Self-judgement and how to love yourself through it.

Do you struggle with loving other people and yourself, most of all? Self-judgement seems like such a harmless thing to do. Everyone who does it always argues that judging is just an ability to critically look at yourself. It is simply being objective and is nothing more than constructive criticism.

So why is self-judgment the worst thing you can do to yourself?

Youth and judgement

When I was younger, my world was black or white.  There was no middle ground, no half-tones.  No grey area. I was very judgemental of everyone and had almost extremist views on how people were supposed to be living their life.

Naturally, I started making mistakes.  Whenever I failed or did something that I was not proud of, I would bash myself to the ground with guilt and shame.  There was to be no forgiveness for me.  Yet, people forgave. They moved on. 

I would be left in tears of humility when someone could find it in their heart to forgive me. Let alone, forgive when so much injustice that was done to them by others.

  • How could a woman forgive a husband who hit her? 
  • How can she forgive a partner who cheated?  
  • A friend, who betrayed her?  
  • Can you forgive a parent, who died unexpectedly?

But, as I noticed, people who were able to forgive other people, were free to move on with their lives

So why do we hold on to judgement?

The truth is that where there is self-judgement, there is no room for acceptance, no need for learning and growth.  

Growth and learning come from treating yourself with love and compassion.  They come from allowing yourself to make mistakes in order to learn from them. The problem is that no one wants to make mistakes, even for the sake of growing.

So why is judgement a dead-end?

Self-judgement example

Imagine, you are on a strict diet trying to lose weight and had a cookie (or 5).

Instead of punishing yourself and giving up on your diet, what if you would just tell yourself:

“of course I had a cookie. Nothing has gone wrong here, mistakes are inevitable. They are part of the process.” 

This is very different to something like “You are so useless, you will just never lose weight and there is no point trying”. When you show yourself compassion instead of self-judgement, you can keep going with your weight loss until you hit your goal.

Most of my clients struggle with this at first.  Loving and respecting yourself is much more difficult than being hard on yourself and quitting! Quitting is easy!

self-judgement example
Mark Twain knew a lot about quitting🙂

But the results speak for themselves.

I have been doing research about brains and I find them most amusing. What if I asked you to imagine that you have two brains, one of which never wants anything to change in your life? We have inherited this primitive brain from thousands of years ago and it is how we have survived, avoiding danger. Back then you had to always be on the lookout for dangerous animals who were after you. You had to be cautious and alert. Careful. There was no room for experimenting or being creative.

But we do not need to simply survive anymore. Your brain wants you to keep doing things the old way, because it thinks you will die. So what if you were aware of this fact and treated yourself with understanding next time you feel resistant to trying new things and making mistakes?

Judgement is just a way for your brain to prevent you from evolving. When we evolve, we do not have time for judgement.

So what if you lowered your expectations for yourself? Or make them more realistic? What if you anticipated that you will make mistakes on the way and that is ok? It does not mean that you will die.

Exercise on self-judgement 

I have an assignment for you.  Take a piece of paper and a pen, switch off the world for 30 minutes.

Think about people around you, about people in the news, on TV.

Do you have an opinion on what it is to be a good mother?  A good boss?  A good friend?  What is a good wife? Do you have any examples of such things? What about an opinion about a woman’s body, what does that supposed to look like?

Write everything down and see, how that is preventing you from moving on to do something bigger and better.  What would you do if you did not have all this judgement?

When I was younger, me and my friends would talk about other women, put them down. Talk about their clothes, how they try too hard. Gradually this made me feel uncomfortable. I became interested in myself and my growth, talking bad about other women stopped being exciting to me.

Although I could be ashamed of myself, I choose to think that this was my path, my journey of self-discovery. And it led me here.

I believe, that the reason for our being in this world is to touch other peoples lives, to grow and evolve into a higher versions of ourselves.  To have impact.

I now know, that this is only possible through me making thousands of mistakes, and not giving up. 

And loving myself through all of this.  Even when no one else is willing to.  Even through the worst of times.

Go on and try something new. Be prepared to make mistakes and promise yourself that you will not judge yourself for this. Start noticing, when you have an opinion about how others should behave, live or raise their children. Take time to think about why you have these opinions and if this is the area where you are also hard on yourself. What would happen, if you treated yourself with kindness and compassion, instead of judgement? How would you show up in your life?

If you have questions about this article or need help with learning how to love yourself, we can schedule a call to see how I can help you x

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