Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is self-judgment getting in your way?

One of the things I do with clients (that both drives them crazy and helps them change!) is to point out their self-judging statements. So often, someone is simply talking about their week, and they'll say things like "I know this was silly, but it made me feel bad that..." or "it's stupid, I know, but I..."

We all do this. Everyone I've ever talked to EVER does, anyway. The problem is that these self judgments just reinforce our beliefs about not being good enough. Judgment is our way of comparing ourselves to an idea self. "Someone more in control wouldn't have silly emotions." "If I was smarter, I wouldn't have..." We're building a less-than-helpful kind of learning when we constantly utter self-judging remarks.

I think that many of us entertain the belief that as soon as we change something, everything is going to be fine. The thing is, though, that what we've got right now, at this moment, is what we are. This is what we have to work with. And accepting that, truly loving that, builds a base for real change.

Here's something to try, just for today. Catch yourself in self-judgment. Listen for statements like "I know this is dumb," or "It's silly, but..." and just forgive yourself for them. Just listen, observe, and then let them go. Judging our judgments just digs the hole deeper. Enlist a friend if you'd like. But, see about starting down that path of less judgment. Other good things will follow.

The beauty is in the work. You're doing the best you can!


  1. Quick hi! Following via LJ. Good stuff. :)

  2. Or as my 9th grad english teacher would say...'disclaimer deflectors!' Then cross her arms in front of her head and not let us speak until we didn't use a disclaimer in our speech. God I loved that class.