The Mirror Of Judgement
Have you ever received a funny look from a stranger, and then found yourself considering why they looked at you so peculiarly? I know I certainly have. Yet, in hindsight, I now know that I would have been better served by focusing on more important things. Because funnily enough in most cases, other people aren’t thinking about you ...
Yes, even those that might be giving you funny looks. Instead, they’re probably thinking about all the things that are happening in their life. Whether it’s the deadlines they have coming up or the conversation that they had earlier that morning, none of which has anything to do with you.
While on first glance, this might appear to be a somewhat negative realisation, in actual fact, it’s remarkably positive. If anything, it’s incredibly freeing, because instead of concerning yourself with what others might be thinking about you, you can better use that energy to focus on more important things.
You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realised how seldom they do. — Eleanor Roosevelt
When it comes to your judgements towards others, the same is true, of which most of it is really a waste of mental energy. Whether you’re considering what someone else is thinking about you, whether you like someone's outfit or not, or what have you … In reality, none of it really matters.
Of course, this wasn’t how I always felt about my judgements towards others, especially those of a negative nature. Yet, throughout my self-development journey, I reached a point where I needed to start being conscious of the thoughts that I was thinking, alongside where I was directing my energy.
A major turning point regarding my judgements towards others came about when I shared with my boyfriend a negative judgement of a stranger, to which he replied … You wouldn't have noticed that in them if it wasn’t something you felt about yourself, and judging them is doing you a huge disservice. While at first, I was somewhat off-put by his response, I questioned what he meant and allowed myself to keep an open mind to what he was trying to teach me.
What I came to learn was that in the moment that you are judging others, a mirror effect occurs where you are in-turn judging yourself. In your judgments of both yourself and others, you are also now splitting your energy. Where instead of focusing on showing up in each moment to be and do your best, you are now also constantly assessing whether your actions are or aren’t good enough, alongside what other people might think of you.
The big question about how people behave is whether they've got an inner or outer scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an inner scorecard. — Warren Buffett
The flow on from this is that a domino effect occurs, whereby your focus is now on external elements that you can’t control, causing you to live your life dictated by what a bunch of strangers think about you — all of which hadn’t even noticed you. What’s more is that all of this split energy and consideration of others opinions actively chips away at your confidence, and becomes a self-fulfilling cycle that ultimately doesn't serve you.
With this new awareness of how our judgement is both a waste of mental energy and is something that chips away at our own self-confidence, I then questioned my boyfriend on how we might look to reduce and ultimately remove this somewhat habitual act of judging others. Which as he so eloquently replied is best done by being selfish, and focusing on what you’re doing and being the best you can be in each moment.
Selfishness means vibrational alignment with self. — Abraham Hicks
With this response, I then wondered if there were times that judgement does serve us, of which I came to find out there is … Where the act of judgement is necessary for situations like helping us know to take the well lit main road instead of the dimly lit alley. Also, to help us identify right from wrong. However, these judgments are instinctual, as opposed to ones that are based out of an egoic reaction or response.
Furthermore, there are also times when judgement is necessary for self-growth, such as times where you must self-reflect on how you are progressing. However, for moments like this, it’s best to plan these in advance where say, for example — you set some goals for the upcoming year and each of its quarters. Where you then set a date at the end of the year, and each quarter to judge how you’ve progressed, where between those allocated times of self-reflection, you focus on the action and strategies that you had set to achieve said goals.
While for many judging themselves and others is a somewhat habitual act, it is ultimately one that doesn’t serve us. Where if we instead redirected that energy into focusing on being our best selves, and leading through the clarity of our own example most of us would find that we wouldn’t have the time to judge ourselves or others, and we would ultimately not care too.