Note: If you missed the first two-and-a-half weeks of my meditation experience, scroll through the home page to review.
In Day 19 of the Meditation Experience, the Centering Thought is focused on finding your success without judging others or yourself.
If you live in a major city (or really anywhere) you know that there is an ABUNDANCE of judgmental people in seemingly every direction. Judgment might be passed in the form of picking apart someone’s outfit; or it might come in the form of “attacking” someone’s character, based on a brief conversation (or no conversation at all); or it might come in the form of listening to someone else incessantly rant about anything and everything. Regardless of the nature, being judgmental is one of the biggest personality “addictions” there is (next to narcissism – which can often go hand-in-hand). Why do I call it an addiction? Because the more someone falls into this trap of negatively opining on things, the more comfortable it gets. To some, being judgmental is such an integral part of their life that they don’t know how else to communicate.
Think about someone you know that judges (what seems like) everything. How do you feel when you’re around them? Is it uplifting to hear their words or do you feel drained, silently waiting until you can move on with your the day? Do you feel yourself beginning to judge as well? Do you feel like you can’t trust them?
What if you’re the one judging others? Do you feel comfortable or uncomfortable after you have verbally judged someone else? How does everyone react when you do it? Do they just nod their head or give you a one word acceptance, or do they launch into a negative conversation on it? Have you lost friends because of your attitude?
Unfortunately, being judgmental of others is so common (especially with social media being a daily part of our lives) that we find coping mechanisms to be able to allow this type of personality into our lives – whether we’re the ones doing the judging or not.
So what is the usual cause of this? The answer: Insecurity. We all have insecurities but it’s in how we deal with them that separates those that judge and those that do not. I can give numerous examples of those that project their insecurities onto others in the form of judgmental statements. They often do it to lift themselves up (that song “Selfie” by the Chainsmokers was unfortunately very accurate) because they’ve found a “strength” in someone else that they currently don’t possess themselves. For example (and this is VERY common where I’m from): A girl and her girlfriends go to a club. They see another group of girls and immediately, it’s a huddle to attack the other group. Usually, there’s a “leader” that begins the attacks. She’s upset because the other group of girls is thinner, is dating (what she considers) the “right” men, are prettier, and basically just seem intimidating (or bitchy as she would call it). Instead of getting to know that group of girls and realizing that everyone is human, the first group feels like their night is ruined so they keep on drinking and having a marginal time, while continuing to judge (and blame) the other group. They don’t feel like the queens of the club and internally, they start listing out everything that doesn’t make them “the best”.
Now think about the other group… and I’ll use me as an example: I know I’m not a “10” to everyone. I know I have flaws. Sure, there are things I can do about some of it (and have) and others are just genetics (I can’t make myself naturally taller or naturally have less freckly skin). I’ve accepted what I can’t change and instead, have projected confidence to others on what I can offer. Confidence is sexy, period. You don’t need to take a million selfies to gain acceptance. Understanding and accepting your insecurities, changes the view of the world around you. Instead of judging others to build yourself up, you’re paying compliments left and right to build THEM up. You’re interested in getting to know anyone and everyone for who they are and in turn, they want to get to know you. A light inside of you comes out and people see it. They can trust you and they want to be around you. It’s hard to put into practice at first but super easy after that.
So how do YOU get this into a practice? First thing’s first: List out your insecurities. What’s bothering you? Complain to a journal and when you feel like you’ve gotten everything out, read the list. See how you feel. Did you end up complaining about others in this list? If so, ask yourself if it’s directly related to something you’re insecure about and then write that down.
List out those insecurities you know you can work on and those you can’t change (physical genetics). Start to put goals around the ones you need to work on – aim for 1 or 2 at a time. Perhaps the goal is to say something positive to someone else at least once a day; or perhaps turning what is usually a negative in your life, into a positive. For example, instead of freaking out at work that you’re a horrible employee that can’t do anything right, simply because you got feedback on a PowerPoint you developed; appreciate the fact that someone took the time to review it and help YOU become better at your job. This positivity can become infectious and before you know it, your confidence is back!
The following personal saying I constructed (and adopted) a long time ago: “I never judge anyone for who they are because I, myself, am no saint. However, if they harm me in some way, I don’t give it another thought – I just move on and let go because it’s clear they have things they need to deal with and I won’t participate in that.” This statement is not selfish and it’s not rude- it’s honest. It allows you to freely move onwards and upwards without risk of being dragged back down into what you have worked so hard to get away from. Be a shining example for others. Be honest with yourself. Be successful in becoming YOU.