Being fair to yourself is not always easy.
Overthinking is a trap all of us, mostly the sensitive types, wish we could escape.
Self-judgment involves fear- it poisons the present, this very moment.
Judgment, you sabotaging your own happiness or the relationship you have with yourself and other people, most often happens subconsciously.
So how can you judge yourself less?
Judging yourself, when it comes down to it, is about pointing out and over-stressing over things you don’t like about yourself, your life, a certain circumstance or situation.
Constant judgment can easily be compared to being at war with yourself at times. It’s beating yourself up, tearing yourself apart, thinking you should be or do something different from what you are.
HOW TO JUDGE YOURSELF LESS
WHAT IS JUDGMENT?
Funny enough, I can recall myself sometimes judging people for… judging others. I’d hear someone gossip, and my mind would immediately travel to a place where I felt angry and frustrated- only to realize that I was doing the very thing I was getting upset about.
I was judging.
Judgment is, it seems, just like an opinion. Although I think that it’s a bit more than that. Most of the time, judgment leaves a bit of that bitter taste behind- it’s a bit more than just an “opinion.” It’s us often jumping to a conclusion, it’s almost like an attempt to control another person, an outcome of a situation, and, more often than not, it’s all about us focusing too much on our own insecurities and what we think are our “weaknesses.”
Am I good enough?
Am I trying hard enough?
Will I ever get to where I want to be?
Do I have what it takes to be a good partner/mother/father/caretaker?
That constant presence of self-judgment in our lives often involves a lot of fear and A LOT of doubt. Doubt, which can stop you from getting where you want to go in life.
BY JUDGING OTHERS YOU’RE JUDGING YOURSELF
By judging others, you’re automatically judging yourself. This is a concept that was difficult for me to grasp at first.
Think of it this way; a lot of the times we tend to judge people we compare ourselves to. These can be people who are successful (read: “more successful than I am“), people who are in loving relationships, people who are physically fit and healthy, etc. Some of these things, like a great career, a bigger house, a family, better relationships, confidence- are things we, ourselves, crave; things we work toward. Those are some of the things we ourselves want out of life. Yet, at the same time, we judge those who already possess those traits, or “things.” We recognize those qualities as something we, ourselves, feel insecure about, which is where the judgment comes from- both towards others and ourselves.
So what does that say about us?
That we tend to judge others by the same measures we judge ourselves. We judge others through measures, values, which are important to us. We tend to forget that it is not up to us to dictate values and rules by which other people should live.
THE GOAL ISN’T TO STOP JUDGMENT ALTOGETHER
That, for one, is nearly impossible. Judging is part of being human, and not always is it a “bad” thing. I once read somewhere that imperfection, (just like death, taxes, and change), is one of the few things that are certain in life. The goal here is not to suddenly turn into a perfectly enlightened being, to monitor every single thought, every spoken word, and every judgment that enters your mind. You can’t possibly stop an occasional negative thought from crossing your mind, just like you can’t suddenly stop thinking. It’s not about trying to stop judgment from happening; it’s about recognizing when it does happen, and letting it go without attaching any guilt to it.
A couple of weeks ago, I’ve decided to start tapering off a few of the medications that I’ve been on since my accident, and things have been… difficult. My temper suddenly became a huge issue. The minute I have an outburst or get irrationally angry, I have to remind myself that it’s temporary, a simple chemical imbalance and that it too, shall pass, once I am back to my old “pre-trauma” routine.
It’s not always easy though.
There was a day when I was on my way home from work, talking to my husband when I started screaming at him over some stupid shit. I can’t even remember what I got upset about, but I was clearly overreacting, and I knew it. The minute I got home, I broke down crying, feeling horrible, thinking how much of a bitch I am, how he didn’t deserve to get yelled at, how shitty of me it was to treat him that way, and so on. Once I took a few deep breaths and calmed down a bit, I called him, I apologized, I started crying and saying just how sorry I was. Being the amazing and understanding person that he is, he just laughed it off and told me to stop apologizing and that he understands I’m not having the best of times at the moment. I, on the other hand, had another one of those horrible, long crying spells and couldn’t stop beating myself up over that outburst of anger.
It took me a minute, but I finally decided to let it go. I had to bring myself to a place of peace; place of non-judgment; I had to tell myself that the judgmental and unloving voice in my head is not who I really am– and this is true for you, too. You can never let go of that self-judgment entirely, but you can change the way it affects your emotions.
If you want to work on judging yourself less, you have to focus on your power to be more mindful; the power to remove the emotional burden judgment brings.
There is a certain sense of freedom that comes with allowing yourself to see those judgmental thoughts, without… judgment.
Notice those judgmental thoughts and emotions attached to them. Allow yourself to observe the judgment, without bringing more judgment into the equation. Don’t think: “I am not good enough” but “I have a thought of not being good enough.” Ask yourself if what you’re thinking is coming from a place of love, or are your thoughts/feelings being filtered through judgment? And then you let go. Once you release the judgment, you have to keep reminding yourself that you want your actions to come from a place of love, a place of peace.
Here’s another quote from Marianne Williamson I love: “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you no to be??”
This is why self-judgment shouldn’t stop you from becoming the person you want to become.
The journey to self-discovery and acceptance is a long one. Stop doubting yourself. Don’t focus on judging yourself. Don’t stop pushing yourself to do and get better, but do your best do so with more love and compassion towards yourself, rather than constantly putting yourself down and overanalyzing every step you take.
Quit beating yourself up, and realize that sometimes things just don’t work out- for no particular reason. Sometimes you mess up, and that’s okay. It doesn’t make you “not good enough” or not “smart enough” and it doesn’t always mean that you aren’t giving it your best. Bring in more grace, more positivity into the relationship you have with yourself. Allow yourself to shine, and you’ll allow others to shine, too.
MichaelaJune 27, 2018 at 1:16 pm
Insightful post – but I feel the word “judgement” is a little out of context here, maybe. Because judgement isn’t always a bad thing, nor is it always negative, as least if we take the word literally. To judge something is to assign a meaning or attribute to that thing. In a court of law, a judge can conclude that a party is either innocent or guilty, in much the same way we can judge something as good or bad, whether for ourselves and others.
I think this is just something our brains are hardwired to do, and simply being aware that we are making these judgement calls on different people, situations, ourselves, etc. we can better understand the nuances in our own experiences that sway us one way or another. I like your example about the argument with your husband and the reaction afterwards, because it reminds me that on a basic societal level we are never really taught to deal with and separate from ourselves from our negative emotions. And then we shame ourselves from having them.
So you’ve got some wonderful examples and advice in this article. Thank you!
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJuly 3, 2018 at 10:58 am
Thanks, Michaela! I think you might have taken the word “judgment” a bit too literal here- I address personality judgment and the effects it has on our behavior- definitely not as it is used in the legal or religious context :) As I mention in the post, not all judgment is “bad” and life without it would be impossible. I meant to focus on the fact that we all tend to be judgmental and sometimes can have a point of view that is a bit too critical and/or negative.
I love what you pointed out about us not being taught to separate ourselves from certain negative emotions. Many times, I think that this realization is something that comes with age, although I do admit that I wish I was equipped with some of these tools that would have helped me deal with my emotions when I was younger!
Natasha GraceJune 27, 2018 at 1:57 pm
Such important advice. Love the ending quote.
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJuly 3, 2018 at 11:00 am
Thank you, Natasha!
Radostina BlagoevaJune 28, 2018 at 3:21 am
So important to get rid of all negative thoughts and keep encouraging yourself no matter what!
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJuly 3, 2018 at 11:00 am
Yes, love that! x
The December DameJune 28, 2018 at 6:13 am
This is so important to note! I sometimes catch myself judging myself really harshly. Now whenever I catch myself doing that I have started thinking “okay, is this something I would judge someone else for? Would I use the same words? How can I make this better?” and it really does wonders!
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJuly 3, 2018 at 11:02 am
That is such a smart approach! We should definitely try to treat ourselves with more kindness.
Linda Libra LocaJune 28, 2018 at 6:31 am
Something I struggle with a lot. Not so much judging others, at least not judging them negatively, but I am constantly judging myself and can´t seem to let it go. It ruins my day, my week… And, most of all, makes me insecure in my relationships.
Anne – Linda, Libra, Loca
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJuly 3, 2018 at 11:04 am
I definitely struggle with judging myself more than I do with judging others. It can be so painful sometimes, but worth working on.
Lisa AutumnJune 28, 2018 at 7:19 am
So motivating thank you girl! A very important reminder :)
x Lisa | lisaautumn.com
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJuly 3, 2018 at 11:04 am
Thank you, Lisa!
KoriJune 28, 2018 at 8:11 am
I love this article! I judge myself…. I’m horrible about it!! My question is, how do you actually “let go” of things? So many times, I know this is what I need to do but to be completely honest, I have no idea how to actually do it!
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJuly 3, 2018 at 11:09 am
Thanks, Kori! It takes practice. It’s not something that you can grasp in a day. For me, it’s something that I constantly have to work on, and remember to forgive myself whenever I do slip up because for the most part of my life, I’ve always been highly critical of myself. Meditating and journaling helps a lot, as does mindfulness. Once you equip yourself with tools that help you deal with negative emotions, you have to keep using them. Every day. I also love Andrew Johnson’s Positivity and Confidence therapy/hypnotherapy apps (you can check them out here: https://www.withandrewjohnson.com/) I listen to them most nights before sleep and they really help.
Bambi | www.kherblog.comJune 28, 2018 at 12:04 pm
Great post. I’m a perfectionist so every mistake I make is a bad thing, it’s hard to stop judging myself or comparing myself to others but at least I’ve started to give myself small prices for things I did well. So that’s a progress.
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJuly 3, 2018 at 11:10 am
Yup, perfectionism and self-judgment go together, all the time. I love the idea of rewarding yourself for doing things well, that is so lovely!
MelinaJuly 16, 2018 at 11:23 am
I used to be the worse judge of myself. I would think all these horrible things about myself, and then compare them to all these people who, in my mind, were doing everything right. It’s such a poisonous habit, and something I’ve been working on myself day and night in order to change it. It’s definitely not easy to change my mindset to that, but it’s definitely been a work in progress. Great post Paula xx
Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJuly 22, 2018 at 5:04 pm
So sorry to hear you’ve been dealing with that, Melina! I can definitely relate. It does take work and effort, every single day, but it’s all worth it. Thank you so much for reading! x
PrincessHiyah AkanqiSeptember 4, 2018 at 3:56 am
I’m inspired. I love the part when you mentioned that it’s not about stopping every judgment that the mind makes but recognizing the thought when it comes. That’s wise. 😊
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comSeptember 4, 2018 at 11:46 pm
Thank you, Love! Very happy that you enjoyed this post!