Do you have any goals our desires that you never seem to get close to fulfilling? Iin spite of trying for so many years?
Typical examples would be:
- Having the goal to lose a lot of weight. And trying diet after diet. But every time you get close, gaining the weight back again.
- Wanting to acquire a certain amount of savings. And often almost reaching that goal, but then unexpected bills come up and you have to spend it.
- Trying to build muscle, build a business or learn a certain skill but not being able to consistently put in the work
There are many possible reasons for this. And to pinpoint exactly what is stopping you you’d need to have a deeper conversation about your specific situation. But a very common aspect of it is the judgments we make of other people.
Very often, these judgments don’t come in the form of deliberate thoughts. But they are opinions or beliefs that we picked up from our parents, our experience in high school or with co-workers and bosses, and so on. We may have never articulated these judgments for ourselves. But if we were to read them, we would most likely agree with the statements.
For example: One of the goals that took me the longest to reach was to make a decent living off of my creative skills (or even to make a decent living at all).
I had this goal since I was 17. By the time I was 25 I was still making less than $500 a month from writing and music combined. A lot of the writing I did included work that I didn’t find any joy in (reviews of medication, tutorials about coding, …) and paid very little. I also wasted a lot of time on marketing that kept me busy all week, but didn’t bring in measurable results.
Looking back, one of the most baffling part of is that as someone who read 50-100 books a year at the time, I hadn’t even invested 1 hour of time learning how to become financially literate yet. You’d think that for somebody with such a low income, managing money would be one of the first things I had wanted to learn. But nope, didn’t occur to me.
It was definitely possible for me to achieve my goal at the time. But the problem is that my judgments were stopping me.
And my specific judgment was a very common one:
I believed that most rich people were evil. That the financial people at the top of society “enslave” and “profit” from the people at the “bottom”.
It’s a very convincing story to believe. And when you believe it, you see the evidence everywhere.
But what does your brain do when it holds judgments like that?
Every time you get a little wealthier, your subconscious mind will stop you from going further in that direction. Because it thinks “Wait… What am I doing? Am I slowly becoming a more evil person? I don’t want that. I want to be good. Let’s go back to making less money, or at least spending what we have.”
This was also the was the case for me. As long as I had that belief, I couldn’t improve my finances and I kept subconsciously sabotaging myself.
Until slowly, my world view started to shift. And I became aware that: Most rich people are not evil. Some poor people are evil. Some good people do evil things some times. And there’s a wide spectrum of moral values among the people of earth. But they`re not related to annual income in any way.
Once I let go of that judgment, things started to change in no time.
Like I said, my belief was a very common one. And if you find it hard to reach your financial goals, a belief like that could be one of the reasons. But there are many more wide-spread judgments like this that stop people from living up to their potential all the time.
Here are some commonexamples of judgments many people hold:
Judgments that stop you from getting in shape:
- Beautiful/skinny/muscular people are arrogant or assholes
- Society enforces unrealistic beauty standards on us
- Unhealthy food has no flavor or enjoyment
- Body builders look ugly and unnatural
- Women with muscles look manly and ugly
- Salad is for rabbits
Judgments that stop you from finding inner peace / happiness:
- Therapy is only for “broken people”
- Meditating is for weird spiritual folks
- If you don’t spend all your time productively, you are lazy and will never amount to anything
- Not caring about something makes you an asshole
- A tidy / neat house is for people who have OCD and don’t allow themselves to relax
Judgments that stop you from finding love / getting laid / expressing your attraction freely:
- Women who express their sexuality are whores (and whores are bad)
- Men who express their sexuality are disgusting pigs or creeps
- Being gay is disgusting / unnatural / a sin
- Nobody of the opposite sex can be trusted (e.g. “all men cheat” or “all women lie”).
Other various judgments that get in the way of common goals:
- People who don’t drink become boring
- All artists are broke people that don’t take responsibility for their own lives
- All bosses and managers are assholes / all cops are bastards (this belief will stop you from taking up authority in your own life)
- People with an extravagant image are fake and dishonest
- Marketing and sales are manipulative
I’m sure you get the concept by now. But how to find which judgments are holding you back?
Whatever your goal is. Ask yourself the following:
- Who has achieved my goal in the most extreme version possible?
- Is there anything about these people that I dislike?
- What’s the story I tell my self about “these people”?
- What if my story is not true?
- Can I find any evidence that at the very least, I’m making a generalization that’s a bit too broad?
Try to collect examples and information that prove your judgment wrong. Befriend some of the people you judge. Get to know them and discover that you were wrong about them.
Let go of the judgment, so you can allow yourself to finally start taking the steps needed to reach your goal without all the inner resistance and struggle.
If you discovered any interesting beliefs in the process, feel free to share them with me. And I may add them to the examples in this post, for future readers.