We would never put up with someone else saying the things we say to ourselves. Why we do judge ourselves so harshly? I used to be guilty of self-judgment, and still can be, hating myself for not living up to an unattainable standard. Making sure that I set those standards so high I could never reach them, ensuring that I always had a reason to hate myself and talk down to myself. It took a lot of work to stop doing that on a regular basis, but once I started to love and accept myself I stopped accepting that negative self-talk that used to be my daily narrative. If we don’t believe in ourselves, it’s difficult for others to believe in us, the work starts with us, and it’s work that’s worth it. Let’s start with, why do we judge ourselves?
What is it about our human nature that makes us turn on ourselves? It’s easy in the culture of social media for us to compare who we are to what we’re seeing, but as I’ve written about before, we should never judge our insides to someone else’s outsides, or their outsides at all for that matter. I’ve shared in the past that when I was at my lowest low, when I had given up on myself and didn’t want to be here anymore, I still got dressed, put on a happy face and walked out the door fooling most people, and there were people who told me they envied me during that time, not knowing what my internal struggle was, and I would laugh to myself and think, you have no idea what’s really going on, and truthfully, most people have an internal struggle going on of some kind that we know nothing about, so why would you compare yourself to someone who may be only showing you what they want you to see? We live an a time of filters and editing and well, unrealistic expectations, based on what we see online and in the media, and trust me, as someone who works in entertainment, even we don’t look like the images of perfection that get put out there, we get a lot of help, by experts who are paid to make us look a certain way, and even then there are filters and lighting. So, when I say to not judge yourself based on these images, I’m telling you, there is a lot of wizardly magic that goes on behind the scenes to make things look pretty. Just be you, be proud of that, and stand tall. And, if there is something you truly are not happy with, something that you can work on or change, go ahead and do that, work for it, make it a goal and take action if it makes you feel good about you. Speaking of action, let’s get into some action.
1) Where Do Your Judgments Come From? When you look at yourself, or think about yourself, what do you see or think? Do you feel love, or shame? Have you always felt this way, or was there a time or event that made you change? Where there people in your life who validated these judgments or negative thoughts? Or maybe, placed them there to begin with? Think about what got you here, how it began, what in you or your environment fueled your judgment? As I always say, get out your detective hat, and find out the facts and the root of your judgment. Once you have that, you have something to work with. And, even if you don’t know, it’s about consciously making a decision to turn that negative self-talk and judgment around, to talk to yourself in a loving and forgiving way. No one is perfect, no one, even the people you think who are, so give yourself a break SLAYER, we’re all learning and growing, and trying to be the best us we can.
2) Find Your Own Self Love. I know, this one can be tough, but I know it can be done because I’ve done it, and I hated myself so much I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror when I brushed me teeth, so, I have faith you can find it to. Start by making a list of 5 things you like about yourself. Carry that list with you and when you start to judge yourself, read that list out loud, then smile. I did that for a few months when I started on this path, it always put things in perspective, and as my self-love started to grow so did my list. Start looking for the good instead of the bad.
3) Allow Yourself To Make Mistakes. We all make them. If we’re not making them we’re not taking chances, so really, it’s a good thing that we’re making them. We learn from mistakes, we grow, and it may just give us the answers we’re looking for. When things “go wrong” we then know not to do that again, and sometimes we will anyway, but eventually we’ll stop, and we’ll move on to something else. But it’s about trying, and learning from those tries, and allowing yourself to not get it right, and maybe even celebrating when you don’t because it means you’re allowing yourself to try new things, or maybe old things, in a different way. Mistakes open the door to discoveries.
4) Treat Yourself Like You Treat Others. We typically treat others better than we treat ourselves, and we judge them less, if we are judging them more harshly that’s usually a pretty good indicator though that we’re needing to address things in our own lives, we often will attack someone else for the things we dislike in ourselves, but, usually we tend to see everyone else with rosier glasses than see ourselves. A lot of times we find it easier to forgive others’ flaws because it’s not us, or because we’re only seeing their outside, so we figure anything we’re picking up on is just them having an off day, we make excuses for them, and maybe it’s because we love them, but, shouldn’t we cut ourselves the same breaks because we love ourselves? Yes, we should. When you catch yourself behaving badly towards yourself, think about how you treat others in your life, and ask yourself if you would be as harsh to them? Also ask yourself why? Those same reasons apply to you.
5) Step Out To Look In. When you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk , step outside of yourself and observe what’s going on. Don’t engage in it, just observe what you are saying and how it makes you feel. Let it pass by you. Watch it go. When you don’t engage and passively observe it, you don’t get emotionally involved and defensive, that’s when the truth can come to the surface. And when you know the truth, you stop telling yourself lies because they no longer make sense. And, you stop believing them.
Once you stop judging yourself and start encouraging yourself to live a full and expansive life you open the door to a bigger world, you open yourself up to new relationships and experiences, and you attract others into your life who are also on the same path. We all have bad days when the negative chatter gets loud in our heads, but that’s when we practice self-care and stick to the facts, those things we know to be true, we are beautiful, incredible people who are growing and learning and taking chances because we are operating from a place of love, not judgment. SLAY on.
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you judge yourself harshly? Why do you think you do that? What can you do to stop judging yourself so harshly? Do you want to stop judging yourself so harshly? If not, why not? How does it benefit you? How does it hurt you? What are 5 loving things you can do for yourself this week? Write then down SLAYER and do them, see if start to lessen the grip on our own judgment.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you