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Judgment is the Number One Blocker of Possibilities

Message 7, January, 2021

Dear Guest,

I spend a lot of time reminding my clients (and myself, too) to practice noticing ourselves and the world around us - and then pause there.* And there’s a good reason for this: it’s to teach us to stop before we can judge ourselves, which is what most of us automatically jump into after we observe things. It’s just so human to be our own most damning judge!

The reality is that the act of judging is the number one thing that blocks us from seeing possibilities! Why? Our judgment - and the judgment of other people - is so terrible to feel and to face that we will do anything to spare ourselves that pain. We literally stop ourselves from thinking and dreaming before we hurt ourselves with judgment.

So when I invite you to take a few minutes a day to think about yourself and give yourself permission to see possibilities, I fully expect you to resist these suggestions! If your brain is making every excuse in the book to keep you from thinking about yourself and your goals and dreams, I’m not one bit surprised.

You might even be telling yourself, “I don’t think these messages from Kay are very encouraging anyway.” And if so, you’ve probably fallen into the trap of judging my messages - so that you won’t have to take the scary step of noticing yourself. I don’t blame you for this and there is no shame in it. Guess what? You are just as human as I am. Our brains are prone to acting like jerks by playing these kinds of games with us!

Judgment blocks possibilities because it's a safe, comfortable habit for your brain. It’s so much more safe and comfortable to be an armchair quarterback of yourself or anybody else than it is to look around and ask, “What do I see? What could I be missing? What could be possible here?” Because when you ask yourself these questions, you are taking the risk of causing yourself uncomfortable judgment of your current situation. And the default for our human brains is to protect us from any discomfort. It’s a vicious cycle that keeps us stuck, right where we are, whether or not we are living a truly fulfilling life.

Look, if you are stuck in this judgment cycle, I want you to know you are NOT broken! There’s nothing wrong with you and there is no other way you “should” be. That is the lie that judgment tells us: that we should be something else.

I’m not going to judge you no matter what. Even if you spend 99% of your time as a caregiver wishing you were somewhere else. Or if you feel resentment because every time you try to eat healthier foods, your auntie reminds you how many times you failed in the past. Or if you’ve been telling yourself you have to let that promotion go this time just in case the person you care for gets sicker. These things are NOT proof of your brokenness! These are what I think of as your starting points, the clues about what your mind is thinking right now. These things don't have to mean anything more than that.

Even if you think you can't or shouldn’t love yourself the way you are right now, I believe in you! You can learn to see possibilities and to have goals and dreams again. What if ten years from now, you are at the same starting point? I will still believe in you completely. It’s not my place to judge you for anything - not your thinking or your feelings or your timeline or your weight or your job or your relationship with the person you care for. I believe in you, unconditionally!

Because I know if I could learn to do this work of observing myself without judgment, anybody can do it. Trust me, in the history of humans, I’m sure I’m the most stubbornly self-judging person ever born. I've learned to quiet my self-judging nature so I can believe in my possibilities, and so I can believe in yours, too.

In the next message, I’m going to keep talking about common possibility-blockers. And the next one we have to deal with is guilt.

Please let me know how this is working for you, or if you have any questions, by leaving a comment here.

Kay Coughlin

*If you want a short guide to help you with this step, take a look at my free “Thought Download Cheat Sheet.


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Copyright 2020, Facilitator On Fire, Galena, OH, 43021, 614.426.8062

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