Look around at all of the people surrounding you – strangers, acquaintances, friends and family.  How often do you judge them on what they think, say or do based on appearances, and your own beliefs and perceptions?  Yes, I know, it’s a rhetorical question, because I doubt there is anyone out there who can say they have never done it.

We’ve all done it  . We’ve all passed judgment on others or ourselves based on the biases we’ve adopted over our lifetime. We judge others, both privately and publicly and most of all, we judge ourselves and hold grudges and ideals, that shape the way we move forward in life.

And have you ever thought that judgement may be what’s holding you back from achieving your goals, from attaining the success you are striving for. Think about it, the more time you spend judging the world and others around you, the less time you are spending achieving greater goals. The more energy you are putting into non-productive thinking that could be so much better spent on your plans, your goals, your success. I don’t know about you, I have way to many other things to fill my mind with!

Next time you feel inclined to judge others in a meeting or pass judgment on people who are walking down the street?  Stop and capture your thinking in the moment. Maybe it wasn’t even a thought, maybe it was a gut reaction. Whatever it was for you, become more self aware around judgements you are making and limiting beliefs that you may feel. Awareness in itself can have us see how judgement may be limiting our success, limiting us from taking risks.

Make a conscious decision to ignore any reactive approach you may have to judgment. Remind yourself that judgment is optional and does not require a reaction. 

By changing small habits and choosing not to react negatively, not to judge others, we change how we see the world. You don’t have to be so concerned with what others are doing; you can focus on yourself. You can focus on the impact you have on others and work to make it more positive. 

Just because people are different or have chosen a different path in life, if you’ve never walked in their shoes you will never know what they have been through, what they have overcome or what they are coping with right now, today.  You don’t have to always like what other people do, and accepting them regardless is important. 

“You have not walked in my shoes; you have not been down my road.  You have not cried my tears; you have not carried my load.  Why judge me?

You think you know my story; you think you know my pain.  You think you know my future; you don’t even know my name.  Why judge me?

You were not there to see me stumble; you were not there to see me fall.  You were not there to pick me up; you were not there at all.  Why judge me?”

Sam Bristow (April 2010)

We have all been conditioned to judge and to be critical of those around us and yet none of us like to be judged. Successful leaders must remain unbiased in order to be effective when making decisions. The moment you start confronting judgment, you will eliminate the limitations on your own success.

Take time to reflect.  Who have you judged lately?  Who’s judging you?


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