Do you sometimes hear yourself having a dialogue inside your head about what you just said or how you may have come across in a situation with others?
I’ve noticed lately about my increasing mind chatter. It happens because I have entered a couple of new social groups. One is at my gym and the other is with mums who just had a second baby.
Here is the thing, we are often out of our comfort zone when we move to a new area, start a new job or meet new people. We haven’t established whether or not we are accepted to the new tribe or if we feel a sense of belonging to the new setting.
All of a sudden we become more aware of who we are and what we represent. More often than we would think, we judge ourselves on big and small things.
In many ways, judgement is a learned experience.
I remember this incredible scene in a movie I saw years ago, a very mean step-dad asked his step-son to rate himself between 1-10. Just like that. Nothing specific. Totally random.
The son was a shy boy and with reluctance, he quietly uttered: “I don’t know. Six?” (I guess this is his way of saying he thinks he “passed” the test somehow)
The step-dad replied, “Hmm… I think you are more like a Three to me.”
I know, what is that? Totally mean. And of course, the step-dad said all the mean things to cover up his own insecurity and frankly, unkindness. He picked on this teenage vulnerable step-son. But it is not uncommon that when we judge others, we also inevitably judge ourselves.
There are some healthy scenarios that we do need to judge others. Let’s say you are in a sports competition or martial art fight, you need to size up your opponent. But in our daily life, we have a tendency to do just about the same. Comparing ourselves to others in ways that are often unnecessary. Perhaps it comes from our human nature or survival instinct. But when we judge ourselves harshly, it becomes counterproductive and disconstructive.
When our digital age and social media glorifies instant gratification and perfection, we are under tremendous pressure to “look” a certain way and “like” by many, all are different ways of validating that we need to belong and accepted by others.
From this perspective, how can we not become more judgemental towards ourselves?
If you hear someone begins a sentence with “I don’t mean to judge, but …” it is a warning sign. More than likely that you are about to hear a ton of judgement disguising as “honest opinion”.
When our minds are filled with judgement, whether or not it is towards ourselves or others, it is not a nice neighbourhood to live in.
The act of judgement also weights our spirit down. In order to soar, we must become kinder to ourselves and others. We don’t know the full story behind someone’s success, failure, appearance, behaviour and so on.
Mirroring that, people don’t know you the way you do. If someone is unkind to you, remind yourself that it is actually not your business. The only business you have is how you respond and react to them.
Being kind and gentle with yourself when you are feeling vulnerable is a practice. And it is not always easy. Sometimes we react in a way that we will later regret, we don’t always get it right. But it is ok. As long as will try to do it better next time.
It is a practice and a work in progress.
Think about an area in your life that you tend to judge yourself or compare to others. Is it a healthy or unhealthy scenario? How does it make you feel? Does it motivates you somehow or actually weight you down, and as a result, you find yourself in procrastination or denial?
What would happen if every time you want to say something judgmental to yourself, you pause and take a breath. Then, you consciously switch to say something loving and empowering instead?
For example, when you catch yourself saying:
You are not good enough —> switch to —> Look at how far you’ve come
I was so stupid, I should have known better —> If I’ve known better, I would have done better
No one cares about what I think —> I have a mind of my own and it is under my will to share it or not
I wish he/she will behave differently —> It is beyond my control how people act but it is absolutely under my control with the ways how I respond
He/she made me feel small —> I take 100% responsibility with how I feel
We can take our power back by letting judgment go and letting love in.
Subscribe & Review in iTunes
Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I love to encourage you to do that. I don’t want you to miss an episode. Also, I offer occasional gifts and early-bird offer of my programs first on my podcast! You can use this link to subscribe on iTunes! You can also find me on Spotify and other podcast platforms, just search for @SzeWingVetault and you will find me.
Now if you are extra nice and kind, I would be really grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes too. Those reviews help other people find my podcast and I’d love reading them! Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Review” and Write a Review”. That’s it! Thank You!!