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Change Your Thoughts: Judgment

When you observe your thoughts, what language do you use to describe them? Does the language you use make you feel good or bad about yourself? If it’s the latter, you are probably judging yourself. We all do it. It’s important to remember that your judgements are opinions, not facts. Through our judgements, we bring on a lot of unnecessary shame into our lives.  With mindfulness, you can start to heal that shame and become less judgmental.

Observe your thoughts

What judgements do you catch yourself frequently making? Practice observing your thoughts while doing a simple activity, like washing your dishes. What thoughts do you have about doing the dishes? Let your thoughts and judgements come as they are, without trying to change them.

Judgements can trigger our emotions in extreme ways, especially when we are attached to how we think things should be or go. Letting go of our judgements begins with examining the content of our minds and taking a good, hard look at our automatic thoughts.

Change your language

In order to become non-judgemental, you’ll need to alter the language that you use when describing yourself and your thoughts. Some examples of judgmental language are words like right, wrong, good, bad, stupid, lazy, fair, unfair, perfect, bad, terrible, etc. When you notice that you’re using judgmental language, pause, and reword it. Instead of saying things like “I am bad,” say “When I make a mistake, I feel guilty.” Describe the situation and pair it with a feeling word rather than a judgmental word.

Don’t judge your judging

As you become more aware of your judgmental thoughts, avoid judging yourself for judging. It’s an ego-trap, and it is counterproductive. You are just learning to change your thoughts, and doing this is similar to exercising. Your non-judgmental muscle needs to be exercised before it can grow. Be patient and compassionate with yourself, and when you do have a judgmental thought, simply state the facts, which are “That was a judgmental thought”, and move on.

Cut yourself some slack

It’s not the end of the world if you mess up and make mistakes sometimes. You will never be perfect, and that is okay!  It is challenging to undo the ways we have spoken to ourselves for so many years. Writing this article has made me become more aware of all the ways I judge myself. I kept thinking “If I don’t finish this article on time, I am bad and lazy.” That made me want to avoid writing altogether, because those judgments place so much unnecessary pressure on me. I would not speak that way to a child, so why am I talking to myself this way? Who do I think I am? Why can’t this be fun?  Having that awareness allowed me to be more compassionate and loving toward myself. I was able to approach writing from a place of happiness and joy rather than shame and judgment.

Speak to yourself like you would a child. Look at pictures of yourself from when you were younger and really start to visualize your younger self when talking to yourself. It will help you be more gracious with yourself when you make mistakes.

Alexandra Cravener
Alexandra Cravenerhttps://integrativecounsel.org/
Alexandra Cravener is a social media coordinator and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alexandra studied English at Arizona State University and has found her niche uniting concept and content in the realm of mental health and the expressive arts.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Your reflections are very interesting.
    I read just recently about the human tendency to “polarization of negativity”, the instinct that makes us consider negative experiences more significant than they actually are.
    The reason is that we have evolved so much that we give more weight to our flaws, mistakes and shortcomings than our successes.
    I think we have to learn the right lessons from our experiences, give it the right weight, be balanced aware. Ultimately, being self-indulgent can lead to greater results than self-criticism ever can.

  2. This reminds me of the practice of reframing Alexandra. Thank you for this! I like reading about this subject.

    One could go one step further from “𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘫𝘶𝘥𝘨𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘥𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘤𝘩 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨?”

    Once you know the judgement (and oh, One judgement at a time) … 𝘐’𝘮 𝘵𝘰𝘰 𝘰𝘭𝘥, 𝘐’𝘷𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘥𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦, as examples, we simply ‘think’ the opposite (based on the Law of Polarity; one of 7 universal laws) which is always available … if we think to ‘think it!’

    Like: 𝘐’𝘮 𝘵𝘰𝘰 𝘰𝘭𝘥, 𝘐’𝘷𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘥𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦

  3. I love your writing, Alexandra.

    In particularwhat you wrote “Don’t judge your judging
    As you become more aware of your judgmental thoughts, avoid judging yourself for judging. It’s an ego-trap, and it is counterproductive.”

    You reminded me of the derivative of the derivative such as the negative negativity. They pile up and make life hard.

    I agree with your sound reasoning.

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