It’s been over a month since I’ve published a blog on my website…therefore I have failed at my goal to consistently market my business this year, or have I?
As I’ve geared up to get back in the game of blogging I found myself struggling with feelings of judgment and shame. Such failures have often been triggers for me to fall into patterns of harsh judgment and criticism of myself. And while I dabbled in that realm for brief moments again, I’ve rebounded more quickly and with less carnage than in the past.
I’ve been contemplating the ways in which we pass judgment in our day-to-day lives for years now. In that time, I’ve realized that being judgmental is so acceptable in our society we tend to roll with the punches, passing judgment on ourselves and others to the detriment of our relationships and success. In fact, I believe the degree with which judgment is socially acceptable is the cause of our divided nation. But I digress…
Be still a moment, step back and observe yourself, your thoughts and the words coming out of your mouth (or typed in comments on Facebook) and you’ll see the seedy underbelly judgment. Comments like, “She got what she deserved” or “I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but it’s his problem not mine” or “how can they be so stupid” or “what’s wrong with these people?” All of these are judgmental in nature.
Passing judgment creates a division between ourselves and others. It’s a coping mechanism, a way of distancing another person’s reality from our own. We denounce their pain and suffering by elevating ourselves above them. In passing judgment we are essentially saying, “that won’t happen to me” therefore giving us permission to avoid feeling their pain and discounting their perspective.
The opposite of judgment isn’t non-judgment, it’s compassion. When you shift from judgment to compassion the dialog changes from externalizing the blame to understanding other perspectives. In Conversational Intelligence we call this Listening to Connect, not judge or reject. And engaging in this one simple practice will transform your life!
Something miraculous happens when you show compassion, you connect. Not just in a woowoo way but on a cellular level. And that connection you’ve formed with another person not only feels good, it enables you to navigate problems, challenges and obstacles together and more constructively. Connection heightens our abilities to succeed individually and collectively because it engages our executive brain.
When we live in constant judgment we are denying our humanity.
Unfortunately, as long as we are letting patterns of judgment, shame, and ridicule run the show we are limiting our personal success not to mention negatively impacting our communities, our organizations and our economy. Let me be clear, showing compassion does not mean you condone harm to others. I’m not suggesting that you give a pass when you witness an atrocity against another person.
But, we do need to understand our own patterned reactions, and the ways in which we quickly pass judgment like like we’re playing hot potato. Passing judgment is not something that should be taken so lightly. Not only are we harming others by passing judgment we are limiting our own growth and potential. For those times we feel compelled to judge another, we are actually suppressing opportunities for growth inside ourselves.
When we live in constant judgment we are denying our humanity. The reality is that none of us are perfect. And while we may be living in the information age, it’s impossible to know everything we “should” know. By showing compassion instead of wanton judgment we elevate our individual and collective abilities to experience the kind of transformative growth that is needed when ushering in positive change.
You might feel awkward and vulnerable showing compassion when you normally have passed judgment and that’s ok. In fact, that’s why it’s worthwhile. But don’t just take my word for it, go ahead and give it a try.
Here are some of the reflection questions I’ve pondered in my journal as I’ve worked to understand and re-write the patterns of judgment I have experienced in my life.
- In what types of circumstances do I feel compelled to pass judgment of others/myself?
- What are the ways in which I have expressed judgment of myself/others?
- How does passing judgment make me feel?
- What if I practiced listening to connect, not judge of reject? How would my interactions be different?
What thoughts and ideas do you have about moving from judgment to compassion? Join me in exploring this topic by sharing your comments below.
What’s Rosabella Consulting Up To?
The last month has been filled with exciting opportunities. I’ve had the privilege of presenting at a number of different events including the Larimer County Workforce Symposium and the Loveland Business Women’s Networking Group. I also had the pleasure of facilitating a team retreat for an innovative fund raising team at CSU.
Now we are gearing up for our annual community appreciation event, Rosabella Tea and Cookies. You too are invited to join us in celebrating our namesakes birthday on November 9th, 4-6pm.