If you haven’t seen the Sisterhood of Motherhood video that’s been all over social media it’s definitely worth a watch. The video is a campaign put out by Similac aimed at encouraging parents to support rather than judge one another. And while it does a great job of pointing out why it really is ridiculous to judge others’ parenting styles, what the video really got me thinking about was how harshly we often judge ourselves.
Much of our thinking throughout the day is preoccupied with judging and evaluating our perceptions about ourselves. This stream of thinking goes on, largely unexamined and unknown by us. Our thoughts take on a life of their own and from them we are constantly creating models of reality in our minds in the form of judgments and then believing them to be true and frequently denying evidence to the contrary. This begins a spiral effect and we relate to ourselves in a limited way which reinforces our thinking.
For example, we often tell ourselves that we are either “too this” or “not enough of that” whether we are judging our weight, intelligence, social skills, parenting, ability to switch careers, or a host of other issues. And in believing it, we narrow our view of what is real and what is true and our view takes on aspects of a self-fulfilling prophecy which limits and confines us. Eventually, these thoughts keep us from pursuing and perhaps even seeing opportunities and options.
Once we start to become aware of these judgments we can catch ourselves as they creep into our minds and eventually, we will realize they are just thoughts and not a true picture of reality. When we are truly able to recognize thoughts as thoughts it then becomes possible to see past the filters of our own judgments and the deep longing which most of us have for things to be a certain way. This helps us to see how our judgments about ourselves are often inaccurate and unwise and frees us to make decisions from a place of empowerment. This is how we slowly begin to create the life that is just right for us.
So, the next time self-judgment enters your mind, notice it (without judging yourself for having judgments) and then release it. And as you step into recognizing thoughts as thoughts you will simultaneously step into boundless opportunities for growth and limitless possibilities for yourself. And in the end, isn’t that what life is all about?
“Maybe the fear is that we are less than we think we are, when the actuality of it is that we are much much more.”