How to derail judging yourself all the time by Matt Anderson

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“I judge myself constantly,” commented one of my banker clients the other day in my Choosing Love Over Fear program. The managing director of a law firm described how shocked she was that a mentor in the Chicago legal world considered herself a “fraud and failure” most of the time! On one level, it’s remarkable some people can sustain high performance levels even though they are so hard on themselves. But who wants to live like this long term? No one really wants this journey in the present. How do you get it go away?

The Dalai Lama believes that: “Love is the absence of judgment.” Mother Teresa says, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

If you look in the mirror and don’t feel good, you are looking at your judgments, not the real you. Well, your ego is judging you. It declares: ‘I am not loveable.’ It’s like you’re putting yourself in a courtroom to be judged all your waking hours.

Your Real Self does not judge you. Robert Holden explains in his book Loveability: “The self you judge is not the real self; The self you love is the real you.” Can you imagine the pleasure of not judging yourself all day long? Saying to yourself: “I’m okay today. I got this. I’m doing my best.”

Think of the pointlessness of listening to your insecure ego judging everyone else as inferior in some way: ‘Look at that person and his flaws. Ooh – how about that one and her imperfection?’

Greek playwright Sophocles articulated it well when he wrote:
“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life, that word is love.”

Practice self-acceptance: this is the ABSENCE of judgment. When you judge, there is always another model of perfection to strive for in vain because the ego is never the whole you. The ego can’t survive without judging. To make matters worse, when someone else loves us, we can’t quite believe our luck and often end up making a mess of it. Holden notes that “the way we treat ourselves is how we end up treating everyone else.”

Ask yourself: Who am I without my judgments?
Your Unconditioned Self has never judged you.

Don’t believe your judgments. What can you see if you loved this person instead?
Robert Holden recommends these questions:
a) Can I be sure this judgment is right?
b) What if this judgment is just a projection?
c) What would I see if I let go of this judgment? How would I be? What would I do differently?
d) What do I see when I look through the eyes of love and don’t judge anything?

The ego judge is hardest on you when something in your life goes badly: you are the first to blame yourself. This is when you most need grace or forgiveness to appear. A wealth manager in my group found himself in the emergency room with a blood clot in his lungs between sessions: “I was pissed at myself and angry because I’m so health conscious. I was saying ‘why me?’ I am much healthier than most people of my age.” His sister helped defuse his judgment by reminding him that all his work with his health will help him recover quickly.

Silence in court! What can you do to be less judgmental?
a) Pick a 15-minute slot and make no judgments about yourself
b) Pick a mealtime and try to see another person with your heart, not your (judging) eyes – the way you see a baby as a person only made of love
c) Try a loving kindness meditation where you focus loving thoughts on yourself, then a loved one, then a stranger, by someone you are not fond of, then lastly the whole world.
d) Strike up a conversation with a stranger, ask an open-ended question and be curious about this person without judgment.
e) Remind yourself: “I’m okay today. I got this. I’m doing my best.”
f) When you do catch yourself being judgmental, say to yourself: “Cancel.” One of my clients added: “Let it go. I’m loveable.”
g) Take five minutes and talk to yourself like you’d talk to a close friend. S/he would notice everything you’re doing right. Look at yourself through the eyes of love. Irish priest and poet John O’Donohue wrote: “Your soul longs to draw you into love for yourself. When you enter your soul’s affection, the torment in your life ceases.”

Perhaps the best thing you can do to reduce being judgmental is to catch your harshest judge: this is the ego voice inside you that says you don’t deserve something because you haven’t worked hard enough on something yet or haven’t yet achieved the lofty goal you set. Be gracious to yourself anyway. You don’t need a reason to love yourself. You are already loveable.

Robert Holden concludes: “When you stop judging yourself, the habit of gratuitously judging others will also stop. The more you love yourself, the more people feel loved by you. It’s how reality works.”

To self-acceptance!
Matt Anderson
Founder & President
Matt Anderson International
1177 Oak Ridge Drive, Glencoe, IL 60022, USA
Phone: +001 (312) 622-3121

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