After much response from my last post (5 Ways to Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself), I decided that it might be useful to write a bit about what to do if you find yourself really stuck in a judgmental mindset. I received quite a few comments about how the judgment piece was something that many people are struggling with. So… yes, my friend, you are not alone.
If you’re like most of us, you have somehow been conditioned to size up, evaluate, and vote on almost everything and everyone you come across. So, are you normal? Yes. Does that judgmental stance really serve you in any way? Probably not so much. In fact, I have come across quite a few peeps in my practice who actually want to STOP this behavior, but aren’t exactly sure where to start. So, in the tips below, you will find 5 ways you can call your own ass out and work toward being the all-accepting, magical, fairy-dust-sprinkling hippie you desire to be. Or maybe just be proud of your own behavior.
1. Call your own ass out. I know this seems pretty simple, but watch yourself. NOTICE when you are actually standing in judgment. Many times we just create a mindless truth about someone or something without any founded knowledge. We take something or someone in visually or audibly and make a rash conclusion. If you continue to allow yourself to accept these quick assumptions as truth, you aren’t allowing room for acceptance and learning. What if you just noticed. Just stopped. When you start voting on something or someone, just stop for a moment. NOTICE what you are doing. Call your ass out. Awareness is always the first step.
2. Stand in curiosity. So, let’s say you’re already crystal clear about when you tend to stand in judgment. What if you were to shift that perspective into one of curiosity? This is one of the fastest avenues to step outside of the voting process. So, let’s say you see a woman in a store: barefoot, pregnant, one kid in one arm (who happens to have a dirty face), pushing another dirty-faced kid in a stroller and they are all screaming and yelling at one another. Enter Judgey Judgerson, no? Voting. Making up assumptions. Creating a truth. What if you shifted out of that place and in to one of curiosity? I wonder who that woman is? What is her story? What has her journey been like? What does she have to offer? I’ll tell you what… Curiosity feels a hell-of-a-lot better than the yucky feeling of judging. Try it.
3. Your journey is your own journey. A few years ago, I went to Vegas with a group of girlfriends. While we were driving along, we couldn’t help but notice all the colorful variations of people who were walking around on the strip. So, being the coach of the group and having a ridiculous affinity to optimism, I said, “What if we were to look at this trip as an opportunity to practice non-judgment?” (Who does that? The Joy Fucking Junkie, that’s who). What if every time we see someone we want to size up and vote on, we simply replaced it with a mantra: “Your journey is your own journey”. Although we had a wonderful laugh at this notion many times, it was truly remarkable what shifted. Instead of picking apart and assessing these unknowing individuals, we simply stopped our own judgment dead in its tracks by repeating, “Your journey is your own journey”. Sometimes all you need to do to stop an arsenal of thoughts is to have a go-to thought that you employ when you get triggered. What’s crazy is that we STILL use that mantra to this day! What was also fascinating was how many times we chanted this little phrase. We were triggered OFTEN. We wanted to talk shit OFTEN. But we had a plan… and we consciously CHOSE to not stand in judgment and our little mantra really helped alter our previous pattern of judgment.
YOUR JOURNEY IS YOUR OWN JOURNEY.
4. Self-Care v. Judgment. Now, I do think there is an entirely different form of judgment that tends to surface around people in our family, who we work with, and maybe even who we’re sleeping with. When you disagree with a family member, for instance, our process is usually to vote on why they are wrong. Why WHO they are is not right. Sound familiar? What if you were to simply shift your focus to self-care? What if it didn’t matter at all who they are or what they thought? What if you didn’t have to come up with a label for them? What if you could simply take care of you? If you feel a negative energy off of someone, how ‘bout just checking in on what YOU need? What would serve YOU the most? Leaving the conversation? Excusing yourself? Not entertaining activities that didn’t work for you? You don’t have to make ANYTHING up about who they are… just take care of yourself. What do YOU need?
5. What do I need to clean up? Oftentimes, when we are super charged about voting on a specific person or situation, there is something there for us to learn about who we are being in the moment. Recently, I found myself really judging a family member for operating in a place of victimhood, only to realize that I was doing the same in certain instances. I don’t think that it is always a direct parallel, but there is definitely ALWAYS something to learn. If you are picking apart someone’s body, how do you feel about your own? If you a voting on parenting skills, where can you be a better parent? Are you insecure in your parent role in any way? Here’s a little hint… your judgment is really not about them, it’s about you. So, where do you need to stretch and grow? Let go of control? Love yourself a bit more? That’s on you, Lovely.
Finally, if you find yourself calling your own ass out, realizing you are standing in judgment, simply ask yourself, “How would I rather be feeling right now?” Guess what? You actually have the power to create that. Plus, as you are staring down your nose at someone else, there’s a lurky Judgey Judgerson talking shit about you. Now, that doesn’t feel so good, does it? You don’t want to act like that, now do you? Man up, dude. You’re better than that.
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