Why do I judge myself? I’m feeling dread and resistance to answering that question. It spirals me into judgment about my judgment. Yuck, stuck again. Books and therapists remind me that if I quit judging myself, I’ll have more energy to do things I want to do. I agree, but I’ve tried so many times before with discouraging minimal results. What new approach could I take? Tentatively, yet with renewed curiosity, I tackle those inner critical voices that nag, compare, and criticize me.
Clutter-Clear Your Brain
I found those nagging voices and thoughts stored in a special closet in my brain. They pop into my daily life whenever something doesn’t go the way I had hoped or planned. They are a nuisance. Instead of telling them to be quiet or ignoring them, what if I clutter-cleared their closet in my brain? What if I tossed them out, put them in the garbage can? What would happen? Just thinking of doing that brings a sense of spaciousness into me, my shoulders drop and the silent sound of “ahhhhh” reverberates in my body.
With my new approach, I clutter-cleared those thoughts and replaced them with more awareness, curiosity, and acceptance about my judgment. I quit fighting it? For example, instead of criticizing my lack of accomplishing writing goals, I chose to be curious about. I noticed: nagging thoughts it birthed, tension it created in me, and how it brought anger toward myself. I then could “see” and “be aware” of the impact of self-judgment on my body and emotions—knots in my shoulder blades, anger with myself, and impatience with others.
Power of Awareness and Curiosity
With that awareness, I chose to let my curiosity take the lead. I experimented with releasing tension in my shoulders and neck by moving them around. Note: I wasn’t directly dismantling the problem or telling myself to be more gracious toward myself. Instead, I simply followed the path of curiosity. I discovered that releasing my upper body tension was relaxing and even brought a slight smile to my face. To my surprise and delight, I noticed ease replacing self-judgment!
Slowly and patiently I am learning that sometimes the best approach to a problem is not meeting it head-on but finding an indirect way, a softer approach. Curiosity and awareness are key ingredients to a softer approach, and they quieten the inner critic. Sure, I still get caught in self-judgment but now I have a path that leads me to ease and freedom instead of staying stuck in the muck.
My holistic coaching process can help you find your own path out of judgement. Your path may be similar to mine, but it also will reflect your uniqueness, personality, and situation in life. Contact me if you’d like to chat about how coaching can support the desired outcome you want: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website, www.lisalmcgee.com.