I really never thought that I was a judgmental person. But here’s the truth, we’re all judgmental people. It’s become human nature to judgment – ourselves and others. To make others special or make ourselves special. To separate ourselves. To draw the line in the sand between US and THEM.
In her latest book, Judgment Detox: Release the Beliefs That Hold You Back from Living a Better Life, Gabby Bernstein shines light onto judgment and works to heal the separation we are all feeling.
Gabby writes in Judgment Detox:
I cannot overstate this: Judgment is the number one reason we feel blocked, sad, and alone. Our popular culture and media place enormous value on social status, looks, racial and religious separation, and material wealth. We are made to feel less than, separate, and not good enough so we use judgment to insulate ourselves from the pain of feeling inadequate, insecure, or unworthy. It’s easier to make fun of, write off, or judge someone for a perceived weakness of theirs than it is to examine our own sense of lack.
When I started to work through the Judgment Detox steps, I got really clear on my own judgment triggers. When I feel judged – by someone else or myself – I judge HARD. One of my go-to justifications is: “That’s not judgment, that’s just a fact.” And it always follows a judgmental statement. Like I am the decider of what is a fact and what is not. [Here’s where I have to remind myself of what Gabby teaches: we all judge and we need to stop judging our judgment.]
One of my biggest takeaways from Judgment Detox is the root cause of our judgment. We judge ourselves and others through the lens of our past. We try to protect our core wounds through judgment. The wound could be anything from a comment someone made on the playground when you were 7 to a major life trauma. All wounds are treated equal by our ego and our thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs are clouded as a result.
Unconsciously we believe that if we put our pain onto someone else, we won’t have to feel it.
If it would only the simple. Unfortunately, we try to pass our pain onto someone else and in return we get handed more pain. We get stuck in the judgment/guilt cycle – judge someone, feel guilt, judge ourselves for judging, judge someone else to distract ourselves from the guilt and repeat.
One of the most important steps to releasing judgment is identifying and honoring our wounds. Here is a powerful exercise from Judgment Detox to help you get started on this journey:
At the top of a sheet of page write: I am willing to witness my judgment without judgment.
Then make four columns labeled:
- What or whom am I judging?
- How does this judgment make me feel?
- Why do I feel justified in this judgment?
- What moment in my life triggered me to feel justified in this judgment?
Number three has been an interesting question for me to answer. Because – gosh do I feel justified in my judgment. It’s some unkind, not very life coachy stuff in there. And when I’m writing it out I feel almost high. Amped up and feeling very entitled and RIGHT. But then I read it back and feel very low, small, and GROSS. But it’s a super powerful process because so often when we judge, we unconsciously justify our judgment. Or say things like [ahem] “That’s not judgment, that’s just a fact.”
But then I ask myself question number four. And that’s the hard one. Getting still and quiet and working to trace my judgment back to the source. And so far, it’s 100% rooted in pain and feelings of unworthiness. Seemingly innocent comments people made to or about me that planted seed in my psyche and sprouted judgment of myself. Or traumatic moments from my past that left me feeling like I wasn’t safe or enough or protected or loved or seen or wanted or valued.
Each time I ask myself why I felt justified to judge, I realize that it was an attempt to protect myself from lingering feelings of pain.
And so, what’s a girl to do? Heal and release the pain. Gabby shares incredibly powerful Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or Tapping) scripts in the book to help you begin to heal your wounds and release judgment of self and others. Gabby shares one of the EFT tools in this video.
Here’s to our shared Judgment Detox journeys. I invite you to share your experiences with the book in the comments below and join my private Facebook group to discuss the book in depth with a community of women.