When you hear the word ‘judgement’, what’s the first thing you think of?

Maybe you’re imagining a spotlight on you, being surrounded by hundreds of pairs of eyes and whispers?

Let’s turn it into an adjective: judgemental. Or a verb: to be judged.

Do those words feel negative to you? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone.

When someone is described as ‘judgemental’, it’s usually associated with a negative frame of mind. No-one described as judgemental walks around ‘judging’ people as brilliant, amazing or clever. It’s generally the opposite.

But there is a positive to being judgemental.

Yes, you heard me right.

I don’t condone making harsh judgements on others for no reason at all! But think, for a second, about what a ‘judgement’ really is. The dictionary says:

Judgement: the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.

If you’re truly making considered decisions – as the definition suggests – then you aren’t being negative, you’re just being human – a.k.a. forming a considered opinion.

If we had no sense of judgement, we humans would not be able to identify any dangers, nor would we be able to make decisions on who to surround ourselves with.

And that’s not helpful, since it goes without saying that we should always choose to surround ourselves with the right people. Not frenemies.

Now let’s look at the verb – to be judged.

Let me tell you right now, that you’re going to be judged. Sorry! It’s an inbuilt human trait to judge others, and it has become even more prevalent with the popularity of social media. It’s so easy for someone to be a keyboard warrior, or bully!

There is a quote – ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me’. It’s bollocks and pure truth at the same time. Of course, words hurt! The wrong words can hurt the listener but also the speaker. Some words are hard to take back. Some hard to hear.

Our brains have been wired to make us fear any sort of disapproval or dislike. So, it can be difficult to not feel any sort of discomfort around a negative judgement.

So how to you deal with judgement?

How can you begin to take control in a situation where you might seem to be the victim of judgement?

Well, here’s the thing. All that any sort of judgement will ever be is an opinion. And though it can be very hard to do, you CAN choose to ignore those words. Words can hurt, but only if you let them. And the opinions of strangers in particular honestly tell you more about them then they do about you.

Judgement from a boss, a teacher or a family members – hurtful words – can be carried for years. And that can take some time and therapy to unpick.

But I can promise you, that the majority of the time, the average person’s opinion will not have any impact on you – unless you allow it.

In fact, as the quote goes: “other people’s opinions of you are none of your business!”

You’ll never be liked by everyone, (again – Sorry!) and every single person on Earth is going to view you differently. And that’s OK. When you can hear someone’s judgement and think to yourself, ‘that’s interesting’, when you can look at it objectively as a piece of data that may or may not be the truth, then you have something powerful.

See it a bit like a weather forecast. It might or might not rain as forecast. You can choose to take an umbrella with you whilst knowing that it might not rain at all.

When someone judges you harshly, you can look at it and see if there is a lesson there for you (and there might not be), but you don’t need to decide to change who you are on the basis of one person’s opinion. Especially if that person is on Facebook!

Judgement – Upright and Reversed

Whilst on this topic, I thought it would be interesting to look at the Judgement tarot card – since those of you who know me well will know that I love a good card reading!

If you receive Judgement the right side up, it usually means that you may be about to reach a crossroads in your life, that you may be about to be making a life-changing decision.

What’s interesting about this is that whilst the card indicates that you should trust your own judgement, it also encourages you to reach out and share opinions with those around you.

So even though your own opinion is the most important, it’s still OK to listen to other’s that you know, as long as you’re still able to trust your own intuition!

As for the reverse Judgement (if you receive the card upside down), it usually implies that the Universe is trying to send you some sort of message or direction, but you’re not listening out of your own fears and doubts. If you receive this, you should stop judging yourself so harshly and start focusing on the positives.

So how should you view judgement?

If the tarot has taught us anything, it’s that judgement is all about how we feel about it.

Quick judgements on people are natural, but can often be wrong. However, if someone has formed a long-term opinion, they’re more likely to have made a fair and neutral one, and listening to it might surprise or inform you.

And next time you do something that you worry will lead to judgement – such as delivering a public speech – don’t fear it. You can take it as feedback, or you can take it as someone else’s opinion – it’s up to you.

And if you would like to learn how to deliver a ‘Ted-esque’ type talk, in your own authentic style – reach out to me at cheryl@cheryl-chapman.com.

More speaking events are on the way!

Cheryl xx

PS – The genetic blueprint really helps with understanding who you are and what you are here to do – fill in this 2-minute questionnaire and I will send you your own ‘genetic blueprint’ which will help you understand yourself so you can begin to find your why! You will find it here.

PPS – If the link doesn’t work for any reason (sometimes technology has a bad day) then email me on cheryl@cheryl-chapman.com and I will sort it out for you!

PPS – If you liked this blog and want to read more blogs surrounding female empowerment, you can find last week’s here: ‘The Danger Behind Perfectionism

“I’m on a global mission to help 10 million disheartened souls, who are at a crossroads, to STOP asking why me? And START saying why not me!”

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