Have you ever judged yourself so harshly you launched into a shame spiral? It starts with one harsh thought and then you beat yourself up so badly, you just want to crawl under the nearest rock and hide. I would imagine the answer is yes. I mean, we ALL have at one time or another. However, learning to practice self-forgiveness and judgement detox will help you create a life and career you truly desire with grace, ease and joy.
Well, let me tell you a little story.
I have a confession to make…I always extoll the virtues of keeping your cool on New Year’s Eve, taking good care of yourself, and preparing for a kick-ass year. I love to go snowboarding over the New Year’s holiday. It makes me feel grounded and connected to the Earth and my body. I love how the fresh air feels in my lungs and how it clears my head.
And a few years back, I did what I usually do. I headed to Northern California to see a few of my dearest friends and then made my way to Lake Tahoe to go snowboarding.
Only one problem: there was no snow.
And even though I was hanging with some of my best friends, the fact that we couldn’t really go snowboarding was such a big bummer. I was feeling frustrated, sad and a bit disappointed.
New Year, No Plans
So to quell those feelings, I drank on that New Year’s Eve. A lot.
Starting with some amazing champagne to celebrate my friend’s big achievement at work, then on to martinis at the local bar, and then a few more at dinner… I think. Honestly, I lost count. We ended up having a late night dance party at my friend’s cabin, and boy oh boy, was it fun!
Then my alarm went off at 8am—and holy sh#t, was it early! I felt AWFUL. I had an hour and forty minute drive to the airport, a shuttle, a delayed flight, another packed shuttle to the parking lot schlepping my snowboard bag the whole time, only to forget where I parked, and on and on it went.
Shame Is So 2017
And I just spiraled. Oh yeah, doubt and shame hit me like a ton of bricks.
This was the exact opposite way I wanted to start my new year—hungover, exhausted and depressed!
Oh, my negative self-talk and judgement just went on a rampage!
I mean, what the hell was I thinking?
Talk about not walking my walk. What a fraud! What a fake.
I mean, who the hell was I to think I can help people?
I didn’t write a single goal down for the coming year or record one bit of gratitude from the past one. I was so sure that I was already behind and really effed up my year before it even began.
The Assumptions We Hold
Fortunately, this shame spiral also got me thinking a lot about judgement.
Let’s be real, I was judging the hell out of myself. Can you imagine someone else talking to you like that? Never! But it seemed perfectly fine for me to lambast myself and make myself feel as small and crappy as possible.
All because I had a little too much to drink on New Year’s Eve.
With a few of my dearest friends.
In beautiful Lake Tahoe.
Such a minor blip in my plans, and not even an unpleasant detour, but it still took me a whole day to come to my senses. When I finally realized what I was doing, I almost laughed out loud and cried at the same time.
Would I have preferred to not be hungover on New Year’s day? Hell yes. But was I a terrible person because of it? Was I a failure? Did I ruin the rest of my year? Was I worthless? Hell NO!
Then I did something that changed everything—I forgave myself for judging myself. I practiced self-forgiveness and judgement detox! I said it out loud, “I forgive myself for judging myself as a fraud. I forgive myself for judging myself as a loser. I forgive myself for judging myself as ruining my year.” I granted forgiveness for each and every one of the judgements I was holding against myself in this situation.
And then I got my mind back in the game.
I started thinking about all of the wonderful things that happened over the past week. I spent time with my family and my amazing 99 year old grandmother. I went away to a beautiful resort and enjoyed a few romantic days with my boyfriend. I cheered the New Year, rocked some spontaneous dance moves and spent quality time with close friends I don’t see often enough. I even hopped on my snowboard and rode for a few hours. I breathed in the fresh air. I met new people and experienced places I’ve never been before. I mean, this week was actually ahhhhhmazing!
So what if I didn’t start my year exactly as I planned? This was a learning experience and a big lesson for life.
So you know what I did next? I took care of me. I have headed to bed early these last few nights. I took a detox bath. I drank lots of green juice and smoothies. I ate delicious nutritious food. I went to yoga and even treated myself to a massage. I focused on affirming what I wanted to experience, on me being happy and at peace with myself and my choices. And then I turned it over to the Universe. And this weekend, I’m working on my goals and gratitude.
Now, that’s a great way to start the year!
Creating Your Own Judgement Detox
The practice of self-forgiveness can be used in all areas of your life. First, think about the assumptions you hold about yourself, your relationships or your career. What are the mis-beliefs you have about yourself? How much do you let these assumptions decide about you or your value?
These judgements are ultimately holding you back from taking inspired action or just truly believing in yourself and your gifts, so the next step is to release them.
Keep in mind that you are not forgiving actions. Perhaps my unplanned actions on New Year’s Eve brought up all kinds of negative self-talk, but I didn’t do anything wrong. So, I forgave the meanings or beliefs I placed on myself for the perceived mistake or wrongdoing.
The situation triggered feelings of shame, regret, worthlessness and embarrassment. But I am not any of those feelings. They are just feelings!
A Belief is Only a Thought You Keep Thinking!
Keep in mind that a belief can be created within 17 seconds—but a belief is only a thought you keep thinking. (And jeez, do we hold a lot of untrue beliefs about ourselves!) As you move into the new year, do your best to put the brakes on the negative thoughts before they form, before you believe them—and replace them with loving, compassionate, true ones!
No matter how strong our desires and goals, life always has its own agenda. It’s up to us how we show up, handle it and manage to still reach for those goals while having some fun in the process. This is what will determine whether or not we succeed, not the other way around.
The path to feeling good never feels bad—and my words had left me feeling less than, exhausted and uninspired. When our words, actions and thoughts feel good, we are aligned with our true essence and with our bodies. When they don’t feel good, it’s a clear sign we aren’t aligned and on the path of struggle.
I wanted to share this experience with you because it’s important for you to begin to see where you disconnect from compassion and instead drive from your judgements and untrue beliefs. It’s that loving, compassionate side of you that will lead you to reach your goals with grace, ease and joy.
What judgements are you holding about yourself? What true, compassionate, loving beliefs can you replace them with instead? I always love to hear from you, so please leave your comments or questions below!
LOVE + forgiveness!