Have you ever spent much time in your head really listening to all the voices competing for airtime? How many of them are self judgement?
It can be terrifying to think about what some of those whispers are doing to your psyche.
No really. It’s seriously scary in there (or maybe it’s just in my head). Especially if you are judging yourself like I do sometimes for not measuring up to the crazy expectations no one could ever meet.
Don’t believe me? Try this exercise to see how much self judgement lives in your head:
Count how many times you judge yourself or others in a day. Too much time? Try it for an hour. You will be surprised how many times you think, ‘Oh, that was dumb’, or ‘I should be…,’ or I shouldn’t do, eat, feel…fill in the blank with your thought of choice. One of my favorite self judgement thoughts is, “I wish I was blah blah instead of blah blah.”
Also, count all the awful things you think about others (But don’t want to admit to anyone that you think them. Come on, we all do it). I have my clients do this and they are always horrified by what they hear and how high their count is.
What would happen if we flipped all those negative thoughts around to supportive ones that made you feel better about yourself instead of making you feel less than adequate?
How many times have you checked in with yourself and said, “Man. I am totally and completely incredible!”? My guess is not many because sadly, nobody really does that unless you’re Donald Trump – but narcissism doesn’t count. You can be supportive and loving to yourself without if coming off as pompous. It comes from a place of self respect and love.
Here is the really dangerous part of self-judgement — When we are judging ourselves (which is bad enough), we accidentally judge others as well. We don’t always mean to do it, it’s just is part of the judgement package.
For example: I had an Aunt who struggled with her weight. She was never particularly heavy, but she judged herself as too fat. When she looked in the mirror she heard her mother’s voice telling her she was fat as a child and that voice turned into her own inner critic when she was older. She hated her thighs especially because they did not meet her idea of how they ‘should’ look. Because of this constant self-judgement, she was always looking at other women’s bodies (especially their legs) with a critical eye to see how she compared.
In order for her to stop her own self-loathing about her body, others needed to have similar issues as well (in her mind) or she would feel worse about herself because she was, ‘less than’’ them. So to make up for her insecurities, she would comment about their weight, or something not fitting well, or anything else she could think of to make herself feel better about her body.
Unfortunately, all this did was make everyone around her feel insecure too, especially her children whom she was constantly picking at.
We all have a little of my aunt’s critical voice in our head somewhere telling us that we aren’t as good as we ‘should’ be. Can you hear in what area you are overly critical about yourself?
Don’t you think it’s time to take back your power back from your inner judger? Go ahead and bitch slap that chick and tell her to hit the road. Each of us has an inner child living within our psyche. Would you judge a little kid the way you judge your adult self? Let’s hope not. Think of your inner child whenever you start going down the self judgment super highway.
Laugh at ALL those negative thoughts and self judgement as they come up and tell your brain you won’t be doing that anymore.