Judgment….How does it feel when you say that word. To me, saying judgment feels very heavy. Judgment is defined as the evaluation of evidence to make a decision. We often think of this as a weighted, conscious decision, but in reality, we are constantly making judgments throughout our day, whether we realize it or not. We make judgments about other people, places we visit, jobs we do, and ourselves. What would happen if we stopped? Would we enjoy our lives more?
Let’s look at judgment from another angle. Did you know that while you’re judging others, they are judging you? The realization that people are judging you often stops people from doing what they want to do because they become self-conscious and worry about what other people are going to think of them. How does it make you feel when those judgments are verbalized? Hearing someone else’s negative judgment of you can be very damaging.
I remember when I started my first year in college very excited with the intent to become a journalist. It was my dream. Then, a teacher told me that I didn’t write very well and couldn’t achieve that goal. Her verbalization of a negative judgment of a skill that could be improved, rather than a positive one of my eagerness to learn, resulted in my becoming so discouraged and upset that I dropped out of school. Twenty years later, when I had an astrology reading of my chart, it was revealed to me that I was supposed to have been a very successful journalist. This was not an easy thing to hear. One simple judgment and my life was changed.
Some judgments affect us more profoundly than others, but it is extremely difficult not to internalize them all. As we experience more and more of other people’s judgments, we begin to hide our true selves, only presenting what we feel people will approve of and accept. In doing so, we begin to lose our sense of who we truly are. Often this causes interference in us achieving our wishes and desires in life. When in fact, their judgments about you probably have nothing to do with you. You are being judged because they are insecure, threatened, or jealous. The happier a person is with himself or herself the less likely they are to compare themselves to and judge others.
You can help eliminate negativity from judgment by becoming more aware of your own thoughts. Pay attention to what you’re thinking about others (and yourself!) and redirect negative thoughts to positive ones. Furthermore, do your best to understand and accept others for whom they are, without judgment or wanting them to change. Focusing on positive judgments and acceptance will not only make you happier, but it may change someone else’s life.
New Jersey –– USA