Judgment. We get it — we’re not supposed to do it. We know it’s wrong. However, inside all the cultural messaging, there hasn’t been much attention given to the judgment we have on ourselves.
- Judgment is Judgment Most of us believe that judging ourselves and judging others fall into two different categories. We actually believe that judging ourselves is okay — we’re not hurting anyone. In fact, it keeps us on our toes, pushes us to work harder and be better. That is simply not true. The narrative we play in our own heads about ourselves is self-judgment, and it quietly impacts our lives in ways we’re often completely unaware.
- Pay Attention Self-judgment is a tricky beast. Tricky because it so often goes unnoticed, like a habit we’re completely oblivious to. We create it early on, and it can stay a part of us forever. A way to test, see if your self-judgment is a bigger part of you than you imagine, is to simply pay attention. For one day, notice how often you hear yourself in your head, commenting or criticizing what you’re doing and thinking. Once you’re aware of how often this is happening, things can begin to move.
- Rewrite the Script Unfortunately, a lot of us have what I term an “asshole on the inside” and it lives smack in the middle of where our self-judgment sits. It reminds us of all the things we cannot stand about ourselves. It is from where all the doubt comes from and brings the fear. And all of this is our own doing, with our own prompting. However, we are in charge of that “asshole” — we can un-create it, rewrite it, move it to something kinder and more forgiving. If we were to treat the people we love the way we sometimes treat ourselves, it would not be tolerated.
- Make Sure the Voice you Hear in Your Head is Your Own Over your life, plenty of people give us their ideas and opinions about who we are and what we’ve done. In the end, the only voice that matters, that truly makes a difference, is your own. Practice self-acceptance.
- Root for Yourself We don’t need an enemy living inside us, reminding us of all the things we need to improve, especially when times are tough. What we really want is an ally. Learning to root for yourself is a skill that is well worth learning. Like everything, it takes time, but it can possibly change the entire trajectory of how we face difficulties, and ultimately how we feel about ourselves. Letting go of our own judgment is the best way to find what you deserve.
Liz Pryor is a bestselling author, speaker, relationship and life advice expert whose first book on female friendship, “What Did I Do Wrong?” was a finalist for a “Books for a Better Life” Award. A former life advice expert for “Good Morning America,” Pryor released her second book, a provocative memoir, “Look at You Now” in 2016. Hear her TEDx talk on judgment, “Alone on the Inside.”