‘NO BREAKTHROUGH IS GOING TO COME FROM MORE JUDGMENT’ ~Brendon Burchard (I recently heard him say this on a short video clip, but I can’t seem to confirm whether the quote is his or someone else’s, originally.)
We can be our own worst critic, can’t we? When we’re working toward change, or hoping for a breakthrough or an improvement in ourselves, our lives, or our circumstances – so often we’re also judging ourselves harshly, and focusing on our perceived failings at every turn.
This short quote above struck me as a wonderfully succinct reminder to take a break from judging and being hard on ourselves.
I liken the idea of stopping an action or habit that’s been a big part of our life or our thoughts (like, say, judging ourselves ), with going down a ski hill.
When learning to ski, a new skier often fears: oh no, how do I avoid crashing into the other skiers, or those trees over there?
The direction I was given – which works amazingly well – was simply this:
Look where you want to go.
Don’t look where you don’t want to go.
In other words, be aware of others, but look toward the open space in which you want to go, don’t focus on the other skier or on the tree.
To avoid judging or being hard on yourself, don’t continue to focus on all the ways you’ve already been judging yourself, or all the things you think you’ve done ‘wrong’ or the ways you’ve ‘failed.’
Instead, try shifting your attention toward something that lifts you up: an action you can take, an idea that makes you happy, an experience or an event that felt satisfying, a practice that feels productive or helpful, something for which you’re grateful, an aspect of yourself for which you feel proud, and so on.
Ceasing a practice or a way of thinking that has been so ingrained in your day-to-day – without adding in something else to fill that void – can be a slippery slope toward allowing that old practice (the very one you’re trying to get away from) to slip back in again.
The more you shift your attention toward different ideas and thoughts – which bring with them a more contented feeling – you’re likely to find yourself feeling better, happier, judging yourself less, and being less self-critical (without even actively ‘trying,’ per se).
Before you know it, and quite unexpectedly, you will likely begin to have some of the a-ha moments and breakthroughs you’ve been hoping for – revealed after having been hidden within the fog of self-criticism.
Wishing you a day of cheering yourself on.