When it comes to personal development, one of the most important pieces to master is dropping the negative judgements you have of others… completely. For most people this is extremely difficult, as it too is for me. I’ve been conditioned to judge and label others all my life, it can be daunting to try to eliminate fully – but I realize it’s a necessity in achieving the high levels of success I desire.
When you judge others in a negative light, it’s not because you’re a bad person, but rather due to something much deeper and often unnoticed
We only do it because it gives us a feeling of importance.
Think about the last person you judged negatively – how did it make you feel about yourself?
Didn’t you feel better that you “weren’t them”?
In that moment didn’t you believe you were more important than they were?
As Dale Carnegie so eloquently said in his infamous book How To Win Friends & Influence People:
“1. Health and the preservation of life. 2. Food. 3. Sleep. 4. Money and the things money will buy. 5. Life in the hereafter. 6. Sexual gratification. 7. The well-being of our children. 8. A feeling of importance….Almost all these wants are usually gratified-all except one. But there is one longing – almost as deep, almost as imperious, as the desire for food or sleep – which is seldom gratified. It is what Freud calls “the desire to be great.” It is what Dewey calls the “desire to be important.”
We live in a society that is constantly telling us we’re not important unless…
* We have the latest phone
* We have a high paying job
* We are being recognized in the media
* We have 100 likes on our picture/post
* We have a nice house and car
And since the obstacles to achieving the above can be quite high, it’s no wonder we tend to take a much easier approach – put others down so we can gratify that long awaited desire to feel important.
Once you can come to the realization that gaining feeling of importance for yourself is why you negatively judge other people, only then can you can start to make real significant change.
Simple – start to give yourself importance through altering your perspective.
Start to validate why you are important regardless of your phone, job, recognition, social media likes, and material goods.
Here’s are a few quick exercises to help you out:
1. Write down a list of why you are important regardless of what your circumstances or material goodsOnce you really identify the inner reasons for your importance, the need to judge others drastically reduces. Why would you put someone down if you already feel on top of the world? Makes no sense! What you’d probably want to do instead is help others join you in seeing the view from the top.Some reasons to support your inner-validation include:
* You are a unique entity within the infinite that provides a unique perspective of life for the infinite to better know itself
* Your very presence allows you to witness other’s experience giving those experiences existence (i.e. according to Quantum Physics, particles can only exist in physical form when observed)
* You offer so many unique things that serves others (i.e. think of all the times people thanked you for your help)
2. Shift every perspective that makes you feel unimportant to one that makes you feel importantA skill I heavily encourage people to learn is that of perspective shifting. It’s basically taking a perspective that evokes negative emotions and changing it to one that evokes positive emotions instead. When you do it properly, not only do you gain more positive emotions, but the new perspective does not allow the old one to co-exist – meaning you actually remove the old belief from being a truth in your life.So you could try shifting the perspective “I need a high paying job to be important”to “Any act of service, regardless of pay, makes me important.” Notice how the latter perspective is way more positive in nature and by convincing yourself of its truth, prevents the old perspective from being able to be true.
3. Purposely do things and reward yourself after doing itThis approach can work, but you have to be careful when implementing it.It allows you to, with intent, associate actions with the feeling of pleasure. The danger in this is that you still could become dependant on these actions to feel important. With this being the case, try to find actions that are easy, simple, and cost you nothing. For example, take 5 min. to breathe and think about why you are important in this lifetime. After you do that, you go do, eat, drink something you really enjoy.In time, you will associate so much pleasure with that action of breathing and thinking of your importance, you will desire doing it more, and thus feel more and more important.