Whether you like or not, your inner Judge is a part of your life.
More specifically The Judge is a psychological archetype that when gone unchecked, can make life very difficult.
Maybe you’ve already done some self-improvement work in this area and have managed to dim the voice of the Judge, and if so, good for you! It’s hard to do and you should celebrate any improvement made in this area.
But for most of us, The Judge is tough to shake.
The judge lies to us about other people, causing us to judge them, but mostly the judge lies to us about ourselves and makes us judge ourselves.
According to the website for Positive Intelligence, “The Judge is the universal [Mind Hijacker] that afflicts everyone. It is the one that beats you up repeatedly over mistakes or shortcomings, warns you obsessively about future risks, wakes you up in the middle of the night worrying, gets you fixated on what is wrong with others or your life, etc. Your Judge activates your other [Mind Hijackers], causes much of your stress and unhappiness, reduces your effectiveness, and harms your relationships.”
My Judge’s name is Mitzi.
She’s hysterical (when I remember it’s her). See she’s dressed in a 90’s velour suit with “juicy” on the booty. She has a small yappy dog, a martini, and her dark hair is pulled up in a messy bun. She’s a super judgy lady, but really she’s funny.
She says things to me like, “You’re not good enough.”
“Why do you think you can do that?”
“What makes you qualified to XXX?”
Yeah, she would be a threat, but unfortunately for her, when I picture her all I can see is the 90’s outfit and the chaos and I recognize the high school mean girl that she once was. Then I’m able to reframe her judgments with positive affirmations.
5 Ways to Disarm the Inner Judge
- Practice self-awareness: Start by becoming aware of The Judge’s presence. Notice when it arises and pay attention to the thoughts and criticisms it generates. By recognizing its voice, you can begin to detach from its influence. Like I have by naming and picturing “Mitzi”.
- Challenge negative thoughts: Whenever The Judge starts criticizing you, challenge those negative thoughts. Ask yourself if they are based on objective evidence or if they are just self-limiting beliefs. Replace them with positive and realistic affirmations that empower and encourage you.
- Cultivate self-compassion: Develop a kind and compassionate attitude towards yourself. Treat yourself with the same understanding, support, and kindness you would offer to a friend facing a similar situation. Embrace your imperfections and acknowledge that making mistakes is a natural part of growth.
- Focus on strengths and achievements: Shift your attention from self-criticism to your strengths and accomplishments. Make a list of your achievements, skills, and positive qualities. Remind yourself of these regularly, especially when your inner judge becomes overly critical.
- Surround yourself with support: Seek out a supportive network of friends, family, or a community that uplifts and encourages you. Share your struggles and challenges with trusted individuals who can offer guidance, understanding, and positive reinforcement. Their perspectives can help you gain new insights and counterbalance the voice of your inner judge.
It can really help, unless your Judge is just super scary, to create an image of this archetype. Because, like mine, it may disarm the situation by realizing the humor. You can laugh at yourself and say to The Judge, “Oh Mitzi!” like the 90’s sitcom she came out of and into my imagination.
If your Judge is overwhelming, loud, or terrifying, feel free to sign up for some time to talk to me. You can find the link here.
If you would like to talk more about Mind Hijackers in general, I welcome a conversation. Schedule some time to chat here.