Shift How You Judge Yourself

Shift How You Judge Yourself


Let’s take a long deep breath and shift our state of mind.

Remember, setting an intention to shift your state of mind is a huge part of bringing yourself into a preferred state of consciousness.

We tend to only set that intention after we recognize that we want to shift our state of mind.

That’s why building a habit of shifting regularly at a certain time every day, and also being intentional about using moments of emotional discomfort as cues to take a few minutes to make an intentional shift to your state of mind, are both great strategies.

You can apply those strategies to shift your state anytime.

Let's take one more deep breath.

And be even more intentional about setting the intention to make a positive shift to our state of mind together over the next few minutes.

I want to talk to you about something to get started.

I've been playing with an idea and refining it in my own mind to express it as efficiently and concretely as possible.

Basically, the idea is a recognition that your satisfaction with your life — with yourself — is usually a consequence of how you are judging your life against some standard that you have for yourself in any given moment.

That standard likely shifts throughout the course of your day, and over time in general as well.

But knowing what you are measuring yourself against is an important step in being able to assess whether you are judging yourself fairly.

We could have a long discussion about the idea that completely letting go of self-judgment helps you come into the present moment.

After all, you're leaving behind your thoughts when you come fully into presence.

So if you aren’t able to notice your thoughts at all, it can be difficult to intentionally leave them behind to come fully into presence.

Presence involves separating the miracle that you are, and that life is, from any thoughts that you might be having in this moment.

The self-judgments that I'm referring to today — the ones we are going to be intentional about noticing and shifting — can often be observed as thoughts.

In reality though, negative self-judgments tend to be rooted even deeper in your body than surface thoughts that you might observe.

That’s part of the reason I'm bringing up this issue —

Your felt experience of your life arises out of your unconscious history and then into your thoughts and body each moment.

So coming into as much awareness as you can about how you’re judging yourself is key because the roots of self-judgement can be difficult to identify.

Particularly, if you're not feeling good about yourself (or your life) on a regular basis, coming into awareness of what it is that you're judging yourself negatively for, and why — and then making an assessment as to whether you actually want to be judging yourself on those domains — is very helpful.

Once you develop some awareness, whenever you are feeling negatively about yourself you can start to cue yourself to think about steps you can take to address that.

But first you need to know exactly how you are assessing how you're doing — i.e., how you are judging yourself.

So let’s do that now.

Take a long deep breath.

Come into this moment again.

Pro tip — Assessing whether you are in a state of mind that you want to be in by using a measurement of your presence, (i.e., how frequently you're in presence, and how deeply you are remaining in presence throughout your day), can be a useful way to ‘judge’ your personal progress along the continuum of living in a state of mind that you want to live in.

After all, being in a good state of mind usually syncs closely with judging yourself positively.

So, that’s one way to think about it.

You can definitely get even more concrete with your expectations of yourself than that.

But that strategy is a nice heuristic to start.

It’s an easy and immediate way to notice whether you're living the way that you want to live in any moment.

Just notice each moment.

What is the emotional state?

What is the psychological state?

What is the state of mind that is flowing out of the way you're living?

So, think about making a habit of noticing your state as often as you can.

Let's spend a minute answering today’s main question now.

Am I judging myself in a way that I want to?

Another form of that question is: Am I satisfied more or less with my life — and with my state of mind — overall?

If you find that you’re not satisfied, just observe what arises for you — about how you might shift the way you’re assessing yourself a bit.

It could be that how you are judging yourself is the root of the emotional pain you’re experiencing.

Pro tip — It tends to be the case that the distance between how you expect your life to be, and how you assess it to be, is a measurement of your life dissatisfaction.

Let's come fully in this moment again — with all our attention.

Look around your environment.

You've already laid the foundation of what you're going to allow your mind to process for the next minute, so just come into this moment completely.

Trust your unconscious mind to bubble forth something useful for you.

Notice the beauty in your environment — the light streaming through the window maybe.

Feel yourself comfortable in your seat.

Allow your arms and shoulders to relax.

And let's just listen together for whatever arises for the next minute.

And try not to judge it for a while.

Just notice.



Did anything come up for you?

One other suggestion is to notice how you think and feel when you wake up in the morning.

What is that first sequence of thoughts that you're having?

And what’s the emotional experience that's attached to those thoughts?

Noticing that information will give you some clue if you're having a hard time noticing how you're judging yourself, and whether you're judging yourself in a way that is ideal and fair.

That's what you're looking for.

You want to have a standard for yourself that is clear to you AND ideal to you.

Your standard will change over time, but tracking it is helpful.

Otherwise, you may be judging yourself in a way that is not providing yourself with enough information to actually embody the life you are expecting of yourself.

That would be setting yourself up for failure.

Whereas, you actually want to set yourself up for success.

Let’s take 30 more seconds now.

First, intend for tomorrow morning when you wake up — before you even open your eyes — to notice what's that first sequence of thoughts for the day, and also notice how you feel.

That strategy might shed some light on how you're judging yourself.


Now, for the next 30 seconds intend to reset what you expect of yourself.

Let’s get a little bit more clarity on it before we come back into our outer life for the day.

Listen for your expectation of yourself now — for how you are judging yourself.


Okay, got something useful?

There are different domains that most of us implicitly judge ourselves on.

It's not an easy task just to summarize it into one thing.

You have your personal life.

You have your achievement expectations.

And there's a whole history that you're contending with.

There’s your social development that's going on.

And your ongoing journey through life — your inner journey

All of these are moving parts.

That's why I love the idea of noticing how your state of mind is throughout the day.

You can then use what you notice to calibrate yourself whenever you come out of your awareness of the perfect present moment and yourself as an aspect of that.

You can notice the depth of your feeling fully connected in your life.

And you can make a shift anytime you need one.

If you do that for a while, whenever you get pulled out of your preferred state of mind you'll start to notice what it was that pulled you out.

As you do that repeatedly, your life questions and personal judgements have a way of working themselves out.

To finish up, let’s set our intention to be present for the rest of the day.

To keep our states of mind fresh and clear and present.

Got your intention set?

Come fully into the present moment now by bringing 100% of your attention into whatever you want to focus on next today.

Got it?


Have a great day.

I'll talk to you soon.




That was a lot to pack into one Shift, wasn’t it?

I hope it wasn’t too much to bite off.

Remember, none of us are perfect with being where we want to be emotionally all the time. So expecting perfection is not a fair expectation of yourself.

But, being strategic and intentional (and fair to yourself) definitely helps.

I’d love to hear your feedback about today’s Shift — or any thoughts you want to share.

Just hit reply to email me.

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OnePerfect Shift is an audio letter from a psychologist that shifts you into a better state of mind anytime. Each post gives you a fresh look at your relationship to your mind and reminds you how much control you can have over your life experience.