When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.
Pursuing a goal or making a change requires stepping into the unknown. The way you have always done something will not take you far. Instead, you have to shift and adjust. When we change our habits, there are forces trying to pull us back to our old ways. These include internal and external thoughts of judgment, like:
- What we think of ourselves
- What we think of others
- What others think of us
- What we think others think of us
Making significant, positive changes can create a ripple effect. When people focus on getting out of debt, they tend to start cooking more and eating healthier. When people start to exercise more often, they experience increased productivity at work.
And so, we know that change is good. Change takes us out of our old habits and gives us a new way to experience life. It can also give us a fresh perspective of our personal judgments and the judgments of others.
On your path to progress you might notice that…
You begin to judge others.
For example, let’s say you decide to run a half marathon. If you have never trained for a race before, you might begin to notice the different types of people out running – various shapes and sizes, fitness levels and running styles abound. You were never in a place to judge other runners before, because until recently you weren’t a runner.
Judgments of others are about you, no one else. The best way to overcome these judgments is to expose their true nature. Examine your negative thoughts closely, and consider if they stem from a fear of failure, or a fear of the unknown.
If you begin to judge others, remember that everyone has to start somewhere… including you. These thoughts will disapate when you can find more love and compassion for yourself.
Most people will support you, but some will judge you.
We have all experienced the naysayers, questioners, and detractors before. They cannot seem to understand why you want to change. They were more comfortable with your old ways. They see something in your changes that they desire for themselves. Whatever the case, know that when detractors judge you, it has nothing to do with you – and it has everything to do with them. Don Miguel Ruiz wrote an excellent book called The Four Agreements that examines this topic in detail.
The best way to overcome these judgements is to care less about what others think. It is impossible to know the actual thoughts in someone else’s mind, all you can know for sure is how you interpret their words and actions. When you can find more love and compassion for others, their judgments of you will have less impact on how you feel.
You start to judge yourself.
You can become your own detractor, questioning if you deserve to reach your goal. You wonder if pursuing your goal is selfish or silly. You are not sure if your goals are achievable. Negative thoughts creep in. Excuses flood your mind.
The best way to overcome these judgements is to recognize them as your inner critic at work. Take a deep breath, look in the mirror, and uncover your compassion for yourself.
In spite of these judgments, you can move forward.
When external obstacles stand in the way, we can pave our own path. When internal doubts prevent growth, we can build a bridge to new beliefs. When judgments stall our progress, we can overcome them with compassion, and more forward.
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