilities would open up for you?
The truth is, our judgments put us into boxes, restricting our potential and possibility within the boundaries of our own self-created limitations. However, you can create an entirely new world; one filled will joy and possibility. You are a gift far greater than you’ve ever imagined. Now is the time to know it.