Even the harshest criticism from a stranger rarely surpasses the judgment we put on ourselves. Individuals tend to be their own worst critics; it can take considerable work, patience, and mindfulness to stop judging yourself.
It is possible. And once you’ve stopped judging yourself, you can begin to have a more fulfilling life. Meditation, acceptance of who you are, and loving yourself as you love your family and friends are all ways to learn to stop the destructive habit of self-judgment.
But before you start trying to correct this tendency, it’s worth examining why you judge yourself. When you look at yourself, what do you see? Do you look with love or shame?
Trying to push yourself to reach your full potential is a worthy effort. But it needs to be done with love and compassion for you. Without love and compassion, your desire to better yourself can take a negative turn anytime you miss or fall short of a goal.
Discipline yourself to think and act with grace and positivity. When that attitude is turned inward, it shines, and alters the way you treat yourself. If your intentions are to better yourself, then there is no room for negative self-judgment. Remember that every mistake is growth, and every negative serves to bring light to the positive.
1. Determine Where Your Judgments Are Coming From
When we look at the rest of the world, our minds have a natural tendency to analyze all the stimuli. This form of judgment is a way for the brain to manipulate and use the body’s environment to assess and adapt. When we look within, all of our 60,000 to 80,000 daily thoughts are similarly analyzed.
Meditation allows you to push out the noise and fine-tune your thoughts. Once you’ve become more aware, you’re able to peek into the inner world. This is the space of consciousness beyond judgment that just blissfully is. The more you tune into this aspect of yourself, the more you can see the imperfections in how you see yourself.
Sometimes how you see something is more important than what you see. Pay attention to where your judgments are coming from and “who” is doing the judging. Shift your awareness to a loving discernment and free your self of negativity.
2. Love Yourself
The problem with self-judgment arises from its roots. Judgment can be useful; it can help you come to an understanding and then take action. Discernment is a reason-based form of judgment. When judgment is based on logic and impartiality, your intentions are to better yourself. You are taking accountability, and this is healthy.
Seek thoughts that align with love for you. If your thoughts lead to self-pity, and other lower vibrations, chances are you will continue to give yourself more material to hate. This is because this form of judgment is not rooted in self-love. Be kinder to yourself. Forgive your wrongs with a heart that wants to manifest more right. A judge’s job is to restore balance, to reset harmony. As your own judge, learn to do so with compassion and a mindset for evolution.
3. Treat Yourself as You Treat Others
Chances are, judgments of yourself are harsher than those placed on others. You may see some of the same actions and physical flaws in others, but react differently. Why? Maybe it’s because there is a degree of separation. It’s easier to be kind to others and overlook their negatives because they are not you. Your ownership over your personal image will not allow you to be so kind.
Pay attention to how you smile and enjoy your time with your overweight friend and love them without judgment of their image, yet cruelly dissect yourself over a few pounds. What’s the difference? Why can you encourage that friend who struggles with substance abuse, but treat yourself horribly for not breaking destructive habits. Do you love them more than yourself?
Try to recognize what you overlook in others. Think about the characteristics you share and how you treat them differently. Replace those self-loathing attitudes with forgiveness just as you would a loved one. Love your Self just as much as anyone else and show it.
4. Be the Witness
When self-judgment arises, shift mental gears. Step out of the conversation you’re having with yourself. Don’t engage the negative thought, just passively acknowledge it. When you don’t get defensive, your truths come to the surface.
Self-judgment is not intended to hurt. Your criticism can be motivational. You’re your worst hater, because you’re your biggest fan!
Truth transcends and sometimes works through emotional sensitivity. Release your sensitivity to judgment and just witness. It is the process of change happening within. Your emotions are what prolong the change and cause more despair. Simply observe.
Judgmental thoughts turn negative when you process them as detractions from your worth. When you are grounded fully in yourself and are detached from ego, you can realize self-judgment as love. Witness the thought and its origin, without defense, and you will be victorious over self-judgments.