The Problem of Judgment

By: Jim Murphy


The Problem of Judgment

  • Judgment: to lay down a negative verdict on circumstances, results, self, or others, without having all the information. 
  • The majority of thoughts in the universe are judgmental; every judgmental thought takes you away from your dream. 
  • The most extraordinary lives are ones where the person learned to use discernment rather than judgment, to think less, sense more, and continuously learn.
  • IX principle #2 as promised: Everyone does the best they can, with what they have in their hearts.

To all of you new subscribers who came from Stewart Cink’s article on success in Golf magazine, welcome! To those of you who haven’t seen it, check out his #1 tip for success in the link above. 

“When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself.” – Earl Nightingale

The word judgment comes from Old French, jugier, which means “trial at law, penalty imposed; verdict in court case.” In our discussion, we use the word judgment like the word judgmental; to be the judge and lay down a negative verdict. 

The problem with judgment is that it takes you away from what you want most. To do anything extraordinary takes a daily rhythm and flow of resonance where you’re constantly learning and growing. Curiosity and an expansive vision are crucial parts of learning. Judgment throws both out the window. 

The three biggest obstacles we face in performance (and we’re all performing in some aspect – working to have good days) are…

1. Over-thinking (overanalysis)
2. Negative thinking (judging)
3. Self-consciousness (concern for how you compare and come across to others). 

So the second major obstacle is judging (the circumstance, result, self, or others).  It doesn’t matter which of those four things you lay down a negative verdict on, judge any of the four and you’re really judging yourself. 

The same measure you use to judge any of the other three will be used to judge yourself. I’m not saying you’ll be judged morally, I’m saying  you’ll get added pressure and negative energy that comes from feeling judged, every time you judge someone, yourself, or the circumstance or result.  

The key is to use discernment.

Discernment: to use wisdom to decide the best course of action in any given circumstance.

Take a look at this 96 second video from the movie The Great Debaters (based on a true story). Who’s the judge? You’ll see in the clip. As much as you want to achieve your goals, only God knows what’s best for you in this particular circumstance. 

So let’s look at IX Principle #2:

Everyone does the best they can, with what they have in their hearts. 

Here’s how you might think about it:
Imagine someone in your life who you feel has made poor decisions lately, or at some point in the past. Got someone?

What I’m saying is that according to their background, their childhood, their beliefs, their fears, their wounds, their voids… whatever they did or said (or didn’t do or say) was the best they could do in that moment. 

If they could have done better, they would have. The reason they made a poor choice is likely from a lack of resources, the most powerful resources being love, wisdom and courage. If you have more of those resources than that person (and thus would have made a better decision), then your discerning mind would be grateful that you have those resources, realizing that others often do not. 

“If I stop judging other people, I free myself from being judged and I can dance!” – Patti Digh

How you can work on this: 

1. Practice observing your thoughts as an un-biased fly on the wall; see how often your thoughts lay down a negative verdict on those four things. 

2. Constantly remind yourself IX Principle #2, that everyone does the best they can with what’s in their hearts (including yourself!). 

3. Work daily on being fully present, developing non-judgmental awareness. Set you timer for two minutes and practice being present. Write in your journal how you did. Remember when you’re fully present at the highest level, you’ll be aware of beauty and have a sense that anything is possible. 

One of the great obstacles to an extraordinary life is a lack of compassion for self, which comes from all that judgment. As you reduce your judgment of self, circumstances, results and others, you’ll be able to see much more of reality, much more of what’s possible in your life. 

Let me know how it goes with that person you used to judge (in the past). Without any names of course!
love Jim 
I wrote this article on my iPhone mini, sitting in my very warm car outside Chase field in Phoenix (about to go watch the game). Thanks for not judging typos or short, choppy sentences. ? 

PREVIOUS POST The Problem of Unbelief
NEXT POST How to be Confident (and Face Any Fear)

Be first in line – the VIP list

When you sign up for the VIP list, you’ll be the first to receive new articles, interviews, techniques and tools—straight to your inbox.

    Join the VIP list to get tips on how to train your mind and heart.