When we worry about others’ judgments, we have first judged ourselves and have already lost. Think about it.
We’ve heard variations of the following:
Do you think he/she/they will like it?
Do you really think it’s good enough?
Are you kidding? I can’t take a day off. What are people going to think?
Judgments are a type of opinion. If someone were to count, I wonder what we’d find as the “average” number of opinions we throw out in a day. Are they even necessary? Are they helpful? Is sharing this opinion serving the other person?
Validations are another type of opinion. When we are looking for someone else to validate our feelings (i.e., external validation), we’re looking for confirmation that our opinions are accurate, legit, make sense, and are right. Yet, the reality is that an opinion is always the byproduct of the person who generates the opinion.
Let’s use external beauty as an example. If someone tells me, “Supriya, you are beautiful.” Sure, my ego might eat that up and say keep those compliments a-coming! Yet, what’s really going on is that the individual saying those words, says so out of his or her own perceptions of beauty. If we’re looking for someone else to validate us about how handsome or beautiful or pretty we are, the only thing we gain is learning about someone else’s view of beauty… or a temporary appeasement to avoid an argument! Using this example, we miss out on our own special beauty and the opportunity to love others and ourselves for who we are and what form our human life came in.
Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Love comes in all shapes and sizes. Intelligence comes in all shapes and sizes. When we are able to fully recognize this, we learn that there’s no reason to judge ourselves or the other person. We can learn to hold ourselves accountable instead, and we can help others’ see potential errors in their actions, all without judgment. In the wise words of Mother Teresa, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
Don’t judge yourself. Know you’re worth much more than an opinion. In fact, you’re so worthy, that you’re priceless.
(Links to: Try performed by Colbie Caillat, Better Place performed by Rachel Platten, Theory of Multiple Intelligences discussed by Howard Gardner)