If you answered yes, judging is part of your life.
I believe we all want to feel great about ourselves all the time. This can be challenging because our brains are not hard wired to support this. Our brains trick us into judging ourselves and others to protect us from unforeseen predators or events. Several hundred years ago such fundamental self-preservation was needed and it no longer serves us. (2)
Personally, I feel ‘inadequate’ when I judge myself and gossipy when I judge others. I looked up the definition of judging.
The Urban Dictionary defines judging as “judging the unknown. The act of looking down upon someone; to regard with contempt or disdain, to regard as inferior.”(1)
I wondered how judging differs from having an opinion.
We can keep our opinions:
I decided when I judge, I make blanket statement, typically based on assumptions such as ‘that’s a stupid idea’, ‘I’m hopeless at this’.
I share my opinions when I start a comment with “I think……” I own what I say, all of which is based on my thoughts, ideas, perspectives. I am accountable for what I say.
I needed to understand more about judging and how it impacts me.
My 30 Day Judging Challenge
Wanting to focus completely on abundance for me and others, I invented a 30 day Judging Challenge. When I find I am judging myself, I become aware of this, self reflect using curiosity with the goal of no more judging me.
I started with exploring how I felt when I judged myself. Once I understood judging me made me feel hollow, I began to
reframe my thoughts into ones that were not judging. I immediately felt better about me and therein lies the magic.
Judging Weighs Me Down:
At the end of each day I reflect on how I have judged myself. I now know when I am tired or vulnerable I am more likely to judge myself.
When I stop judging myself I feel more energized, lighter and more content. I am more aware of opportunities around me and open to the possibilities they present.
My thoughts are Changing
As I continue my Judging Challenge I am once again learning that I can change my thoughts. I have the power to choose how I live my life. Each day I find I have less judging thoughts about myself. I am kinder towards myself and others. I choose not to have judging in my life and where I know I experience it with others, I am creating boundaries to minimize their impact on my thoughts. I feel I am moving away from allowing judging to influence my thoughts and feelings.
You Can Do This Too:
You may be reading this and thinking – yah, but I don’t have time, or I don’t judge and maybe you are right.
I would invite you to consider these questions to help you develop a self-reflection practice to create awareness around how judging affects you.
- I set an intention to practice self-reflection around judging, exploring how I see myself judging me.
As I self reflect I ask myself:
- How are my thoughts negative, messaging I am not enough?
- What happens to me when I am in that judging place?
- How do I feel?
- What am I curious about, what do I want to explore?
- What is one thing I can do to help me climb out of this hole and be open and non-judging in how I see myself?
- I become intentional of taking control of my thoughts.
- What can I do to be aware when I start to judge myself?
- What can I do to help me stay open and non-judging for the next hour, next day?
- If you want to commit to this, I have found entering my thoughts into a journal daily helps me track my progress.
Self Reflection and Me:
It is becoming easier every day. I am lighter, happier and more focused. I see opportunities and welcome them into my life.
I invite you to share your experiences of your Judging Challenge. I am excited to be doing this and seeing the possibility it is presenting to me.
Co-Founder of The Institute Of Curiosity
Kathy Taberner is a retired occupational therapist, Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with a MA in leadership and training. With her daughter, she is a co-founder of the Institute of Curiosity and co-author of the ‘Power of Curiosity’. She is committed to supporting women to strive to become the dynamic and successful leaders they want to be. Her research project for her Masters explored the leadership styles and emotional intelligence of senior female leaders in BC.
She and her husband of many years, share their time between the Okanagan and Vancouver.