In the past couple of weeks you’ve probably seen things happen that you would have once considered bad. Yet the way these events have unfolded, these acts are almost worthy of praise.
When you look at an incident in isolation, it’s easy to make a judgement about what is wrong or right, what should or shouldn’t happen and if something is good or bad. It’s something we do quite often.
We go around making assumptions based on limited information ignoring the fact that we don’t know the full story because it’s fun to fill in the gaps. But also because sometimes the full story takes more time and effort than we are willing to give.
It’s much easier to assume that someone is wrong than it is to consider the why behind their actions. This may not have any real impact in the moment however, in the long run simply choosing the easiest thought path can have negative results.
So, it might be worth slowing down, looking at the bigger picture, getting informed and then making a judgment based on much more than surface level understanding.
It’s easy to pass judgements on other peoples choices.
‘If I was you I’d have…’
‘Maybe if you ….. then this wouldn’t have happened’
But your judgement is rarely being sought out so maybe think about ways to be helpful instead.
Sometimes when a person is riled up, frustrated and they take action it’s not from a place of clarity. If they’d have waited a few hours or a day or two they’d have done things differently. But everybody makes mistakes, we’re all just learning as we go.
A question I’m learning to ask myself without judgement?
It’s easy to judge yourself and in doing so you’re not likely to answer the question in a way that is helpful.
You’ll be likely to find yourself caught up in a woe is me story-line. Your answer will be something like: ‘Well, I’m trying and it’s just not working out the way I want and I wish it could be better but maybe I’m just not good enough…’.
That sort of mentality isn’t helpful and it won’t result in growth, development or progress.
When it comes to improving on something you can’t attach emotions to your critique because it isn’t personal.
When asking the question Can I do better? it isn’t even really about a yes or no answer because one could argue that you can always do better. Instead it’s about whether you are happy to put out the thing you’ve created or the work that you’ve done.
Many people have an unspoken set of boundaries for what they do and don’t do or a set of rules that govern the choices they make.
And sometimes the boundaries that you give yourself become limitations.
Suddenly you find that you’re not doing the things that you want to do because your boundaries go against it.
However the thing about boundaries, though they have there benefits they can also be a hindrance.
The more you try to force yourself to adhere to them the harder you judge yourself when you stray.
But, it’s perfectly okay to move away from the person that you thought you’d be.
Around 8 months ago I went to see one of my favourite singers in a city a couple hours north from where I live.
I booked my ticket 6 months in advance because I didn’t want to miss out and knew the opportunity may not come around for a while.
But I also didn’t have anyone to go with which was caused some initial hesitation.
In the end, I went alone had a great time and bought a t-shirt from the merch stand.
Looking back it really was an act of spontaneity (albeit a pretty small-scale act one all the same).
I’m glad I didn’t get stuck overthinking, I’m glad I didn’t miss out and I’m glad I went alone.
There’s often a lot of judgement (both internally and externally) when it comes to doing things alone but when the alternative is missing out, ask yourself ‘Are those voices worth listening to?’.
We’re all just doing our best which is something that we often forget and it might be the reason why we’re often so quick to judge others.
We so easily get caught up in our own world, our own challenges, experiences and struggles that we don’t consider everyone else is going through things too.
You might be struggling with anxiety but someone else may have financial issues and be struggling to pay their bills. People don’t often share what they’re going through (especially not with strangers) so all we know is our own personal stuff that we’re carrying around with us.
But, I think it would be naive to say let’s all share our struggles and challenges.
However, when you’re going through things I think it’s important to remember that everyone else goes through things too.
Not as a way to invalidate your own experiences but to help you realise that it’s totally normal to have challenges and difficult experiences in life.
And once you truly realise that for yourself, extend that to everyone you meet.
Let’s start with the letter S for self sacrifice.
When you live your life trying to be a good person you’ll find yourself pulled in every which way.
Often what people judge a persons goodness by is how much you do for them.
And in a bid to keep the title of the most good of all. You might find yourself bending, doing the most and going above and beyond to please people.
But as much as it’s great to go above and beyond (for the things that matter), it’s impossible to please everyone. It’s a losing game.
So it might be much more useful to focus on being generous, kind and thoughtful but don’t do it for other people. Do it for you because it feels good and maybe because you’ve decided that that’s the kind of person you want to be.
You can meet or come across someone and immediately assume this persons whole life.
Then from the minute they open they’re mouth you’re deciding whether or not what they say aligns with or contradicts your initial assumptions but you’re still not giving the person a chance.
But then life sets things up in a way that forces you to wipe your slate of assumptions clean and actually get to know this person for who they are instead of you just making things up.
And so you realise that this person is kind and interesting along with some other great adjectives.
But even more importantly you realise that you were too quick to judge and that the more useful thing to do would be to actually get to know the person face to face rather than make assumptions from afar.
Appearances are everything or at least that’s how it often appears.
The woman with a good education, working a great job at a high profile company.
The guy that everyone goes to for advice because he’s warm, kind and always says what you need to hear (not just what you want to hear).
From the outside they seem to have it together. She lives a stable life and is on the road to a successful career with lots of opportunities. She’s earning enough money to buy a property and take regular holidays. She works hard in a field that is highly regarded.
He always makes time for people and he never really seems to go through anything major. He’s an important part of so many peoples. He’s loved, trustworthy and generous.
But she’s unfulfilled, her life looks great from the outside but isn’t happy with how her life has turned out.
But he’s overwhelmed being who he is to so many people and now he’s scared to make time for himself because he doesn’t want to let anyone down.
From the outside they appear to be living great lives but from the inside they both have their own struggles.
Just a reminder that looks can be deceiving and that you never really know what someone else is going through, no matter how great their life appears to be.