I was in Monaco today. It was absolutely lovely! I had a lot of time to think at the harbour. Many hours to relax as well, but of course, many to think. I got to thinking about judgment more than I normally allow myself to. It’s interesting isn’t it, the power judgment has on us eh? Though, maybe I am more susceptible. In any case, it got me thinking that it does play quite a role in the way we act, think, and make choices. Seems obvious, I know. But think about it; we hear people give us their opinions all the time. We hear stories, good and bad, and they lead us to thoughts, decisions, and conclusions that shape our lives. But what if we just stopped and thought to ourselves that none of that mattered? What if we just sat there, and listened without judgment? Without judgment on those people, negative or positive, without judgment on those stories, and most of all, without judgment on ourselves. Ultimately, that is what we are doing. When we let other things affect the way we see our choices in life, we are judging ourselves. We are doubting the state of mind we were in when we decided such things, and we are judging our current situation. Who is the biggest judge then? Certainly not the people telling stories. We would like to think. Perhaps are the people giving their opinions, telling us what we should do, and so on, the biggest critics? I think at the end of the day, we are.
If we let these things shift our ways of acting and thinking, then we are the ones judging ourselves. We would not change our ways, if it was simply the other people judging us. Judgment has that power over us because we take it on. We feel it, and we feed it. Sometimes, we need to hear different points of view, and different stories, because they can actually better us. We can learn something; take something from the situation, and evolve as individuals. That is part of growing. However, other times we are sent for a loop!
I get criticized and judged all the time for the choice I made to take of for a few months, move to England, and start anew. I hear all kinds of things. Then again, I also hear wonderful words of encouragement. I meet people on the road who tell me how amazing they find my situation to be. The trouble is that both affect me. The former makes me feel insecure, which in turn makes me doubt myself. The latter makes me feel a bit more confident and reassured. Nonetheless, I find myself in this battle between both positions to seek security and validation somehow. All the while I forget that the most important thing is that I know what I am doing. I need to believe and trust that I know best. I have heard, seen, listened, and understood as much as I could have before making my decisions. Now, I am allowed to go with it, enjoy, and reap the benefits, and consequences of my actions. That is my right.
I so often have made choices based on the validation I knew was awaiting me on the other side. It was this relief when I could finally give to others what they wanted to hear. To be fair, it was nice to have gotten to that point, even on a personal level. However, there ar many things that make me proud that I never share with others. They are my own. So, clearly, I am capable of not relinquishing my power to that of others and their judgment. Yet, I find myself doing both, which troubles me, to be honest. I like to pretend sometimes that I can do whatever I want and that I do not care, and that it will all work out. Then it hits me.
The fear of failure is what makes us sensitive to judgment. We are afraid they will be right. We are afraid we will be wrong. We are terrified of failing. At least I am… I know for certain that if I was granted the chance to make my life anything I wanted it to be, with no risk of failure, that I would see things very differently. I find myself feeling more free, more capable, and more confident. Why? Because I would make it. And no one could say anything. Once you accomplish something, it is set. No one can say much about it can they? They can, but we care less, because it is done, sorted, achieved.
Today, I decided to change my ways on my own. I decided that I cannot stop people from judging me or having their opinions. Nor can I constantly explain that it has more to do with their own life than mine. It is frustrating to have to always explain to people why they should mind their own business, I find. Moreover, I refuse to see people’s judgment as a means of motivation. It can be part of my drive, but it will not dominate my process of disciplines, motivation, and determination. I will no live for someone else. So today, I chose to just act like I can do whatever I want and that I will make it. Why not? No one knows what will happen, so we are all lacking power in that respect. However, where i am not lacking power is in the ability to make things happen for myself. That is just about me. It’s between me, and my life, that’s it. I will judge myself if need be. I will criticize myself, encourage myself, be there for myself, and make a life for myself.
The power of judgment I decided to succumb to is the power of sound judgment. The kind that helps me see things clearly and make a choice to be who I want to be, and live the way I want to live. It may take a life time, but heck, by then I will have done it eh?
– Gen x