Most of us know what it feels like to be judged. Whether we are judged for the way we look, our weight, the way we parent, the job we have, the money we make, the house we own (or don’t) or any other number of things, being on the other end of judgment is not much fun. Add to the judgments from others, the judgments we so often hurl at ourselves. How much have you judged you today? How much do you judge you every single day?
Judgment disempowers you. Judgment limits you and stops you from creating. Judgment keeps you trying to prove to the world that you are not as bad as you have decided you are. If you desire to have a life that works for you, one you actually enjoy living, you have to go beyond judgment because judgment limits all possibilities.
As much as I would like to wave my magic wand and get rid of all of the judgment in the world, that’s not likely to occur anytime soon. Judging others is something most of us are taught to do from the time we are born. And, while one can hope and wish for others to stop judging them, that is not likely to occur either. The good news is, it doesn’t actually matter. You are the source for the creation of your life and if you are willing to make other people’s judgements of you irrelevant, you will not be at the effect of them.
Here are my top 5 tips on dealing with judgment that comes from others. Use these tips and judgement will no longer stop you or weigh you down.
- What’s right about me that I am not getting?
When people are judging you, it can be easy to agree with their judgments. Or, at least question and wonder if they are true. The next time someone judges you, rather than spiraling down and questioning you, you can ask, ‘What’s right about me that I am not getting?’ When you ask, you will begin to have a sense of the gift of you rather than the judgment of you and that sense of the gift of you diminishes the impact of the judgments dynamically.
- Thank them for caring.
Most judgement is delivered indirectly or behind your back. When someone does deliver a judgment directly to you, say, “Thank you so much for caring”. Do they care? No. But when you thank them anyway, they won’t know what to do or how to respond. It takes the wind out of their sails and puts them into question of whether they actually do care or not and they will back off.
- Judgment is nothing more than an interesting point of view.
One of the most effective tools against judgement is a little thing called interesting point of view. Here’s how it works. When someone is judging you for something and you become aware of it, say to yourself, “Interesting point of view. They have that point of view.” Say it a few times. What happens is that rather than their judgments being significant to you, rather than believing that their judgments are real and true, you begin to see them as nothing more than interesting. And when something is simply interesting, it has no power over you.
- People only accuse you of what they themselves are doing.
Always remember, when someone judges you, when they accuse you of something, people never accuse of others of something unless they themselves are doing it. Knowing this can take the charge out of their accusations. Recognize that their judgments of you are not real, not true and they have absolutely nothing to do with you. And then ask, “How does it get any better than this?” When you ask how things get better, better things can show up.
The next time someone throws a judgement your way, what if you were willing to receive it? What if you could lower your barriers, drop all the walls and simply allow the judgement to be there? When someone is judging you, it has nothing to do with you. People judge because they choose to judge. If you didn’t make their judgments real. If you didn’t align and agree with them or resist and react to their points of view, not only is your life easier, those judgements can actually contribute to you. The willingness to receive judgement creates a lightness and a joy for you.
A great tool to drop your barriers and increase your willingness to receive is to say, “All of life comes to me with ease and joy and glory.” Say 10 times in the morning. Say it 10 times at night. Say it whenever you notice judgment. All of life even includes judgments.
In the face of judgement, many of us step back, make ourselves small, make ourselves wrong and start looking for where the judgements of others must true. Please know that judgements are not real or true. Ever. When something is true for you, it makes you feel lighter. When something is a lie and not true for you, it makes you feel heavier. When someone says something to you or projects something at you and you feel heavy, that is because it is a lie. Rather than allowing that judgement to bring you down, rather than trying to prove that judgement right by agreeing with it or trying to prove it wrong by resisting and fighting against it, use the above tools and watch the judgements of others lose their power.
While the tools above are effective in making people’s judgements less relevant, there’s still this little thing where many of us judge ourselves, ruthlessly. Getting out of the judgement of yourself not only improves every area of your life, it dynamically assists in dealing with the judgements of others. When you are not judging you, the judgements of others seem much less relevant.
How much have you judged you today? When you woke up in the morning, got out of bed and looked into the mirror, what were your first thoughts? Were they thoughts of gratitude for you and your body? Or did you launch into the list of things that you have decided are wrong with you? What if you are not wrong? What if you not nearly as messed up as you have decided you are? And, what if you could stop judging you and invite kindness, nurture and care into your world?
If you would like to stop judging you, if you would like the freedom that comes from looking at what’s right about you rather than what you have decided is wrong about you, here are 5 tools to assist:
- It begins with a choice.
It is possible to stop judging you. No matter how long you have been doing it and no matter how good you are at it. The moment you notice that you are judging you, imagine a stop sign or a hand in front of you. That stop sign or hand is your reminder to stop judging. Now, ask this question, “What gift am I to the world that until now I have been unwilling to perceive?” The moment you ask this question, you open a space for a different possibility. The judgment begins to dissipate and you start to perceive the gift, the brilliance, the greatness and the contribution of you rather than the wrongness of you.
- A little gratitude goes a long way.
Gratitude and judgement cannot exist at the same time. When you choose gratitude, there is no room for judgment. Start a gratitude journal. Begin each day by making a list of the things you are grateful for; especially the things you are grateful for about you. Write down 3- 5 things. This may be difficult at first. When you are used to looking for the bad and the ugly, looking for the good may present a challenge. Keep going. As you cultivate the energy of gratitude, as you choose to practice it, more of what you are grateful for shows up and the judgement of you goes away.
- Lose the illusion of perfection.
Many of us have the point of view that we have to be perfect. If our parents required perfection, if our teachers compared us to other students or always pointed out where we were wrong, if our friends made fun of the things we did, we may have bought into the idea that perfection is what is required.
People often think that striving for perfection is beneficial – that it somehow makes you better. It’s actually not true. Perfectionism is very damaging. Perfectionism puts us in a constant state of judgment; always trying to be good enough while believing that we are not, always trying to feel ok about ourselves while believing we are wrong.
Let go of the lie that perfection is what is required and stop striving for it. Remember the tool of interesting point of view? This is a great place to use it. When you find yourself trying to be perfect and trying to get it right and somehow believing your value and worth depends on it, say “Interesting point of view. I have that point of view” and allow that point of view to be insignificant.
- Ask Questions.
Questions open the door to all possibilities. In other words, asking questions is key to changing anything in your life that you would like to change. When the all too familiar self-judgement starts to occur, ask a question. This disrupts the negative thought partner you have going on and invites you to see things in a new way. One of my favorite questions is “What else is possible that I have never considered?” Another one you can ask is, “If I wasn’t wrong, mean or awful, what would I be?”
- Recognize that it’s not yours.
Did you know that 98% of the thoughts, feelings and emotions that you have are not yours? It’s true. We are all very good at picking up on those aroundus. We are aware of their thoughts and emotions and we think they belong to us. Have you ever been driving your car, going along, feeling fine and then in an instant you are mad, frustrated, overwhelmed and unhappy? Ever wonder what the heck just happened? What if, what just happened was that you suddenly became aware of the thoughts, feelings and emotions of the other drivers on the road?
The next time you notice negative thoughts, feelings and emotions, the next you start to judge you, ask this question, “Who does this belong to?” If you notice your world lightens up, you were just picking up on what was occurring around you. Knowing it’s not yours makes it much easier to let it go.
Has anyone ever told you that you are gift? Has anyone ever acknowledged that you being you is the greatest thing you could ever give to yourself and to the world? Do you realize how crucial you are to the possibilities of the world? When you are judging you, you are not being you. When you are not being you, the entire world misses out. What if it’s time to claim, own and acknowledge the greatness and brilliance of you? What would that change?
Judgements, whether they come from you or someone else are designed to control, disempower and stop you. No matter how harshly you judge you, no matter how harshly others judge you, there is no judgement that is greater than you. Recognize that judgements are not real. Remember to ask questions, all the time. Let go of the idea of perfection. Choose gratitude for you. Choose kindness for you. Choose to have and be all of you. Wake up each and every day and choose to practice these things. Before long you will notice that even though judgement continues to exist all around you, it has no impact on you. From this space, you are empowered to create your life.
Dr. Dain Heer is an internationally renowned author, speaker and facilitator of consciousness and change. Co-creator of Access Consciousness, Dr. Heer invites people to embrace their true greatness—people from every culture, country, age and social strata of society. Originally trained as a chiropractor, he has a completely different approach to healing by facilitating people to tap into and recognize their own abilities and knowing. He is the author of 9 books including, Being You, Changing the World, which is now an international bestseller. A guest on hundreds of nationally syndicated radio and TV shows including Fox News and Gaiam TV, Dr. Heer also hosts a regular radio show called Conversations in Consciousness. Follow on Twitter @dr_dainheer