LET GO OF JUDGEMENT AND FALL INTO KINDNESS!
Judgement is the comparison between the reality of “what is” and your own expectation of “what should be.” When the two don’t match up you become dissatisfied with your current reality. For example, you believe that you should get the promotion at work, but your co-worker is given the job instead. This dissatisfaction with reality could cause you to judge your co-worker as unworthy or your workplace to be unfair. We can pass judgment on ourselves, our circumstances, and on others. Judgment also means projecting your own unconscious beliefs onto someone and believing that is who that person really is. This occurs when we decide who someone is before we get to know them, based on their looks or some other external characteristic.
In fact, brain scientists have discovered that as human beings we make snap judgments of people’s trustworthiness every day based solely on their faces. This occurs in milliseconds of seeing them, which is too quick for our conscious brain to even realize we are making a decision! What is incredible is that the studies show that our subconscious judgement of trustworthiness is usually the same as the judgement of trustworthiness that is made by other study participants that were given the time to study the pictures of the same faces before determining trustworthiness! This is an evolutionary trait that developed in the early days of human beings as a survival mechanism. We were nomadic back then and we needed to be able to determine if the stranger we were encountering was friend or foe. It kept us safe in an unsafe and unpredictable environment. Unfortunately, this particular survival mechanism is what has contributed to racism, sexism, otherism, and discrimination in our modern society.
No matter whether you are judging yourself, situations, others, consciously or unconsciously, that judgement has an impact on our relationship with ourselves as well as others. Having unrealistic expectations of ourselves causes insecurities and a lack of self-confidence. Having unrealistic expectations of our circumstances also causes insecurities as we are resisting the reality of what is, and until we can accept what is, we do not have the power to change it. Projecting our expectations and beliefs on others weakens our ability to connect with others and form strong bonds and relationships that lift us up. Sometimes we are even projecting our fears of being judged on others and convincing ourselves that others are judging us!
Don’t worry even the most wholesome people in the world have created judgements, everyone experiences it. Knowing that passing judgement is a function of the brain and is often a subconscious phenomenon allows us to question our judgements. When we can question our judgements it gives us the opportunity to inspect what our judgements were based on. Were they based on factual evidence, expectations, assumptions, or unconscious beliefs? If the answer is anything other than fact-based, then we can re-examine our judgements and let them go. When we LET GO of JUDGEMENT, we give ourselves the opportunity to FALL INTO KINDNESS.
At IdareU2bee.com we have a team that creates programs, activities, workshops, and books that support the social and emotional skill development of kids, parents, guardians, and teachers. One of the things we notice is how much judgement steals away connection, love, confidence, and peace of mind. It may seem like you can never turn off your brain from judging yourself, others, and situations. It is, however, not impossible! It just takes a little practice. Follow the steps below to help interrupt the pattern of judgement you may find yourself in.
Practice the following actions to help you LET GO OF JUDGEMENT and FALL INTO KINDNESS!
- ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR JUDGEMENTAL THOUGHTS– The first step in changing behaviour is catching yourself engaging in that behaviour. Start noticing anytime your mind has a judgmental thought. These thoughts may be directed at people you are with, drivers on the road, your environment, yourself, or even inanimate objects. Acknowledge and accept that judgment is present in the mind.
- FORGIVE YOURSELF- DO NOT MAKE YOURSELF WRONG. That is more of the same behaviour. It is actually a form of resistance, and what you resist persists. It is never helpful or productive to make yourself wrong.
- CHALLENGE YOUR JUDGEMENTAL THOUGHTS- Once you notice you have judged someone or something, challenge your thinking. How true is it? Why do you think this is true? Look for evidence for and against it. Ask yourself, where did this idea and type of thinking originate from? Then, try to look from another perspective, notice how it makes you feel when you judge someone.
- STOP JUDGING YOURSELF– Often, we are our own worst critics. If you constantly put pressure on yourself to be perfect, this can damage your self-esteem. If you make a mistake, learn from it and move on. Once you stop judging yourself, this will lead to letting go of judgment of other people. A very important part of not judging yourself is to STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. Comparison leads to judgment and ultimately will rob you of your self-love. You are unique and on your own journey. The only comparison that is helpful is comparing yourself to who or where you were in the past.
- FORGET THE “This or That” MENTALITY- A judgmental person is not open-minded because they have preconceived notions of how things should be. This leads to only thinking in black or white, there are no shades of grey. They struggle to accept ambiguity, uncertainty and always close themselves off to new ways of thinking. When you are rigid in your thinking, you close yourself off from new people, new experiences and new points of view. All of which would expand your life, your relationships and your human experience. Being human and having healthy relationships require an ability to be flexible and have an open mind, to be able to see other points of view, have compassion, and FALL INTO KINDNESS.
Until next time, stay confident, courageous and keep building your KIND MIND!