The other day my wife and I were talking……
I guess we both had a recent experience where we had judged someone and regretted it.
One of the experiences was judging a lady who was smoking. She came to a school bus stop and was smoking. We made a judgement about her smoking period, let alone at a bus stop for kids. We silently shook our heads to ourselves and reflected how we were perhaps better, in that moment, or making better choices, etc.
In all honesty, I was having a bad day and wasn’t feeling good about myself. Unknowingly I suppose that I was looking to build up my own self esteem
In any case, soon a bus came. It was a smaller bus and off came just a few students. One was a young adult with a walker. It was pretty clear that she had some physical challenges, perhaps other challenges. We soon learned that the smoker lady put out her cigarette, ran over and gave the young girl a hug and kiss in a loving manner. Needless to say, we felt silly, small, and stupid.
We have all done that in one way or another, right?
We’ve been judged by others in that same way too, right?
We’ve judged others by their clothes, their shopping cart, their car, their career, school, etc.
We love to judge celebrities – we love to see them fall from grace.
We judge others and label them. She’s a ___. He’s a ____.
“To label me is to negate me.” Kirkegaard
Besides labeling others, we often label and judge ourselves too, don’t we?
We often don’t think or speak of this…..
…we will use a label or thought or judgement about ourselves – sometimes as an excuse so that we don’t have to really take the risk or extend beyond our comfort zone – other times because we truly believe that we can’t do something or that we are limited in some way.
We often judge or label situations as ‘bad’ or ‘good’.
This is also a mistake. We should not judge a situation either way, at least not until we have time and a better emotional state to look at the big picture. Think about a situation in your life when you thought an event was ‘bad’…but it later turned out to be a good thing.
I have many many examples. One is that I really wanted to work for Arthur Andersen Consulting. I wanted it so bad. I applied and had 5 interviews. It was taking forever. I could not figure out why they would not hire me.
Then one day Enron collapsed and lots of things came out of it. One thing was that Arthur Andersen was allegedly involved in some shady accounting practices. Arthur Andersen shut down and many employees had a tough time finding a job. Had I just got a job with them, then lost it soon after, things would have been very tough.
I judge people even though I try not to do so. I work on it everyday and I think I’m getting better.
I judge myself and I know that unconsciously at least, I have limiting beliefs about myself. I do think that it hinders my success sometimes.
Work on not judging, not labeling, and therefore not limiting a person, an event, or yourself.