Some people have a hard time identifying the judgements they make on a daily basis.
It could be because they judge out of habit and therefore are doing it subsciously without realising it, or perhaps because they’re simply unable to recognise a judgement once they’ve made one.
Certainly, I had no idea about the extent to which I was subsconsiously making judgements, and it took me years to personally identify them all and dissolve the negative habit for good.
Of course, I’m writing this article today so you can have a much easier time identifying the judgements you make on a daily basis, so you can live your life relatively burden free.
Essentially, it all comes down to a super simple technique we can use to instantly identify the judgements we make throughout the day.
And furthermore, it’s a technique that doesn’t require paying a therapist hundreds of dollars per hour for the privilege.
The technique is to pay attention to your emotional reactions.
Your emotion reactions are a key indicator of whether you’ve made a judgement or not, and in order to understand how this works, we need to understand what emotional reactions are.
For starters, emotional reactions don’t simply appear out of thin air.
They exist as a reaction to an event, usually in regards to a thought we have about something.
You see, judgements are much more than mere thoughts.
If they were just like any other thought, then much like most other thoughts we have, they would disappear completely from our conscious never to bother us again.
For example, while most of us are unable to remember any thoughts or opinions we had of the weather more than a few weeks ago, let alone the day before.
Most of us can probably remember a time when our parents made us do something that upset us greatly, even if these events may have taken place more than a decade ago.
In essence, what makes judgements different is that unlike typical thoughts that come and go, judgements are thoughts that we have put significant faith into and belief into.
And it’s this reason why they can be so destructive.
For example, a lot of us make the judgement that we’re not good enough and that we should try harder as a result (also known as self-criticism).
And when we make these judgements, we dictate how we're going to react on an emotional level.
We come up with these deterministic narratives like:
“If that person doesn’t shut up, I’m going to get so mad!”
“If I fail this test, I’m going to feel so helpless and depressed.”
In a lot of cases, we won’t even necessarily vocalise these agreements and instead, we’ll imply them in our actions.
For example, we might get really tense when we’re mad or stressed.
And what can happen over time is that we may not even generate the thought or physical response anymore, and simply skip straight to the emotion.
For example, feeling sad because we don’t have a girlfriend, or getting upset because things aren’t going our way.
Certainly, these hidden agreements form part of the reason why these judgements can be so hard to identify, because often they take place completely out of conscious sight.
Yet from the perspective of our emotional reactions, they are never hidden.
Because although these agreements and beliefs are often hidden, the direct effect of those judgements are fully felt via the emotional reactions which shut us down and hold us completely at ransom.
Via the emotional horror that pursues.
This is when we feel the effect of those judgements most, and so paying attention to what you’re feeling can be a key indicator as to whether you’re making a judgement or not.
Only until we can identify these judgements through our emotional reactions, can we finally move on and learn not to react, instead choosing to remain calm and level-headed.
Of course, you’re probably wondering. I’m making all these judgements, but what can I actually do about them?
How is identifying them going to help?
Well, the great thing is that we don't need to go any further than simple acknowledgement.
Because anything further you do at this point, is unnecessary rationalisation which is the exact opposite of what we are trying to achieve, which is to learn to let go and remain relaxed.
Effectively, what we want to do is learn to let go of these judgements, and learn to simply function regardless of them.
Where people often go wrong is that they feel trapped once they’ve identified these judgements, as if they’ve done some great evil, feeling the need to dissect them or rectify these behviours and habits.
The funny thing is that this behaviour within itself is an emotional reaction, brought about by judgement. For example, you may have the judgement that you’re not good enough, and therefore feel the need to do something about it.
This in part signifies the extent to which a lot of the judgements are simply subconscious habit.
As well as why it’s important that we address these judgements and hidden agreements now, rather than let them continue to develop.
Of course, many of us have been making these judgements since childhood, so it won’t happen overnight.
Just remember that no matter our emotional reaction or judgement, our go-to response is to acknowledge that we’ve experienced an emotional reaction due to judgement, and to simply move on.
Once you acknowledge something, not only does it help take you out of the reaction, which helps you in terms of remaining calm and refraining from reacting further.
However it helps build your self-awareness and ability to identify these judgements in future.
Of course, like anything practice makes perfect.
And by using healthy coping mechanisms such as meditation and awareness exercises, we can go a long way towards developing control over our judgements and emotions.