Judgment….hmmm….what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of judgment? For me it's when someone forms an opinion about another person or situation based on his or her own beliefs, and depending on whether it's being directed at yourself or others can create righteousness or be personally disempowering. Self-Judgement is probably the most common, which is based in fear and self doubt.
We are terribly hard on ourselves putting an abundance of expectations and ideals on ourselves to live up to. We limit our experiences by not moving forward with certain things in life because we are afraid of what others will think; are we are good enough, smart enough, or creative enough…the list can go on and on. If you take a moment, I'm sure you would come up with something from the past or currently you did not do for fear of being judged. In fact many of our fears can be related to some form of judgement. We can disempower ourselves by comparing ourselves to others, judging ourselves as to whether we are measuring up to society's expectations. We can also do the opposite by judging whether others measure up to our standards.
I’m pretty sure there are very few people if any who haven’t had some experience with self-judgment. Over our lifetime we gather up experiences from our external world, which shapes our beliefs about who we are and what we are capable of, not always realizing that some of these beliefs are inaccurate. Then with these inaccurate beliefs we try to maintain or exceed standards set by our families, culture and society. This can be a great recipe for anxiety, stress and depression, which can create a cycle that is very hard to break. We can also impose these expectations and ideals on others, which can create conflict, disappointment and separation.
How do we break the cycle? And how do we get a more accurate picture of ourselves, so we are able flow through life with ease, doing the things we want to without holding back because of inaccurate beliefs about ourselves or others?
A good place to start would be to spend some time in silent meditation. There are so many benefits to meditation, however I feel the number one benefit is its capacity to connect us to our selves. When we are truly connected and have access to our authentic selves it can change our perspective about who we are, allowing us the ability to let go of some of the judgments we hold onto. It allows us to see with more clarity the truth of who we are.
Of course some of the judgments we hold onto may be a bit more stubborn, as we have built them on a belief system we've been holding onto for a life time. It may require you to seek out some additional support to explore more thoroughly.
The first step however is realizing you may be operating with inaccurate judgments that may be impeding your quality of life and personal success. The second and most important step is making the choice to take action so you can release them and let them go. Freeing yourself to create more fearlessly!