Is judgement a negative thing? I was recently reminded how much judgement some people hold for this world, humanity, and the environment in which we live. It is often perceived as a bad human attribute; however, we all judge as we process the information we receive through sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.
Judgment exists in the same thought group as opinions, perspectives, and beliefs. These thoughts mingle together as we digest input coming in through our senses and then respond. I often refer to humans as “consumers”. We consume foods, liquids, medicines, supplements, lotions, and endless movement of thoughts. Thoughts having the greatest impact to our health and emotions. This is because every thought generates a chemical response in the body.
Here are definitions of each component in this judgment thought group.
An opinion, as described by Oxford Dictionary, is “a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge”.
A perspective is a comparison of “this to that” such as conservative to liberal, light to dark, from “here to there”, or negative to positive, also not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. Some perspectives can be observed (the growth of children), felt (hot/cold), or measured in length, depth, and height, such as a building. Others can only be compared based on other, older data you have already processed and stored inside the subconscious mind. These define the internal lists I will mention in a moment.
A belief is acceptance that a statement or concept is true or not, most often based on experience or associations. A belief anchors a thought as being true for the individual. It is not absolute! It CAN change based on new data or information you receive.
Let’s use trust as an example. You may trust someone until you become aware of an action or behavior that violates your definition of what trust with him/her means for you. With new awareness you might choose to update your opinion, perspective, or belief about that individual or relationship.
Thoughts are always moving…coming in and flowing away, much like a stream of water constantly moving as new data is processed. You have the power to pause a thought to examine it/them more in-depth. Meditation is a good way to do this. (Imagine pushing the “pause” button on your TV. You stop the movement just long enough to take a break or examine the picture more closely.)
Think about the movement within this particular thought group (of judgments, opinions, perspectives and beliefs) as flowing something like this:
A judgment opens a choice to attach to a thought that forms an opinion based on a perspective. Once an individual has held or repeated this thought over a given period-of-time it may be accepted as a personal belief or added to the file of an existing belief which anchors it stronger into individual identity. Personal beliefs help determine responses to life as they become part of individual identity.
Here’s the thing: Our psyche is always looking to define itself. Who ARE you? How do you fit into this crazy world? Each and every moment you are making internal decisions (beginning with judgements) about what fits or works for you and what does not. These decisions are reflective of lists you have made for personal expectations, values, integrity, morals, ethics, etc. These lists and thoughts can be updated whenever you choose, or never addressed. (If never changed, over decades of anchoring them as key to your identity, they can become quite locked down and rigid.)
We all question what we wish to do with our lives and how we wish to live them. We create a roadmap (knowingly or unknowingly) of how far we are willing to challenge ourselves and what we are willing to do to achieve our goals. We rely on our internal “lists” to be our motivator, GPS, and navigator to support us to achieve goals on this life journey. It’s completely up to you whether you spend your life sitting in a chair watching tv OR get up and engage in the activities and opportunities that inspire you. You’ll pick and justify what fits into your beliefs.
You can’t change what you didn’t know you could change. Now you know you have this ability. The question becomes; Are you willing or ready to change the beliefs/perspectives/opinions or judgments that no longer work for you? Have you taken the time to figure out what is working for you and what is not? Maybe you need to begin with the lists of expectations associated with key life groupings such as relationships (the most important one is YOU), career goals, finances, hobbies, habits, etc.
Think about the important area(s) of your life. What is MOST important to you? Maybe it’s family. Maybe it’s your career. Maybe it’s having fun. Maybe it’s paying your rent and finances. Or maybe it’s your health. Your choice of what’s important will define those areas you’ll be paying most attention to. These are the areas to begin to explore and understand. What do you believe about relationships, work, money, opportunity, etc? Once you can be honest with yourself, you can delve deeper into the perspectives, opinions, and judgments that may be blocking you from improving those areas important to you.
Do you believe it will be easy to change? If not, why not? If so, then what’s been stopping you from making positive change…what are you afraid of?
I guarantee if you are brave enough to enter the wealth of information you have stored inside, you will discover what you can discard/change/update/or replace to shift your experience. In doing so you will shift the judgment about yourself in the area(s) you feel need to change. Judgment will be your guide to show you the way to a more positive experience. We call this wisdom.