Women & the Two Sides of Judgement
Six things to practice when judgement comes knocking.
It’s all about becoming aware of why you practice judgment. Deep down, you know it’s not about them. It’s really about you.
Judgment opposes confidence.
Living in a culture of comparison means that with all the hard work we do, we’ll never be completely free of it. And actually, that’s healthy. It’s completely natural to engage in comparison. It’s closely linked to motivation and inspiration. But I don’t draw a lot of attention at these positive aspects because it’s hard to appreciate that side of the coin before we understand the ways that comparison is holding us back.
Although I would rather you engaged with the advantages of comparison, I feel it is my duty to inform you of how comparison is disadvantaging you so that you can do the work to step away from that. And that’s what we’ll be doing today, with judgment.
Judgment, no matter how you look at it, is a powerful tool and expression of comparison culture. When you start to look into comparison and how embedded it is in American capitalism, you inherently know that judgment is a part of that. But typically, within our journeys, we won’t acknowledge or bring light to that relationship until we’ve been strong enough to look at why we judge in the first place.
If you are on that journey now, I’ve written this for you.
I’ve been in this flow and have had this awareness for a few years now. Being free of comparison (most of the time), it’s so easy for me to spot and hear how others judge. And as of late, this has been really showing up in my world. So, not only do I want to help you navigate out of the toxicities of comparison, I too feel called to write about this now.
But here’s my point: judgment does not provide confidence, it locks it away. When we lean on judgment to understand how we stand against others, regardless if it makes us appear superior or inferior, we lose every time. And I’ll tell you why.
Judgment is truly the practice of invalidation – of others or yourself. And in case you don’t understand when I say invalidate, I mean contradicting, disqualifying, or making something appear less than. I will say, it’s important to invalidate improper closed-mindedness (like those who believe all lives matter instead of supporting black lives matter), we can’t allow judgment to come in and take the lead of invalidating individuals. Can you see the difference? Invalidating a concept is different and more effective than invalidating a person. The prior makes us smarter, brighter, and evolutionary – whereas the later encourages harm, hate, and projections of unworthiness.
So, if you have become skilled at invalidating yourself or others, I’ve also written this for you.
The danger of judging yourself.
To judge, or invalidate yourself is to point out that you are not as capable or as trustworthy as others. When we do this silently, thinking at ourselves, this really comes through in comparison, which is almost another uphill climb. To make this more tangible and implementable, let’s look at what happens when you do so publicly. I’ll give you a couple of example scenarios:
1. You baked a pie for your family and when you set it on the table for everyone to look at, you immediately go into everything that went wrong with the pie and then maybe go into some reasons why they won’t be able to fully enjoy it.
2. You’re having an in-depth discussion with good friends, and every time you chime in to share your piece, you first start with, “well, I could’ve spent more time researching this, but from what I have seen…,” or “I’m clearly not as educated as you are, but the way I see it…” These may appear to be small and harmless, but what you’ve done here is try to cancel your contribution.
Basically, what you’re saying is, it doesn’t matter what I have worked so hard to do or what it is that comes out of my mouth because I don’t have enough experience or knowledge in this to worthy of participating.
To put it plainly, publicly invalidating yourself is a presentation you’re giving on why you have no value. You’re telling others that you aren’t worth their time. Which they can, and hopefully will, disagree with. But, as Maya Angelou puts it, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” So if you express unworthiness, at some point, they’ll have to step in and trust you on it.
You are so beautiful, and I know that’s not the intention that you have – trust me, I get it. In fact, what you’re wanting is the opposite – am I right? We want to be loved, appreciated, and accepted as who we truly are. But as we provide care and shed a few more layers of ourselves, we become scared of being seen as less than, so we impulsively jump in to reveal that we know the quality is bad. And our hopes in doing so is that we’ll be given a free pass from the judgment we fear and that our “awareness” will keep our level of status.
But that’s the problem right there – instead of letting them appreciate what we’ve provided, in fear, we tell them why they shouldn’t appreciate us. We’ve done the judging for them, and then you may have guaranteed that they end up seeing you they way you didn’t want them to.
Man, what a rollar coaster! You are worth so much more than that, my friend. Keep reading to find ways to escape that trap.
What it really means when we judge others.
Just as when we judge ourselves, when we judge others we’re really just scared of losing our value amongst our peers. So, let’s start there.
Living in comparison culture leads us through a juggling act of keeping up and staying relevant. It can even carry us into believing that we must have something that makes us superior in order to be appreciated. Which is so far from the truth, but when we are in a headspace of judging and invalidating others, that’s what we’re diving into – a method that ensures we will have something that someone else will desire. And if someone else desires something that we have, they’ll want to keep us near. At least, that’s where our subconscious logic can take us.
Now, there’s not much we can do when someone else experiences envy from what we have, but we certainly don’t want to encourage it. If we do so, we are asking to be validated because we were able to invalidate someone else.
See, the invalidation you hold for others, which can be expressed internally or externally, is truly the act of imposing your limiting beliefs. And what that does is keep you in your safe space so that you don’t have to really face what’s going on and the true challenges that are in your path.
Additionally, when we impose our limiting beliefs onto others, we’re not just staying safe in our bubble, but we’re also hurting others. So, judging in this way, depending on how we vocalize it, can be borderline abusive. And not only is it harmful towards them, but it encourages a deep fear of no longer being of value. We might even hold a fear of having to do inner work that we aren’t ‘ready’ for.
And when it really comes down to it – this is the ticket: Paulo Coelho says, “how people treat other people is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves.” Which means, when you invalidate others, you are imposing the judgments that you don’t want others to place upon you.
Acquiring a support system will be a big win in becoming judgment-free.
Before I begin this bit, I want to start off by sharing that you don’t have to have a support system to awaken this. But it will help. Immensely.
Comparison culture is actively a perfectionist culture. And what a culture full of perfectionism does is teach us to be perfect. So then, in order to accomplish that, it would make sense that our subconscious impulse would be to invalidate ourselves or others. Continuing to look at the big picture, what we’re doing is attempting to control the way others see us. But the only thing that you can control is your own mind, actions, and responses. That’s about it.
There’s no way we can ensure that they see us in a controlled way. It does not work to try and highlight the ways in which we are perfect. Because you’re not really in competition with anyone – you’re just applying pressure to yourself and then swimming in it, potentially hurting others along the way.
If you are scared to do the work, the best way to approach it is to acquire a support system. Because of the miracles I see when we dive in the coaching and counseling spaces, I would of course recommend going in that direction. But if you’re strapped for cash, and you aren’t even able to afford email coaching, then your peers are a great resource. Reach out to those you can count on and let them know what you’re experiencing – that you want to be better – that you need help seeing how judgment is ingrained in your everyday life. If they are someone who you can truly count on, there’s no need to hold on to fear of what they may think – for they will understand and help you with love.
If you believe that acquiring a support system is not within your cards, I hear you. I can then only suggest that you journal, read, and keep consuming resources like this that can help you step out of that plane.
Keep on reading for some practices you can take to help you break away from judgment.
What to do when judgment comes knocking.
If you want to try and tackle this yourself – honorable! – then I want to break down the steps I would take – and did take – to step away from this.
And if you scrolled all the way to the bottom to get these tips, I see you. I totally respect your decision to do so, because you are the captain of your ship and you know what’s best. But I feel strongly that if you take the extra 5 minutes to read through what I wrote, that these tips will resonate harder and give you the real clarity you were looking for. JMO
1. The first thing is to practice seeing judgment for what it really is. And that doesn’t mean just looking at what I’ve shared, here. But also in what areas you judge yourself or others. Is it body, money, career, relationships – what element triggers your judgment? There’s no getting around it. Your invalidations are your expressions of your fear. So go in deeply and look at what it is you are afraid of.
2. If you don’t want to be a Stepford wife, then do your best to accept that you cannot be an expert in everything. And also allow yourself to see that’s exactly what makes you so special. If I were you, I would make a Venn diagram of all the things that make you wonderful and all the things that you fall short on. Then in the middle, I would list why the combination of these brings value into the world.
3. Get clear on what you can do, and why you enjoy doing it. Specifically, I’m referring to skills. Evaluating this will keep you aligned with your best foot forward and help develop strength in why you are so valuable.
4. Don’t shame yourself when you aren’t able to master something you’ve tried for the first time. And don’t let yourself not try something because you won’t immediately be skilled at it. Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way talks about how we need to nurture our inner artist, or the child artist within us. Too often, we walk in with great expectations – developed from exposure to comparison and perfectionism – and then when we aren’t able to follow what we assumed we’d be able to accomplish with a snap, we become disheartened. Instead of expecting this new thing to be incredible because it’s coming from you, expect it to simply be a win that you even did the thing – no matter where you landed.
5. Be kind to yourself. Remember, the way we treat others is a reflection of how we treat ourselves. Show yourself love every day, and I would just start there.
6. When the thoughts run into your mind – invalidating yourself or others – do your best to pivot them. Instead, think to yourself that you are beautiful, worthy, and enough. And then look around the room and send them all thoughts of how they are beautiful, worthy, and enough. That flow of energy will be observed, perhaps subconsciously, and your peers will thoroughly enjoy being around you. And then you got what you wanted, just in a healthier, kinder way.
If you enjoyed this article, I encourage you to listen to the first masterclass of Magical Realness. You can find that in the podcast tab with an accompanying workbook. Episode released 7/9/20.
Interested in email coaching? Just click on the link below, and fire away. I’d be honored to walk you through this in a 1:1 correspondence space.
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