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Break the cycle of judging for not being your greater self

A perspective on happiness: How to find self-acceptance in a world where criticism is the most commonly used tool.

Photo by Hootan Safiyari on Unsplash

We are looking for greatness to be remembered for what we do. Change your inner voice for self-talk. We look for our place in this world. It’s ok, most of us maintain a self-image. Some greater self, a better version, a goal, a vision, that you are not yet good enough for.  In order to accept myself I need to reach X, I promise not be happy, until X is done. There is no easier way to stay unhappy and to block yourself.

The conflict for presents

This vision of our better self is now a constant companion. We keep this self-image with us everywhere we go. It stands in comparison with everything we do and have done. An umbrella that shields us from the sun. Life could be so joyful, when it would not always be in the background. Your inner voice will easily catch you:

“Attention! Do not be so happy, because you missed it. You are still here and not there. There is more to reach, more to do before you should allow yourself to enjoy. You did not earned it, yet.“

An inner voice for self-talk can be very rough.

A permanent reminder

A similar dialog can happen in every context about every situation. So we’re constantly confronted with what we’ve been taught. And we’re really good at destroying the current moment with it:

  • We analyze our behavior.
  • We judge.
  • We compare it with our self-picture.
  • We judge harder.
  • We plan.
  • Probably overthink.
  • We come back to reality.
  • Continue and repeat.

Breaking the loop

Now we add a new element into this circle. We want to break it with awareness. That way we avoid judging and overthinking. Breaking the loop is now an additional pattern for our self-talk loop.

“And now stop judging yourself, this is not good for you. You really should know better. Work on it. You would know better, when you would already be the better version of yourself.”

It’s our perspective on it. Awareness is a tool. We use it to come back to presents, in the moment where we identify that we are not. It’s something that we could train.

“Yeah I know, I should really start meditating again, because this is a way exactly to train it. And this meditation needs to become better. I’m not very good in it. Before I do not master it, I will probably never reach a quick awareness.”

Coming out of the circle

Awareness is only the first step

So you see — adding the element of awareness into this structure is just one thing. With awareness we only identify thinking. The next step is as important as awareness:

  • Indentify analyzing your behavior.
  • Stop judging by countering it with learningforgiveness and acceptance.
  • Come back to presents.
  • Continue. This will repeat.

2nd step: Learning

Learning and judging starts with the same process. 
So it’s ok starting this circle. We just need to give it a frame. The present moment is more valuable than the reviewed moment. Our brain is pretty quick. Everything we want to say about it, is something we already know. We just think too long and celebrate it. With identifying a pattern and understanding fully, enough is already said. We do not need to continue. We do not need to judge — skip it and directly come to learning. We understood and come back to presents. The journey can continue.

“No, it’s not that easy. When you do not judge yourself very hard, you will never become the better person. You will never reach your goals and become happy.”

3rd step: Forgive yourself

You have been taught your whole life, that you are doing something wrong. That you need become better in something:

  • you need to become better in school or you never find a job
  • You need to eat better, otherwise you will be fat and nobody will love you.
  • You need to do X to gain my respect — my love — my attention

Everybody who had some responsibility for you, taught you things to become successful in this world. Criticism is the most commonly used tool.

You never had a chance to not judge yourself in this world. Forgive yourself for doing it now.

4th step: Acceptance

  • Accept for not knowing that earlier.
  • Accept yourself with all the unperfectness.
  • Accept mistakes.
  • Accept slow learning.
  • Accept slower adaptation.
  • Accept yourself.

Acceptance will help you to close the circle for now. 
You allow yourself to re-enter reality.

It’s never to late

Now is always the right time. Of cause we do not always identify this loop in the beginning. Even in a mindfulness meditation you can start thinking for minutes before you identify it. It’s just important that you act, in the moment of perception. Every time is a training. You’ll become quicker and you are faster back into presents. Do not set another goal to your list that you have to think about. Just be aware.

Probably less thinking makes more happy. I will never know. I’m a thinker. But these mechanism will help you. Cultivate them.

Thank you for reading 🙏
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