I recently watched the movie Embrace. It’s tagged as a body positive movie. It’s so, so much more than that. If you haven’t seen the movie go watch it now. (Go on, I’ll wait.) When I was watching the movie so many things resonated with me but one sentence really changed the entire way I think about myself and others. There is a line in the movie, which I am going to badly paraphrase as “if you stop judging yourself you will also stop judging others.” It’s amazing that as I have stopped judging myself I have also stopped judging others so harshly. I also found it started to work in the reverse, as I stopped judging others I stopped judging myself. I have now started a positive cycle in my life, which has resulted in less judgement for everyone including myself.
It’s really easy to say “stop judging yourself and others.” It’s really bloody hard to do. I wanted to set out some concrete steps to help you stop the judgment. The first step may seem obvious but you’ll need to start noticing when you’re judging yourself. Maybe you want to try on an outfit but your brain says “you won’t look good in that” or maybe you’ve decided to try a new hairstyle but before you even leave the house your brain tells you “that style doesn’t suit your face shape” or maybe you’re about to order a dessert and your brain tells you “you really don’t need any more calories, do you?” These thoughts occur so many times throughout the day that we often don’t notice them. So, step one is to notice when they are happening.
The second step is to step back and observe. It may sound crazy but right now you are just going to watch yourself judge yourself. To make this a little more difficult it’s important not to judge yourself for judging yourself. That’s right folk, we’re going completely meta today. Spend a day (or a week) noticing when you judge yourself and step back to observe as if you were someone else. Once you’ve got the hang of observing the judgement try step three – figuring out where the judgement is coming from. I know that I used to judge myself and anyone else for having a muffin top. When I was a teenager it was pointed out to me as something that was ugly and wrong. I had to take some time to understand that I was judging muffin tops because of what I was told. You might be judging something about yourself because of something you read or heard. Try to figure out where the specific judgement has come from.
Once you know where the judgment has come from you can start to evaluate whether it’s a valid judgement. That’s right–it’s step four, reevaluate! I took some time to think about muffin tops. Why did I judge myself and other for having them? I haven’t always had an hourglass figure. Sometimes jeans hit me in a spot I deemed less than ideal. It’s didn’t make me any less sexy. My body wasn’t wrong, and the jeans often fit everywhere else. Also, I really like muffins, especially the tops. When I realised muffin tops weren’t inherently bad and I didn’t have an especially good reason to be judgemental of them I was able to stop judging myself when I had one (this did not happen overnight! This took much time and patience). Once I stopped judging myself when I had a muffin top I naturally stopped judging other people. The less I judged myself for the less I judged others. The less I judged others the less I judged myself. A positive cycle was born!
Take some time this week to notice when you’re judging yourself and see if you can follow the steps to less judgement. If you have any particular struggles please let me know though the comment section, email, or direct message on social media and hopefully together we can get you on the path to less judgement.