“Am I ready to stop judging?”
One week ago I heaved out this question. The first part of my micro habit challenge is over and I can formally announce: “Nope, I’m not ready to stop judging.”.
Nevertheless it is astonishing what I have learnt only by asking myself this and other fundamental questions about judgement. For example who do I judge, what and when do I judge?
The answer to “Who am I judging?” is pretty straight forward: mainly myself. I was never really good at ‘having an opinion’. Also ‘putting people in boxes’ was never quite my thing. Well, congratulations Uli, pat yourself on your shoulder.
But what I do from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep at night is squeezing myself into boxes. Yes, I’m not even putting myself in one box – no, I pull, I push, I haul and I squeeze myself violently into several boxes. What do I mean by that? I have this perfect image of who I would like to be in my head, but the reality doesn’t quite meet my expectations. What I don’t realize is that I don’t fit in these boxes – I can do whatever I want.
More clearly than ever I can see the source of my negative thinking patterns right in front of me: It is ‘judging myself’. I nearly have to laugh about how much I’m disparaging my own self by jamming myself into those boxes. I judge myself for nearly everything I say or do. This is what this challenge shows me. It is (nearly) ridiculous.
At the same time – more than ever I can see clearly what I need to change in order to liberate myself from this prison that I create in my head: I need to free myself from judging.
What did I really learn?
I’m imposing these massive expectations on myself. My whole self-worth relies on meeting unrealistic goals. And my only real goal is nothing else then being a flawless human being. I push myself to do everything in the most effective way. I’m telling myself what to want. I’m not allowing myself to just be how I am – full of mistakes like every other human being on the planet.
Before I even ask myself “What do I want?” I’m already judging myself. I’m telling myself what is the right thing to do or to want instead of doing what feels right.
“I’m supposed to be well-balanced.” “I should speak more italian.” “I should really call this friend.” “I should apply for this job.” “I should really write this article.” And if not? “I suck.” “I’m the worst.” “I’m a loser.” “I’m weak.” “I’m a narcist.” “I have zero emotional intelligence”… This is what I tell myself day in and day out.
What’s the key? Accepting what is instead of creating these weird ideas about how something (me) can or should be.
Judging is over-thinking. This is what happens when you have nothing to think about but thoughts. (Thanks Alan Watts for making me use this phrase.)
Man, I knew I’m self-centred, but my self-centeredness is astounding! The only good thing is – I can change it. And now that I read it here black on white I don’t even think I am that far off…
I’m creating barriers between me and the real world. And I’m going to break them down. All the past years I thought “I just haven’t quite find the right guy to start a relationship.” “I haven’t quite find my tribe.” “I haven’t quite find my purpose.”
Reality is that I’m the one who is closing herself off by pre-judging. How can I expect to be liked if I don’t accept myself? How can I expect to do what I really want if I don’t take the time to really listen to what I want deep deep down inside of me? It is so important to be true to myself.
With every judgement I reinforce self-doubts and create a negative image of myself. By ‘not-accepting’ what is inside of me or outside of me I’m creating a barrier between me and the outside world. I can only allow things to evolve in a natural way if I don’t judge them with the cruel voice of perfectionism in my head.
What is judgement? It is making a conclusion before there is even an outcome. It is labeling yourself. Why is judgement bad? Because we can only put our own experience in consideration. We make conclusions based on what we know. But what we know has nothing to do with reality. It is maybe a part of it, but nothing more than a bunch full of ideas about what reality could be.
If we want to get in touch with reality, the world, the truth or however you want to call it, we really have to take the time to look long enough, before we make a move.
Also – judging oneself can be a good thing. But it is only a good thing if we turn our self-judgement into something useful – self-discipline or the motivation to learn more or the willingness to change oneself.
What am I going to do?
So far I took a bigger step back from my thoughts and looked deeper into my innermost self. What am I going to do next? Of course, looking even deeper. I’m planning to write down where and how I judge myself in order to find out about some deeper layers.
Beyond that I want to transform these negative energies into positive ones. As soon as I find myself contemplating about what a great person I ‘could’ be I’m transforming this negative energy – into something positive or productive. I make creative energy out of judgement and self-justification.
Because this is what happens after judgement – We are starting to justify ourselves. And all this together is a big waste of energy…