How I'm Working on Judgment & Why Maybe You Should Too

I'd like to start this post out with a question... do y'all ever notice themes in your life? I don't mean like phases we go through, like that one Summer when I was subconsciously buying any and everything coral colored, or when we get really into a new hobby and everything starts being about that hobby for a while, until it's not again.

I mean more like have you ever been just a few days in to a week, and noticed that more than one person has brought up a particular subject at random to you. And then you start seeing this subject in ads on the internet, or hearing about it on the radio. For instance, this week a lot of topic of conversation has been children. Seems like every conversation I find myself in recently, ends up with that discussion. That's a coincidence. What would turn it into a theme (for me, anyway), is starting to see it and hear it other places than just my conversations.

Well, I have had many, many themes in my life, and I've always believed that's the universe's way of pointing you in some direction. I feel like the older I get, the more apparent these themes come to me, and the better I'm able to listen.

All of this brings me to the topic of this post. Judgment. I was driving to work the other day listening to my favorite podcast (Happier, with Gretchen Rubin-GO LISTEN!) and she and her sister were talking about how sometimes people can take on extra stress during very stressful times of their lives, and while some would think it's crazy, it's actually a form of coping. So while I was listening to this podcast, the thought that came to my mind wasn't that people are crazy for doing this, but that others are so judgmental of what people choose to do in their own lives. Needless to say, later in the podcast Gretchen verbalized that very thought, and I felt relief that I wasn't the only one who noticed.

Fast forward a couple of days, and I'm in a session with one of my more positive clients-she's always happy, always cultivating gratitude, always very easy-going. Long story short, the judgment theme reared it's ugly head during this hour with her.

A few more days pass, and I'm spending the weekend with some friends, when I start noticing myself picking apart things that I just don't agree with or understand. Things that I would never do. But due to my attention being captured lately with the idea of judgment, I was able to quickly reframe my thinking, and hopefully, not allow anyone to be aware of my judgments.

So this theme popping up lately, inspired a post for me and for you too, hopefully. Although I think I definitely have been trying not to judge, it's something that we all do. I think for me, it's so difficult because when I think of someone being judgmental, I always think of people who aren't accepting of other religions, other sexualities, other beliefs. Then I think to myself, "well I'm not judgmental! I'm so open-minded! That's not me!"

But the truth is, we are ALL judgmental at times. Unfortunately, it's just how we are built. So like I said, I definitely think it's something I'm becoming more aware of, but still an area I need to really pay attention to.

Something that really heightened my own judgments in life I think, was my own personal growth. I won't get into the nitty gritty here, but when I was younger- we'll say high school to early twenties- I wasn't the best version of me, we'll just say that.

But as I got older and started learning from my mistakes, practicing the theories I was learning in school, and really grasping self-awareness, I made huge changes. I became a much better version of me. But I think along with this new me came a little bit of sanctimony. Because I was living my life in a much more honest and kind way, I have found that anyone who maybe isn't where I am growth-wise I can look down on. Basically, if I wouldn't do it, they shouldn't do it either.

What's weird is I've never felt this way when working with my clients. There is absolutely no judging going on there. This is how I knew that my area of judgment is just another that I need to grow in.

So to further my growth and make a conscious effort to change my tendency to judge, I've decided to create some ideas of ways I can measure and make immediate changes to my own judgments.

If you find that this is an area you might also need to work on, (I suspect you do), maybe you can try some of these ideas as well.

  • I think the first thing is working on your own self-awareness. Admitting that you have an area that could use some improvement is vital to even being able to change or grow. 

  • Next, I'm going to use the other coincidence popping up in my life lately-kids. When I find myself starting to judge I might start my thoughts with acknowledging that this person was once a small child, growing and learning from his/her environment. What happened in his or her life then, that maybe influences the choices they're making today? Humanizing never hurts.

  • Lowering my expectations. I'm the worst for expecting people to do or say certain things, and then being completely disappointed when this doesn't happen. Maybe asking myself- "why are you expecting them to live your life?"

  • Practicing gratitude. Instead of thinking or believing that this person is whatever harsh judgment I've stated in my mind, maybe instead thinking only of the gratefulness I have for how far I've come, and trust my own choices. 

  • Learning how to listen. I think one of my biggest issues with judgment is that really fuzzy line that lies between it and honesty. I pride myself in honesty, but sometimes that makes me too harsh. I'd like to move forward with the idea that I can still be a good listener and friend, without having to agree.

  • Lastly maybe watching how I'm judging my own self. I don't know about y'all, but I'm my own worst critic. If I do anything my own self that I think doesn't align with what I value or what I would like to be, my self-talk can be very harsh.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. How are you when it comes to judging? Did you judge the fact that I wore plain black flip-flops with this clearly dressy attire? Cause guess what? I did.

Fun fact: I had on black wedges with this outfit that broke literally right as I stepped out of the car at this location. I said screw it, and took the pictures anyway, but the whole time I've been posting them I've been judging the way it looks. See? That's exactly what I'm talking about.

If you judged my shoes, it's okay. I can laugh at myself. But I'd love to hear if you've found ways of improving in this area.

Also, I plan to post again in a couple of days with the new Tarte palette I got, because I leave for a cruise this weekend and will be MIA for 9 days!! So if you like those palette reviews, be on the lookout for that.

Thanks as always for reading!

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