I can be in my body.
I can breathe into my body.
I can allow my body to relax.
I can appreciate my body.
I can be one with my body.
An update of my “Seven Minute Experiment” is long overdue. Honestly – this is much more than a Micro Habit Challenge. My whole world literally comes crashing down on me – in a good way. I’d like to call it a healthy disillusionment.
What did I do? I started a small diary of my feelings in my notebook. Everyday I write down which emotions I felt on this day. In moments of extraordinary joy or pain I take the time to sit for seven minutes with these feelings. Afterwards I’m documenting it.
This helps me tremendously to get a better understanding of what is going on inside of me. It helps me to get a realistic image of my emotional state – this is the healthy disillusionment. I’m starting to face my reality.
It is crazy what kind of process this experiment had started. And how something so simple can be so fundamental. Actually I have to go a couple of steps back. There was a challenge that I called “Am I ready to stop judging?” The answer was “no”. But the only person I’m judging is myslef. And I found out why.
Yeah, there is a lot of perfectionism and blaming going on. But most of all. The reason why at times I feel so detached from myself is a lack of connection with my gut feelings, my core, my inner child – however you want to call it. A lot of times instead of recognizing what I actually want in a given situation I rather judge what’s best. My mind makes a decision before I can even listen what my inner self wants to tell me.
As soon as I take the time to listen I’m accepting these feelings as they are – without judgement from the mind.
I’m trying to sum up some insights:
Boost Of Positive Emotions
When I started this experiment I thought I would go through all my negative emotions. The idea was that I would ‘sit with the pain’ and see how it evolves. What I realized was that I don’t allow enough space for my positive emotions. Once I’ve started to allow myself the seven minutes in moments of exuberant joy I’ve started to raise my energy level. Even thinking about these moments now boosts my energy level.
I’m Actually Quite Happy
Through ‘watching out’ for my feelings I get a better – and more realistic – image of how I feel today and in my life. Also it made me realize that I’m not as depressed as I thought I am. And if I have negative emotions, anger or rage these seven minutes help me to see the source of the pain. Actually I have moments of joy and pleasure (from the small things) every day.
Feelings Are Normal
It might be a bit early to point out but I can feel my emotional intelligence increasing. The better I understand myself the better I’m able to understand what other people go through. In the end we all go through the same stuff in our lives. Looking at my feelings helps me to integrate moments of loneliness, confusion or pain without judging them.
Arrival in the Now
As soon as I observe I arrive in the presence. This doesn’t only apply to things, but also to emotions. It is incredible which aspects of my life are changing through watching my feelings.
Personal development is a matter of constant effort. It is a learning process that requires constant work.
I fell in love with this process, but recently I had been neglecting it a little bit.
Luckily the universe provides me with the lessons that I need to learn – over and over again.
I understood that these lessons are the process. There is no final solution. Or to put it differently: There is a constant solution.
These lessons are the solution. Or to use the words of Ram Dass and Timothy Leary “We don’t have a problem. We have a plan.”
Recently I’ve been a bit stuck. Trapped in my own perfectionism I was trying to force purpose. I was so busy ‘uncluttering stuff’ that I forgot to keep doing the work (which is part of the plan).
“Making an honest inventory.” “Writing my heart out.” – Helping me to grow. This is still the idea of growthbuddy.rocks. And on the way I’m trying to inspire a ‘growth-mindset’.
Right now I feel like I block my own progress with all the ‘intellectualizing’ and the pressure to finish hundreds of articles.
I’m working on articles about resilience and taking responsibility for oneself’s feelings while building up resistance against my own truth.
What do I mean by that? My own truth is my direct connection. It is my ability to connect with the world from a natural point – without trying to control or to be somebody.
I behaved like I arrived at this point. Like I mastered it. But in reality my confusion reached a new level and also my perfectionism and my addiction to predict the future was still holding me in chains.
I’m just a kid playing with the universe, with the world, with other people, with my own potential – without understanding the rules.
Once in a while it is good to get an outlook to the mountain without peak, but now it’s time to do my homework again.
Back To Work
I noticed it when I tried to finish my article about ‘taking responsibility for one’s feelings’:
I can’t feel feelings. In many situations I don’t know what I need. Probably because I am so distracted with organizing my life and stuff. And also because I’m so busy thinking of other people’s needs and what I can do for them. (Codependency)
I’m out of touch. Out of touch with reality. But mainly out of touch with myself. And this is why I can only express my confusion.
“The Seven Minute Experiment”
My work for now is it to get back in touch with my feelings. It is funny, because I’m talking about love and heart a lot.
In the last few days during yoga and at the climbing gym I found out that I have absolutely no connection with my heart. Well, not absolutely, but definitely I’m not acting ‘from the heart’. The muscles around my ripcage are so tight, there is absolutely no room for me. No room to enter. And this is the source of all other pain that I’m experiencing in my life.
As some of you might know I like challenges. It is time for another Micro Habit Challenge. This time it is more a Macro One:
Ha! And there we go. I was trying to define the difference between feelings and emotions. And I couldn’t. There are different definitions of it.
As far as I understood an emotion is something caused by the external. Some event we react too. This emotion can also access our deep rooted fears or desires and all of a sudden it causes a feeling within our chest.
Feelings are something we have learnt. Feelings that we feel are conditioned. For example some events trigger an old child memory and all of a sudden we feel a certain way in a certain situation without doing anything about it.
I don’t remember where I read or heard it, but apparently it takes seven minutes to ‘go through’ a feeling.
In the next 30 days I want to have a closer look at myself. This is really basic work and I’m hoping to get more clarity around the topics of ‘integration’ and ‘needs’.
Acutally I’m already a few days into the challenge. I started a diary for my feelings about a week ago. The starting date of the challenge is September 12th.
Trust in the uncomfortable.
Trust that everything that doesn’t belong to you will leave you.
Trust that everything that belongs to you stays with you.
The longest two weeks of my life are coming to an end. Ok, I’m exaggerating. But man, this was harder than I thought. The idea was to get rid of my notes, but in reality I created so many new ones – of course – because the more I write the more I think and the more I think the more I streamline my insights.
The learning curve is steep, but through this challenge I definitely made the most progress I’ve ever made with any writing experiment. I literally wrote my ass off. But no pain no gain, right?
Nevertheless – I completely under-delivered. This was partly due to my perfectionism, but also because I was quite involved with editing projects and other work.
Instead of 14 articles I published only nine. Six of the 14 days I worked full-time. I visited my parents in my home village and I was living on a campground. I had a lot of social interaction, which drained my energy.
Nonetheless I used every free minute to write – in the subway, waiting for the bus, in the train, before going to sleep…. I spent nearly every spare moment writing.
I’m proud of what I have achieved in these two weeks. This challenge reached depths that I have never suspected and this is all that matters.
Killing The Darlings Fastly
The time restraint of the two weeks definitely forced me to steam down my insights. This made me think sharper. Due to the time pressure I had to ‘kill my darlings’ very fast. What do I mean by that for those who don’t write? I had to shorten and revise my articles faster and this helped me in the process of ‘detaching’ from my writing.
Writing is Growth
I find peace while writing. I love the process of filling a page with my thoughts.
Publishing with the idea to have to revise it ten times afterwards doesn’t satisfy me and it doesn’t improve my writing either. “Learning years are not earning years.” I guess patience is key and as long as I keep going everything is fine.
Pressure shapes a diamond, but it contracts my brain. It is more important to develop a writing routine than forcing myself to press the publishing button. There are things that are just not ‘ripe’ yet.
There is no such thing as ‘finishing an article’. There is always something to add. There will be always ten new articles in the pipeline. And that’s good – as long as the ideas are flowing I’m going to write.
“Writing over publishing”
I wrote between two to ten hours per day, but if I’m tired I better get some sleep. My topics are too fundamental to just pour them out. The range of subjects expands with every article that I write.
It blows my mind what I’m learning from this challenge. Even though my perfectionism screwed up the quantity of my challenge. I’ve never wrote more within two weeks. I feel like a tiny barrier in my head broke. And this is all that matters. I will keep going.
Growing personally remains a matter of observing our habits and altering them. If we want to change, we need to break with our conditions and reveal our true needs. “Habit needs unconsciousness to be repeated. Where consciousness enters, habit falls.” Again I refer to Thích Nhất Hạnh here.
Habit has no power anymore as soon as we are aware of it. But how do we break the chains of habit and practice ‘change’ persistently? How do we get our willpower back?
There were so many things that I wanted to quit or change in my life. I read dozens of articles and books on self-improvement, on how to establish healthy routines and foster positive changes.
More and more I found out that if I want to live in a new way, I have to find out what are the old ways?
Simple, right? I have to avoid unhealthy behaviours. But what are these toxic behaviours? Smoking? Eating sugar? Drinking too much coffee? Yeah, these are the obvious ones. But what else is there? How many times have I found myself ruminating negative thoughts and mistakes? How many times do I still make others responsible for my feelings?
To get to the core of my toxic ways ot thinking I really need to have a closer look. How can I develop compassion for myself, if I don’t know me (well enough)? There are some easy steps that help me with the process of becoming more self-aware. I would like to share them with you in this threesome.
1. Practice Being Alert
Survey your behaviour – especially in conversations. I found out that a lot of times I take things too personal. This is a way of giving away my power. It is proof that I have problems with ‘staying with myself’. It is a sign for lacking self-awareness and at the end self-love.
It sounds familiar to you? So, what can you do instead?
Listen more than you speak. Watch yourself and see how your feelings resonate with the words that are spoken. When do you react emotionally? When do you get angry? When do you take things personally? Instead of plain reaction – get in touch with your emotions and desires. Ask yourself why you act like this? What would be an appropriate reaction?
By being aware of our reactions we are learning to review our thinking from a higher perspective. This way we can identify unhealthy thinking patterns.
2. Slow Down
Eat slow, walk slow, breathe slow, be slow. Abandon rushing from your life and everything will change. All of a sudden you will notice things that you’ve never noticed before. You will understand everything better.
“If you win time you win it all,” says Buddha and his disciples.
By paying better attention to our environment we automatically pay attention to what is happening inside of us. This doesn’t only give us the opportunity to act appropriate but also to arrive in the ‘now’. This is meditation – being slow.
3. Find the ‘Why’
I really need to understand the benefits of quitting a bad habit before I can alter it. For example: Theoretically I understand why eating sugar is a bad thing, but as long as I never find out what happens if I stop eating sugar / start meditating / going for a run in the morning I will never establish this habit.
I think this is why it is so hard to adapt the habits of ‘successful people’, because these habits might don’t suit our real needs. Journaling is might be helpful for people who like to write. But for some it is maybe not, because they get even more caught up in there strange thinking patterns.
We have to ask why in both directions. Why do we cling to negative habits? What can we do instead? And why / how changes a new habit my overall well-being? In any way we need to be open to ‘try something new’ every once in a while, if we really want to change our lives.
This is another type of challenge right here. I’m tired of all the notes in my notebook. I’m tired of scrolling through all my endless drafts. Something worthwhile needs time, yes. I got that. But by rewriting an article a hundred of rounds I might lose my original idea and in the end I risk improving for the worse.
Many times I don’t publish only because I think: “That’s not good enough.” “Somebody said this before.” “I can do better.”
Of course I can do better. But when is better good enough? A lot of times I feel like the more I’m trying to improve the more I’m destroying my own writing. I feel like I’m loosing messages that could be worthwhile for somebody.
The other day I went to a writing meetup in Munich. I always like the exchange with other writers. Only now I realize how important it is for my motivation to hear about the broad experience of all these novel authors, script writers, ‘conceptioners’ and comic scribblers.
This time I met Marie from France again and we were talking about a phenomenon: Every so often a book doesn’t get published, because the author changes his or her mind. “I heard this from many publishers.”, Marie contemplated. “You better publish quickly before you can change your mind.”, she encouraged me to silent the judge before it can execute.
The suspicion is close that I’m not brave enough. “I have the feeling you are hiding yourself.”, a couple of weeks ago a friend and potential work partner pointed out to me. And yes, it is true – I am hiding. I’m afraid to publish.
But this blog here is not about me. There are millions of people going through the same things like me – they suffer from anxiety, depression, a broken heart, insecurity, self-doubts, pms, every topic that I address … I have to stop considering my writing as ‘my baby’.
It is my baby in a way, of course. But why am I writing? I’m writing because I want to change perspectives. I change my perspective by reading books, listening to lectures and talking to people. Realistically I’m nothing more than a catalyst of what I read and what I experience in the real life.
These experiences are not unique to me. What is unique is the way everybody processes these experiences. I’m doing it in this way here. Writing is my therapy, creativity is my valve.
I most likely experience real freedom while filling an empty page with my own words. Unfortunately a state of flow is still rather an exception than a rule.
Being a writer is a gift and a curse – however I need to put myself out there in order to fulfill the purpose.
Why do I call it “Writing Transformation Challenge”? I want to develop my own writing style. But by polishing my articles to a point of unrecognizability I kill my style. With this challenge I want to see if pressure makes the diamond…
The goal is to publish a post every day the next 14 days. Day one will be tomorrow.
“Life is difficult.” This is the first sentence of M. Scott Peck’s book “The road less travelled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth” – for me one of the most comprehensive (and comprehensible) classics on the ‘spiritual book shelf’. I really don’t know how to rephrase this sentence. Life is filled with loneliness, misunderstandings, expectations, fear, failure and despair. This is reality. But somehow ‘society’ / us / our ‘cultural storytellers’ want to tell us something else.
We Whitewash Our Pain
Happiness became a business. Society wants to see us smile. As a result we expect to be happy all the time. And if we are not happy? We are trying to find a remedy – instantly. And how are we supposedly ‘curing’ ourselves from stress and dis-ease? How do we ‘get over’ fatigue, grief and misery? We go to retreats. We consume goods and substances. We fill our bodies but we don’t nourish our souls. We survive but we don’t sustain.
Instead of learning to integrate our unpleasant feelings we build barriers that disconnect us from our pain. Where we are meant to find connection we are closing ourselves off. Instead of facing the lessons of life we are finding comfort in distraction.
Inner emptiness, a loss of the ability of self-care, addiction and diseases are caused by this lack of connection.
Acknowledge The Pain (And Embrace The Fear)
If we want to connect with ourselves we need to connect with our pain. Or with the words of John Green (“The fault in our stars”): “Pain demands to be felt”. We don’t have to travel into former lives or visit the anacondas in the rainforest of the Amazonas to get a glimpse of what is going on with our pain.
If we want to connect with ourselves we need to connect with our pain.
So, how can we deal with suffering in our life? How can we ‘humanize’ the pain demon? How do we embrace the fear?
The first step is to look into the mirror with all honesty. Firstly we have to admit that something is wrong.
Initially we don’t know much about our pain. All we feel is emptiness / a lack of purpose or motivation. Some sort of unwillingness or this huge hole we fall into every Sunday. Or a real physical pain. It can be an infection, a backache or an autoimmune disease. It can be anxiety, depression or paranoia. It can be an unbearable feeling in our chest that makes us unable to feel joy or to make a decision. It can be an enduring conflict with a family member or our partner. It can be any feeling of unease that reappears in certain situations or lasts for a period long enough to restrain our life.
Instead of running away from it – instead of distracting ourselves with scrolling through instagram or escaping into a phone call with our friends, going to a party, taking drugs, rushing to work, we need to take a moment to acknowledge the pain.
Questions Are Our Tools
What do you feel?
A subtle fear of pain leaves us in a state of faint. How do we get out of this state of powerlessness?
Through the years I was looking into my pain a little deeper. I asked myself questions: “Where is the pain coming from?” “Why do I envy others?” “Why am I aggressive sometimes?” “Why do I have issues with my health?” “Why do I complain so much?” “Why do I feel empty / a lack of motivation / a lack of trust?”
I had no immediate answers to these questions, but all of a sudden I spotlighted some corners of my psyche that had never seen the light before.
At the beginning this was overwhelming. All these fears behind this pain seemed to be threatening. I preferred to keep a safe distance. But as the feeling of pain kept recurring I dared to step closer and say “hi”.
Our Fears Are Like Watchdogs
All of a sudden these big fears looked less life-threatening. As soon as I came closer the demons turned into cute dogs. I understood: Our fears are like watchdogs. They look scary from the distance, but in reality they are our friends. Incredibly grateful they are waving their tale when we finally pay attention to them.
I understood that these feelings wanted to tell me something. More than that – they wanted to show me a direction. What I didn’t know at the beginning was that these watchdogs are my guides, my mentors. They show me the changes to make and the way to go.
All the time I was so occupied with ‘avoiding the pain’ that I preferred to give away my control. Fears dominated my thoughts. What I had to do instead was taking the time to get attuned with my fears. I needed to learn the language of these watchdogs in order to gain a relationship with them.
By integrating these fears into my life I’ve started to take responsibility for my thoughts and actions. I learnt to take care of these dogs. After a while we were able to comfort each other and to withstand the hardships of life – together.
Feeling the pain opens up the opportunity to get in touch with our unconsciousness. We get to know our deep rooted fears. And through these fears we learn about our real desires.
What’s there? The fear of being alone. The fear of failure. The fear of decision making. The fear of making the wrong decision. The fear of choosing the wrong path in life. The fear of getting married to the wrong partner. The fear of getting hurt. The fear of hurting somebody. The fear of giving birth. The fear of missing out. The fear of not fitting in. The fear of not having friends. The fear of commitment. The fear of taking full responsibility for every action, every decision. The fear of the fear. The fear of life?
What Do You Like About Your Suffering?
When we catch a greater look at our pain we identify the fears behind it. But before we are able to walk our watchdogs we need to accept discomfort as part of the process. At the beginning we are distrustful, because we don’t speak the same language. We might only wave at our fears from the distance and duck back down. We might cling to our suffering instead of facing the fear.
Suffering has always a reason. It is something that can keep us alive, something that can accommodate us in a weird way. We get used to it. What do you like about your suffering? If you are not willing to end it, you are might be not suffering ‘enough’?
Pain is necessary in order to find new solutions. If you are not happy with a situation and you suffer so much that you can’t handle the situation anymore you need to change something. Pain is a medium of transformation – if you are willing to break the barriers.
If you accept the challenge, if you deal with it you might emerge strong-minded and more self-aware from a negative experience.
It’s not about overcoming your fear. It’s about feeling it and transforming it into positive action.
Nobody Said It Was Easy
“Those things that hurt, instruct.”Benjamin Franklin
A therapist, your friends, books or even conversations with random strangers can light you the way. But you have to walk it yourself. The secret is to have patience and persistence. Of course you need to be strong and nobody said it is easy. Nope, life is difficult.
We can read many books. We can pray, trust and believe. But we must walk. We must greet our challenges, we must get to know our demons personally and grow together.
There is no shortcut to enlightenment. There are all these crossroads. We have to choose one. Even if we get lost at times – deep inside we know the way.
Okay, another week of this micro habit challenge had passed. I have to admit that two weeks are a bit short to really understand what is going on. But something is going on – and it is something big.
I figured out that I’m mainly judging myself – and not other people. What gnaws away my energy or leads to confusion are the voices in my head that are telling me what to do, what to want and how to act. Yeah, it is probably not even one voice, but many. (And yeah, I’m seeing a therapist;)
Instead of asking myself what I really want from a situation or – and that is very painful to admit – from my own life I’m already assuming things that I should want. Or after a situation I judge about myself and tell myself how I should have behaved or reacted.
Hm, okay, here we come to the difficult question: Who is the judge in my head and how can I make him shut up? (Thanks, Alan Watts;)
Well, first I thought this is a very tough question. I could study this question from all perspectives – from a psychological, a spiritual, a neuro-scientific point of view. But in reality it is that simple: I just tell this speaker to shut up. I have to jam the judge.
And this is what I’m doing right now. As soon as a thought arises I tell my brain to shut up. This sounds a bit weird – to me too. I’m trying to understand with this blog and on this whole life journey where the pain is coming from and then I’m telling the voice inside of my head to shut up instead of listen to it? It is a bit of a contradiction.
But only on the first sight. Since I’m able to think it seems I’ve been thinking quite a lot. I gave my mind the permission to define my status quo and my mind doesn’t do a good job. It was a long process to come to the conclusion that my thoughts are might be not very helpful when it comes to live and prosper.
My thoughts are telling me so much bullshit that it is more work to separate the wheat from the chaff than turning them off completely and switch into ‘doer-mode’.
I reached a point where I’m going this far: Every thought is a judgement.
I was listening to Krishnamurti the other day. It was one of those casual super chill sundays when the way between bed and couch is the largest range of motion of the day (Well, I have these days potentially at every weekday.).
Krishnamurti asked: “When was the last time you looked at a mountain without calling it a mountain?” – Honestly I didn’t know this challenge is going to get this deep. By putting something in words we are already judging.
We project our definition of reality on the outside world. This definition is based on which language we speak, which senses are accessible to ‘make sense’ of reality and if we ‘feel’ comfortable, angry or sad. We are MAKING sense of the world by judging.
Our thoughts are created by the words we have learnt. These words define how we see the world. But is this the world or is it just a paper cut of the world?
Imagine you are a lizard. What would the world look like for you? You might live on a clearing of a forest. The furthest you see is to the edge of the woods. Would you say a lizard is not fully alive? Would you say a lizard needs more to be alive? No. The life is right there. The lizard is alive. The life is within the lizard. And so it is in us.
There is definitely no truth behind our words if we are telling ourselves that we need to do more, be more, be better, be stronger…. At the maximum there is interpretation of what could be useful for us (Whatever that means.).
And what does this have to do with judging? Everything. Judging is interpreting our behaviour or the behaviour of others and valuing it according to ‘our’ worldview.
When we judge we are clamping reality into the vice our own worldview. We trap ourselves if we are only listening to our mind.
Of course – on many levels the ability to judge helps us to live. We are able to cross a street without being hit by a car. We are able to buy food that keeps us alive. We are able to drink water when we are thirsty, because we are able to connect the dots.
We interpret the signals of our body subconsciously in order to satisfy our physical needs. But which needs do we fulfill if we interpret every signal that our mind flungs out? The need to impress? The need to prove something? How many times are these needs really our needs? And are these needs crucial for our survival?
I can answer this only for myself with a clear ‘no’. The only secret is to let life be as it is – imperfect, full of struggle, but at the core pretty basic: live, love, sleep, eat.
Okay, now I got a bit far off. Back to the challenge: I figured out that this type of examination on a “conscious level” helps me to cement all these ideas in my mind. My subconsciousness does the rest. It conveys the idea of “not knowing” to the core of my being.
This life is not about following an ideology, but about observing my own point of view. The problem is that we are getting lost in concepts instead of thinking for our own self. We are trying to fit ourselves into the right box. And this is how we are getting lost in confusion. Because all these boxes don’t fit properly, because they are only cheap replicas of reality.
If we look at things, including ourselves, like we look at it for the very first time of our life these things get a complete new dynamic. So the key would be to recognize every second, every moment of our lives as a unique moment that passes. And in this moment we need to do what feels good for us.
We only struggle if we interpret all the time, if we take things personal all the time, if we want more or if we put everything that we see in relation with our own life.
It absolutely doesn’t matter what other people do or think and when I say other people I mean ALL people, the whole society, the rest of the world…. Even what you tell yourself doesn’t matter. Without judgement there is no struggle.
Nevertheless: This whole judgement thing is so freakin’ hard. Just now I am facing the toughest challenges ever. This cage in my head is not created by me. I’m conditioned. I can change it to a certain extend, but I can’t escape from it completely.
But what I can do is ignoring it or – even better – using it for higher purposes. But for this I have to dig deeper.
The question is: Am I really prepared to look deep down into the nature of my own psyche? Am I willing to keep walking into the dark corners of myself? Am I willing to keep changing?
“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…
Before it is getting even more quiet here it is time to announce another challenge. After a successful social media challenge a couple of weeks ago I proclaimed that it is time for another level of challenges.
Recently there are a lot of topics I’m working on simultaneously: attachment, observation, judgement – these are subjects I’m studying next to happiness, pain and fear…
After all I found out that it all comes back to self-love. If I don’t love myself enough I’m not able to create a gap between me, my thoughts and the rest of the world. I take myself so f*cking serious, but I don’t love myself (enough). What is self-love again? It is accepting your mistakes. It is appreciating you peculiarities. It is the opposite of judgement.
So, what I really have to learn is to not judge myself. Of course – two weeks are a very short time to change your way of thinking. It is impossible. Some people say it takes 60 days to establish a new habit in your life. To be honest – I’m not even sure if ‘thinking negative’ is just a habit or a personality trait. But at the end it doesn’t really matter.
Why am I doing this challenge stuff?
What I learnt since I started this blog and what I learnt from my micro habit challenges is that it changes my thinking. At least it is a start, an initial trigger to question my behaviour.
By writing about it I’m forced to dig deeper. It helps me to get to the core of my quirkinesses in some areas of my life. These challenges became my tools. They are like verbal manifestations of positive change.
Why do I come up with this challenge now?
I’m beating myself up again for not focussing on ‘what needs to be done’. Doing this there is something that came into my mind – no something that revealed to me in front of me.
How do I come to the conclusion of ‘what do I have to get done’? Mainly I judge – I’m busy telling myself which things I have to do. Hahaha it is so ridiculous. In reality I don’t even have a real goal. So, there is nothing to aim for and therefore nothing to judge really – judge on which measurements?!
What if I just don’t judge for two weeks?
So, what am I going to do?
- I don’t judge other people. I don’t judge them based on the way they look. I don’t say anything judgmental – neither to anybody in person nor to anybody else about anybody.
- I ask myself before I open my mouth if what I’m going to say is a judgement or not.
- And the hard ones: I don’t judge myself. If I do mistakes I won’t identify with them. If I think negative about myself I will stop that immediately and instead I will tell myself: “I’m okay how I am and everything is fine.”
This is basically it. I’m curious what I will learn within the next two weeks. In one week from now I will tell you about my first insights.