This month I thought I’d talk about a subject that we all have encountered in our lives, judgement.
Judgment comes in many forms; we self-judge, others judge, society judges. Everywhere there is judgement and we come to believe other’s judgements, knowingly and unknowingly. Let’s shed some light on this subject that is often thought of as negative.
First, what is judgment? The dictionary says judgment is “the ability to make considered decisions or come to a sensible conclusion.” We all can agree when we sit in judgment; being sensible is not what comes to mind. Although we would like to be reasonable and look at all sides before we judge, we don’t always weigh all options. It’s happens often enough. It’s not just you. Jumping to conclusions is something we all do.
We need to remember that if and when we judge, we first need to look within. Does what we are judging resonate with us on a personal or professional basis? Is our judgement of others or our judgement of a situation the product of our own insecurities? How does the situation make us feel, and how will the outcome affect us?
We genuinely use bias. Every, single, time.
We judge based on past personal experiences, and not always with a fresh set of eyes or thoughts. It is human nature to assume history will repeat, which is often what creates the initial judgement or conclusion. We jump without thinking.
We can all agree that when we judge others or even ourselves, it influences the way we feel, think and act in the present and in the future. Our judgments in life represent so many areas of our existence. A person’s perception is their reality, and not necessarily what someone else might see or perceive. And perception is the ‘filter’ through which we understand and analyze presented facts and feelings at any given time. Here is where we make a ‘judgment call’.
Self-judgements and perception are formulated at the earliest age and jettison out of our social and economic backgrounds, and commonly, out of our religious beliefs.
From an early age, we heard optimism or criticism in the tones of individual voices, and we brought those sounds into our own subconscious memories, creating a belief system as well as a judgment or evaluation of that stimulus. The impact of self-judgment can allow us to soar personally or professionally, or it can harm our growth. Unfortunately, without being self-aware, we can carry damaging criticisms, self-sabotage, and judgement with us, until we pass into the next life.
So not only are we constantly judging ourselves, but we are constantly evaluating others, through our own lens of experience and belief. We look at the physical, emotional, and spiritual ways others conduct themselves, both personally and professionally. We are quick to judge a person or situation sometimes without knowing all the facts. We tend to do this more today, because we are in a constant hurry, off to the next thing with little time to waste on fully vetting the person or situation we are judging. That old cliche, “don’t judge a person until you walk a mile in their shoes”, is true. Things are not always the way they appear on social media.
Remember, we all act and work in mysterious ways. Each of us has a unique approach to understanding the world around us. Hence, if we can first identify an individual’s “why” prior to passing judgement, we can turn those initial annoyances into patience and understanding. The truth is, we are all looking for the same thing – to be loved, and to love ourselves, and to be appreciated for who we are, and not judged for what we are not. So it starts at home. Love yourself more, appreciate your strengths and judgement will turn to acceptance and understanding.