Being Judgmental

Being judgmental is something no one wants to do.

On top of that, it’s actually quite exhausting and keeps you stuck.

Being judgmental is the negative opinions about yourself and others that fill your mind.

The truth is that you can learn how to identify when you’re being judgmental and learn exactly how to change it.

In this episode, I share the steps to stop negative judgments so you can feel better and live a more meaningful life.

Here are some of my favorite resources to go along with this episode:

Full Being Judgmental Episode Transcript

Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.Hey friend, how you doing? Welcome to the podcast. I just put another new orchid in my office. We will see how long I can keep this one alive. I have done the research and I have gotten advice. And yet here we are on the third orchid. I am not that big of a plant person yet. My brother in law has over 20 plants, I would say, in their, in their home. He’s so good with them. And I just struggled to keep the little plants I can alive.

I’m doing a really great job with flowers though. So we’ll just start there. Love a good bouquet of fresh flowers in the home. What else is going on? I took a reading course that I’ve talked about on the podcast and in Grow You, and I’m getting a lot of emails about it. So I just wanted to let you know that it is the reading course called Quick Reading from Jim Kwik. K w i k. There it is. You don’t have to email. I loved the course. I learned how to read faster and that was fun for me. Highly recommend it. If you’re interested.

Now, let’s talk about being judgmental. This is some work that I’ve actually done on myself recently. I remember getting certified as a life coach and learning about how to coach properly and how it was the opposite of what I thought.

I thought that in life coach training, I would learn exactly how to teach people what to do in their lives. So if someone says, should I stay married or get divorced? I thought somehow I would magically know the answer and be able to tell them. That is not what life coaching is about. It’s not what a good life coach will do. A good life coach will help you see your own mind and identify your thoughts and help you find the answer that you want to make.

What does this have to do with being judgemental? On the one hand, if you are telling someone what you think they should or shouldn’t do you are doing that based on your own judgements, right? You might say, okay, well he’s a bad guy. You shouldn’t be married to him and you should divorce him. Right? A very judgmental, a line type of coaching that I do not do or recommend that any other coach do, or that you get coaching from someone like that.

When you have a good life coach, they will be able to coach you from a place of curiosity and compassion. So it sounds like, what do you want to think about your husband? What do you want to think about your marriage? What kind of marriage do you want? You know, I’m asking questions as a coach to help the client find their own thoughts and decide if they want to keep them.

This applies to you, my friend, who is not a life coach every single day, because you are constantly judging. Some of those judgments are awesome. Like I’m going to really work on my goal today and go to the gym and I’m going to have a great workout. I love my best friend and she’s going to work out with me. Okay. It’s great to have those kinds of thought. But you have a human brain. And I know you and I know your brain and it defaults to negative judgments.

So when I’m talking about being judgmental, you can kind of get pretty philosophical here and talk about how every word and sentence is a judgment, but for the sake of this podcast and actually helping you in a very practical way, when I’m talking about being judgmental, I am talking about having a negative opinion. So it’s not, you know, that is a tree which Byron Katie would say, it’s a judgment I’m talking about when you’re saying she’s really annoying, right?

That type of judgment. So when I say being judgmental, I’m talking about having a negative opinion, a sneaky way that this comes up and I’ve seen over and over again in Grow You is when someone says, I don’t like people who are negative, that is a negative opinion. So what’s happening is there’s a mirroring going on. So someone will do something that you perceive as negative.

And then you will in turn, be negative about the negative person. And there’s two parts to being judgmental, particularly when it comes to humans, you know, not things, right? So I’m not talking about necessarily judging your coffee or judging your location, but judging humans, you judge yourself and you judge others and you can’t do one without the other. So you can’t just be negative about other people and not yourself. I heard, one of my life coaches call it being in the fog.

You can’t have one leg in the fog and one leg out of the fog, meaning there’s a thought pattern going on in your brain where you’re judging negatively and it’s normal. Like you’re not a bad person for this. I think a lot of times we default to using this information about someone else. We immediately think of someone else who is negative or judgmental.

And what I want you to do is apply it to your own brain without beating yourself up. So how are you being negative about yourself and how are you being negative about others? Let me give you an example about how I am negative about myself. It might sound like I hate my knee fat. And then I look around at everyone else’s legs and I see that they don’t have knee fat. This is real you guys, this is what my brain does.

Yes, I am a life coach and yes, I am a human. And as long as I have a human brain, that functions, I will have judgments, but you can examine those judgments and you can be less judgy. And you can certainly not beat yourself up about having the judgment in the first place. So you judge yourself, it could be about your appearance. It could be about your failures or your job or your income, or, you know, fill in the blank. Right?

I used to judge myself for the boyfriends that I had at the time. And my coach said, no, that happened perfectly, all of it, but you didn’t do anything wrong. You were just confused about where love came from. Love. Doesn’t come from other people. It comes from you, right? And it was one of those aha moments that just made paying for working with her, just worth it in that moment.

So it’s not just judging your appearance and your job and your income, but judging your past. I see this so, so, so much with Grow You clients, it’s hating who you used to be and trying to kind of run from that. And what I say is, can we love all of it and stop negatively judging ourselves for it? And then how are you judging other people? Right?

The easiest example I have for you is saying that someone else is so negative, you’re actually being negative about her. Can you love her as she is? I always go back to how I was able to get really clean in my love for my dad. As someone who grew up with an alcoholic father, who’s really high functioning and just kind of slowly lost everything. It would have been really easy for me to judge him really harshly, right?

He’s not a good dad. He doesn’t do things that other dads do. He’s not showing up. He should be different, like all the thoughts, right? And I just see how I decide to love him. And when he was alive, I also did the same thing. Right? I got really clean about my relationship with him and was able to love someone who I think is extremely hard to love as a human.

And I just love him and it feels so good to love and to be in that place. Now that doesn’t mean that I was buying him alcohol and wanting to be around him all the time. It doesn’t mean that I love him more than I love myself. Right. It means I love you. And no, sometimes. So just be careful with that, you know, wanting to stop being so judgmental doesn’t mean that you say yes and you don’t have boundaries.

It means that you just decide to love yourself, to love others. And to just say no, like, no, not for me. I don’t want to be around you when you’re drinking, but I love you. This is a little bit more advanced work. It is lifelong work. And the reason that it’s lifelong work is because your brain really likes to judge. It’s how we make sense of the world.

We create stories in our minds and your survival brain really likes to pay attention to what’s bad and what’s negative so that it can keep you alive. If you know anything about watching the news, you know, that viewership is up when there are more negative events reported. It’s the reason that news companies report unusual and negative events going on in the world. Our brains actually want to pay attention to that because we want to keep ourselves safe.

We want to make sure that we survive. This is not necessarily a problem, but it’s a problem when we consume so much of it, that we don’t have the awareness of the contrast. So it’s not that the world is only bad. It’s also really good. That’s why I recommend the one-to-one rule for every, you know, one episode or podcast of negative input. You balance it with a positive input.

So if you watch 30 minutes of the news, you make sure you listen to 30 minutes of this podcast. That way your brain isn’t just so consumed in these negative patterns. Your brain naturally will also be in the habit of judging yourself and others. If you have not coached yourself before or even known that it was possible for you to love yourself, not beat yourself up and change. It kind of goes back to what I teach about wanting from abundance.

Instead of wanting from lack, we think that we have to want from lack in order to change. It’s like this home isn’t enough. And so I want a new home contrast that with, I love my home and I can’t wait to upgrade. They feel totally different. The same is true with judgment and with how you treat yourself and others, you can say, okay, I made a mistake there. I don’t really want to be thinking this.

And I don’t really want to be acting like this in the world. I said something to her that, you know, I don’t like that. It’s kind of against my values and I want to apologize to her. And I want to decide to think and act differently in the future. But can you do that from a place of loving yourself and not beating yourself up? It’s like when I coach people on money and they’ll say, Oh, I was really stupid and ridiculous with how I spent my money in the past.

There’s so hard on themselves. So hard on themselves instead. What if we say, you know what? I had a really good reason to spend that money in the past, the way that I did. And now that I know better, I’m going to do better. Right? But I still love that part of me. This is a skill that you can get good at, but at first your brain is going to be like, what, what is going on? This is weird.

I think we’re supposed to hate ourselves. I don’t want you to hate yourself, right? Because when you are judgmental, whether it’s against you or against someone else, you separate yourself. You distance yourself from yourself and from others, you lose that connection. Have you ever been with a group of people and they’re talking negatively about someone else and you jump in, you connect with that group by gossiping about the other person.

And at first you might get that little dopamine hit, but it feels terrible after it. It’s like this false pleasure that does hurt you in the long run. And I really think that if you don’t have the awareness of thought work, meaning if you don’t know that you can look at your thoughts and that your thoughts are morally neutral, they’re not good. And they’re not bad. They’re just there.

If you don’t have this awareness, then you actually lead a life that is of a lower quality. I think that when you choose your thoughts on purpose and you’re willing to have that curiosity and compassion with yourself, you live intentionally from your highest self in a way that reduces so much suffering. So you still have the 50%, that’s bad things still happen in the world that you want to perceive as bad people still get diseases.

You know, there’s still a quarantine. People still are dying and you want to perceive those as bad and negative, but you don’t have this added layer of suffering where you’re constantly beating yourself up and having this negative. Self-talk. One word of caution that I want to give you here is to be careful when you start to have this awareness that you’re not negative about being negative. I find that this is where beating yourself up, comes into play.

So you’ll realize that you’ve been negative about this negative person. And then instead of approaching it with curiosity, like, huh, that’s so fascinating. I wonder why my brain is thinking this way. Do I want to continue to think this way? How does it make me feel? How am I showing up and really questioning it and doing that self coaching and inquiry. Instead, you are hating yourself for being negative.

So you feel shame and you think something like I shouldn’t have had that thought. So you’re having a thought about the thought and you beat yourself up for being judgmental. This is the opposite of thought work. And that’s why sometimes the podcast can be helpful. But if you don’t do deeper work with it, it can actually cause a little bit more suffering because you notice your thoughts. But then instead of loving yourself through the awareness, you beat yourself up. I want you to have the awareness of what’s going on and be willing to lean into it and have your own back.

Find out why your brain is thinking this decide if it’s serving you. And if it’s not have the courage to change and to stop without thinking that you as a human are wrong or a bad person, when you don’t realize that your thoughts are morally neutral, this will happen a lot. Like you won’t want to look at your thoughts because you think that your thoughts make you either good or bad.

And so that’s why sometimes when I’m coaching or teaching, I’ll say, okay, what’s your brain doing here? What, what reason does your brain have for thinking this way? It creates this separation so that you can really see that your brain isn’t you, that you are 100% worthy, 100% of the time. And 100% lovable. I go back to the example of my dad, like 100% lovable. Right? I love him so much just because I decided that. It feels so good to love him.

Okay. I don’t base my love on his actions, right? That’s unconditional love. And I can still love myself and have boundaries, right? In this case, that would be really appropriate, but I’m not judging him and having this manual where I think he should be behaving in a certain way and thinking that if I love him, that makes me bad. So look at your thoughts, without the judgment of them making you either a good person or a bad person, it’s like, huh?

My brain is thinking this thought about my sister-in-law. I want her to be different than she is. Is that thought serving me? Right? Cause what I find is that we judge the people closest to us the most harshly and it decreases our connection. And we do it in a way that we think we’re reporting the facts. Like we’re checking the weather and it’s supposed to be 80 today.

So it’s like that. It’s like saying my sister in law is bringing in so much drama to the family. And if she doesn’t change, it’s going to make things so much harder for us. And I don’t like her. And I think that she’s just a really bad fit for my brother and you know, on and on and on. And it’s almost like we’re reporting the weather like they’re facts.

So what thought work does is it says, okay, let’s get that all down on paper and let’s bring some awareness to it. Let’s not judge ourselves for having these thoughts about her, but let’s see if those thoughts are serving us. Let’s identify them as thoughts. And can we find our own judgment and see how that’s hurting us and see how much disconnection we are bringing to the relationship, right? So when you do this work, it’s one thing to get it all on paper and have that awareness and approach it with curiosity.

The next step after that is to stop actually doing the negative judging. And it’s hard because your brain is in the habit of doing it. So you’re going to have the urge to judge. And sometimes you will, but as you practice this more, you will slowly change your habit of judging others and of judging yourself. And on the other side of that is a much more fulfilling, gratifying life.

But during the short term process, as you’re getting used to it, it’s going to feel really uncomfortable. The example I like to give is when you’re gutting a kitchen, when you’re remodeling a kitchen, you have your dated kitchen right now, that’s functional, but not great. And then you have this beautiful well-designed kitchen that you want to create, right? And in between the okay, decent, but not ideal kitchen in getting the kitchen that you want, you have to actually gut the kitchen.

You have to remodel it. You have to make it not even functional for a period. So that’s kind of like thought work. It’s where you are now is fine, but it’s really not serving you to your greatest potential. So let’s remodel your brain and get to the place where we have the exact wiring and thought patterns that we want. But in order to get there, we have to gut everything. We have to take it all out. We have to look at it. We have to practice new thoughts and it can be uncomfortable and hard, but it’s worth it.

So you decide to stop judging. You allow the urge to judge. You notice it, you allow it. And then you find new ways to connect with people. What will you say instead of negatively judging someone? It sounds kind of silly, but once you start to notice how you connect with people, if it’s about all the negativity, then you’re going to have to find a new way to connect.

Right? So think about that ahead of time. Something that also helps me with this is I think about my future self. And I think about the amount of time she spends judging. When I ask myself, does my future self spend time judging others and judging myself negatively? The answer is no, she doesn’t gossip about other people. And she doesn’t judge yourself so harshly.

And there’s still the 50 50 in the world. The 50% good in the 50% bad. But without all of that negativity, it’s not 80 20. It’s not like the world is mostly bad and there’s so much suffering. It’s just the 50, 50. And the 50 bad is the part that we want to be bad. It’s the deaths, the illnesses, the divorces, the fill in the blank, the terrorism, that stuff. It’s not the daily struggle and self-pitying and negative self talk.

That is solvable. So think about how much time you spend negatively judging others and yourself. What about the time you spend trying to control what others think about you? So you’re trying to control their judgments. All of this is really, really time consuming. It is exhausting and it’s really hard to create from this place.

If you’re constantly judging others and concerned about what they’re doing and how you’re doing a bad job, it’s hard to have the energy and the motivation to create something in your life. Whether that’s a workout plan to lose the weight, or, you know, you want to get a certification or you want to create a business or you want to take a reading class, whatever the case is, that’s going to require you to get out of your own head and create in the world. It takes energy. And if your thoughts, if your prefrontal cortex is so wrapped up in negatively judging yourself and others, it’s just going to be really hard to do.

So as you start to notice your judgments more, your negative judgments, more, I want you to have the courage to not beat yourself up about it and to change it. And it’s uncomfortable, right? It’s saying, Oh, I see myself having these negative judgements. That’s okay. I still love me.

And I want to change that. And I want to think differently. And I wonder why my brain is doing that. And how can I rewire it? What’s a more useful thought. That my friend is the work of it to start this week and just start noticing how you have negative opinions. I promise you it’s going to be, um, a very thought provoking exercise for you. Since most of this is unconscious until you learn this work. That’s what I have for you today. I will talk with you next week.

Hey, if you liked this podcast you really should check out, Grow You, my life coaching program. I coach you on everything I teach on the podcast so that you can uplevel your life. We 10x it so you get the results you want most. Just like a monthly gym membership to get your body in shape, this is a monthly personal development membership to get your mind in shape. It is an investment your future self will thank you for. Check it out at That’s I will see you there.