I asked my coach for some guidance on a coaching package John and I are considering offering. I asked for her help because John and I weren’t seeing eye-to-eye on it. And sometimes it helps to just get an outside perspective.
Next thing I know she’s asking me where I’m judging myself. It always goes like that: I ask something simple and she takes me into a deep exploration of myself for a deep-level shift that allows me to be of better service to other people. That’s why I like working with her.
So I started making a list of where I’m judging myself. The list became quite extensive:
- I should be a better wife
- I’m too slow reading Braille
- I should be further along in my weight loss
- I’m failing to effectively teach my kids some important life lessons
- I should have done that presentation better
- I should have taken a stand for that woman
- I should have figured out this marketing stuff already
Did you see me “shoulding” all over myself?
And the list went on and on from there. Wow. I was surprised at how hard I am on myself.In fact, I was wondering if I should just make a list of the things I’m not judging myself on because I think it might be smaller than this other list.
The judgment doesn’t end with me, either. I find myself judging other people, too, especially those closest to me. That means John gets the worst of it. Next, it’s my two boys. That can’t be good for any of us. Apparently, it’s very common for a person who judges himself or herself to also judge other people.
So, I’m just becoming aware of the need to appraise myself with more grace. That’s where the solution begins. If you are judging yourself, I encourage you to appraise yourself with more grace, too.
Here are a few suggestions for you and for me:
- Let’s see ourselves as a work in progress. When we assess where we’re at, let’s remember that it’s just a snapshot in time as we are moving along in our journey.
- Let’s affirm the progress we’ve already made. It’s worth noting and even celebrating our efforts to create positive change in our own lives. We can acknowledge our desire and our efforts even when we haven’t achieved the results we want yet.
- Use this wonderful phrase my coach Tracey Trottenberg passed along to me: “Up until now________. But I’m in the process of __________.”For example, “Up until now, I’ve been really hard on myself but I’m in the process of being kind to myself.” I love how this statement recognizes what I am wanting to change and is holding the possibility and even the expectation of having it different.
If you are new to the idea of changing how you are judging yourself, you are in good company. Trust me, I’m doing a lot of work over here to shift how I am seeing myself. I hope you can judge yourself less harshly, too. After all, if judging ourselves was the answer, all our problems would already be fixed.