Over the past month, I’ve walked you through Positive Intelligence®, why it’s important and how you can use it to promote positive thinking in your life. Now, let’s talk about how we can use it to manage your self-judgement.
If you haven’t read either of the previous two blog posts, I recommend you do so before reading this one, as there’s some vital information I’ve already touched on that I’ll be building on in this article.
- Part 1 (Why Positive Intelligence is so Important for Leaders)
- Part 2 (The Key to Positive Thinking – Your Sage)
In part 3 of this series, we’ll be covering “the judge,” which we can think of as the voice inside your head that brings up every mistake you’ve ever made, every doubt you’ve ever had, or every shortcoming you’ve ever noticed within yourself. It will also bring up the mistakes of others with whom you interact. It is a very negative view of life, starting with yourself and extending to others.
The judge activates the rest of your saboteurs, which we’ll discuss more in-depth in part 4.
So let’s first start by going over what types of emotions the judge can bring up in us, so we can better identify them before moving on to fighting back against them.
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night or early in the morning stressed about something you didn’t even know was on your radar? Have you ever been fixated on something that’s “wrong with you” or “wrong with others” and can’t seem to move on?
This is your judge.
These feelings of doubt and incompleteness are brought on by your judge. These feelings come from the part of your brain that creates stress and anxiety, negatively impacts your effectiveness or efficiency, and harms your relationships if not appropriately healed.
Now I’m sure by this point in your life you’ve realized that trying to escape your judge is impossible. Since it’s ultimately the voice in your own head, it can be more and more challenging to separate yourself from it and bring positivity into your life. It creates a never-ending cycle of doubt and stress.
If you think you can escape it, try this exercise:
- Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and begin to try and control every thought that comes into your head.
- As thoughts come in, identify whether they’re actively created by you or unconsciously being created by your mind.
- Chances are, you’re able to control the thoughts that come into your mind for 15, maybe 30 seconds at a time, before your unconscious mind takes over.
This should prove that the solution here lies in managing your thoughts and emotions, not escaping them.
So let’s look at exactly how we can do that.
Controlling Your Judge
Every day you have the choice to enter the world judging or accepting everyone and everything as they are.
If you choose option number one, your stress will build and your experiences will turn negative. If you choose option number two, you’ll find that your anxiety levels decrease dramatically and your emotional responses to situations are less and less detrimental.
As you move towards enhancing your positive intelligence, your judge may begin to contest you. It may try to tell you that it’s helping you, by pointing out your mistakes or your shortcomings, yet it’s showing you how you can improve.
But that’s not it’s goal at all.
Being self-aware and understanding your mistakes are vital for personal and professional growth, but being badgered daily by your own thoughts and playing reruns of your mistakes in your head will only create more problems in the future.
When you’ve made a mistake, identify it, learn from it, set out a plan to avoid making it again in the future, and move on. That last step is the most important. By letting it go we can separate ourselves from any guilt and focus on the new challenges we need to face. If you try to move on without fully letting go, you’ll never truly be giving your full effort or attention to future problems.
Another way to control your judge is by identifying the stories it likes to tell. If you’re constantly thinking to yourself that you’re no good at public speaking, chances are you’ll avoid every opportunity to improve.
Figure out what stories your judge uses to create stress and fear in your life and focus on doing whatever it takes to take back control.
In the example above, you could sign up for a public speaking course, or reach out to people in your life that demonstrate the skills you need to build and ask for assistance.
You’ll find that when you reach out to other individuals in your life, help will always be offered and areas in your life that may cause stress, might ultimately turn into areas of opportunity.
So for this week, I want to pose a challenge to you. Identify the stories your judge uses to create these negative feelings in your life and list three possible steps you can take to regain control.
I’d love it if you shared them with me on LinkedIn! Once you’ve come up with your three steps, or if you need help figuring out what steps you can take, reach out to me via direct message and I’ll make sure to respond as soon as possible.
If you think you need more time with me, feel free to schedule a 25-minute consultation call via this link. This call is free and could help you identify where your shortcomings are and what you can do to help yourself!