Do you judge yourself or have you seen someone you love to judge themselves?
Every woman needs to stop judging themselves. Women can be so good at judging themselves in these ways:
The worst part is we never have enough appreciation for ourselves, and we don't celebrate who we are.
I judged myself…
Let me first tell you a story of where the judging of myself came to just the ultimate low point.
I was taking a five-day program, and it was all about how to be a fantastic presenter, a great speaker, and really polishing our skills so that we could present our material.
Before I got there I thought… “I got this in the bag. I'm going to do well at this.” I love speaking and I love perfecting this as a craft. A couple days in I'm put in a group with four other people. We all have to present on a topic that is not any of our expertise. We also have to put the material together, and then present it to the group.
When we went to present, one of the people in our group was feeling sick. I ended up taking on their piece as well. As we went through our presentation, I ended up telling a story about my grandmother and started crying. Not just a regular cry, but a full-blown ugly cry. Now, I didn't know I was gonna cry. It just kind of came up. Because of the tears and trying to rein in my emotions, I ended up talking longer than I should have and took some of the next speaker’s time.
So as I was speaking I started judging myself:
The whole point of this presentation was to get feedback from the two instructors, and I really respected them. They're amazing presenters. They speak to tens of 1000s of people. I really valued their opinion. So when we were done, each presenter would get feedback so we could improve.
Even though I went into it thinking, “Okay, I'm going to do well” I completely flopped on my face, so I had a long list of all the things I did wrong that I knew they were going to come at me for. I totally was judging myself and I felt everyone else was too! The audience and my team members!
They went to the next person and gave them feedback on how they can improve.
Then they went to the next person, gave them feedback and were pretty brutally honest.
They started with the first person, gave them feedback and they kind of ripped into them a little bit.
When they got to me, I was so nervous as to what they would say. Probably confirming everything I was judging myself for.
The first thing the guy said was, “You are one of the top five people we've ever seen.”
At that moment, I started crying again. The woman said, “Did you not hear what he said? He is not usually the one to praise, but he said you're in the top five he's ever seen.”
I was so shocked. “Oh, I'm crying because I have a whole list of 10 to 20 things I did wrong… that I could have done better… that I'm embarrassed about… that I feel guilty about… that I'm judging myself on.”
What she said next shocked me. She said, “Diane, I wanted to see more of you.”
I replied, “But I took other people's time. I was out there too long.”
“Did you hear what I said, Diane? I wanted to see more of you.”
Then I shared a very deep vulnerable feeling I had about her, “I didn't even think that you liked me.”
All the other students were quiet.
She said, “No, why would you ever say that?”
“I don't know, I was thinking that… I was feeling that.”
Now we did talk further on that topic (but I’ll keep her part confidential).
The point is… look how bad I judged myself when others were seeing me in such a positive light.
I was there to present… to be the expert and to be a better speaker, but because I was judging myself so much I didn't fully receive their praise.
I had to spend some time really dissecting it.
Letting their compliments go into every cell of my being.
To remember… Here are two instructors…
who train on how to be an amazing presenter,
and they thought I was awesome.
Why did I judge myself so much?
Now I ask you, why do you judge yourself so much?
Is this the reason?
1) It started when you were young… when you or those around you compared you to others.
As a child, I was often compared to my brothers or compared to my classmates, or compared to the other kids on my soccer team.
The comparison to others is what society does to us. It pits us against one another when really we should just be looking at ourselves and asking what do we love about ourselves? But instead, we compare ourselves to others, that's part of judgment that’s taught into us.
We might hear it from:
Who says to us:
So maybe that's where the self-judgment started.
2) You are a perfectionist… you’re always asking yourself, how can I be better? How can I do better?
I often see perfectionism when I coach female business leaders because they are very driven, A-type and high achieving. They have a lot of goals and really push themselves to achieve them all. They’re always asking:
Just like my previous story, doing this can take the joy out of many experiences. It stops me from really loving and owning how far I've come in a specific task or situation. If it's the first time I’m doing something, if it's a time where I'm still a student, or I'm still learning, I don't acknowledge how far I've come because it's not perfect. There are ways I can be better.
3) You judge yourself against who you used to be.
How have you been better in the past? Write the answers down. What do your saboteurs tell you to list?
I’ll be honest… there are things about me that have changed… where I felt I was better before.
Maybe you're having these thoughts as well where you judge yourself against who you used to be.
Well, when you judge yourself, there are so many negatives that come out of it. Thinking… “I was better then. Why can't I be like that now?” is a hard place to be.
4) You have guilt when you do something for yourself.
Guilt shows up when you want to go hang out with your friends, enjoy your hobbies, hit the gym and even when you just want to have a shower.
It might not even be strictly for yourself. It might be going back to work and having the kids in daycare.
Even if you’re making the decision because your family needs the income or so that your kids can have ballet lessons or clarinet lessons. You're doing it for the good of your family, but maybe you still feel guilty
Instead, you may feel guilty because you're throwing in a frozen pizza and calling in for delivery. Even the idea of taking a day for yourself, a “Me day”, a day of no responsibility… the shame and the guilt of that, the judgment of “Who are you, to do that?”
Then when they get a promotion or when they launch a product, the saboteurs, the limiting beliefs come in saying,
It's full of judgment. What if instead, we could be full of ourselves, love ourselves to the point that we appreciate ourselves… flaws and all. How about we we celebrate who we are? That's what I want to see happen in this world.
Think of the space and energy you'll have to accomplish your vision and your dreams, and what you’re meant to do on this earth.
Imagine a world full of women who love themselves so deeply, who celebrate themselves and don't judge themselves every moment of every day.
So how do you get better at loving yourself? How do you put some steps in place so you can stop judging yourself? I've got four specific ones that I’ll share with you in my next blog.
For now, be surrounded by women who will not judge you BUT will support you. Join our free online community Dynamic Women Global Community and meet female business leaders who come together to connect, share, grow, and be inspired.
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