The Trouble with Self-Judgement
I wanted to take some time to talk about self-judgment as it has been coming up a lot in my work with clients this week.
Self-judgment is a significant contributing factor to anxiety and depression. We tend to think that our difficult feelings come from outside of us. For example, one of my clients had been visiting with her family, and after her return, she was feeling very anxious and depressed. When she told me about it, she said: “My family always makes me feel that way.” When we started working through her difficult emotions, she soon started to realize that it isn’t her family that makes her feel that way at all. It’s actually her own self-judgment. What she had been saying to herself were things like “I’m not as smart as them.”, “I will never be as successful” and “I’m a disappointment to my family.”
Self-judgment is a way to protect ourselves from rejection and failure. We falsely believe that if we judge ourselves or reject ourselves, we can be safe from the rejection and judgment of others. However, self-criticism tends to scare us and immobilize us. Then more self-judgment follows until we create a situation where we are totally stuck and unhappy.
The way out of the pain of self-judgment is to start becoming very conscious of the things that you are telling yourself. Once you become aware of the thoughts, you can then go ahead and start asking yourself what is the truth? As long as you are open to learning, the truth will pop right into your mind. What you will find is that the truth is always very different from what you have been telling yourself.
Self-judgement’s job is to keep you safe from the judgment of the world, but the end result of it is that it keeps you from the world and it keeps you playing small. You are not here on this earth to play small. You came here to grow and expand and live with abandon. However, if you are always telling yourself that you are not good enough, capable of, or meant to… why would you even try?
I want to encourage you to start asking yourself. If I truly believed, there is nothing wrong with me, who would it free me up to be? What would I allow myself to experience?