Every single day, we made hundreds of decisions based on split-second judgments. These can be small judgments based on the weather, or more harmful judgments such as deciding not to wear your new dress today because you think you look fat. Some judgments are helpful, yes – they help us to make gut decisions when we listen to our inner instincts.

However, some judgments are just damaging and they seem almost impossible to stop. For example, did you know that the way a woman feels about her body can impact whether or not she goes for that dream job? Whether or not she truly enjoys herself on vacation? Whether or not she misses out on life? As you can see, self-judgment can have devastating consequences.

Of course, calming these judgments takes a bit of know-how. Have you ever tried to be less judgmental of yourself? These thoughts are nearly automatic and happen whether we are aware of them or not.

While not all judgment is bad, the majority of the cyclic, constant thoughts that go on in our heads are pretty harmful – because a lot of them are negative. These judgments can slowly chip away at your own self confidence over time, and make you more pessimistic toward yourself and others. It can be hard to break the routine of judging – if you’ve ever tried any ways to be less judgmental of yourself before, you know what I’m talking about.

The good news is that there’s hope! I recently stumbled upon a blog post by motivational speaker, coach, and author Gabby Bernstein that contained a few very important tips from her new book, Judgment Detox. That’s right – judgment played such a damaging role in Gabby’s life that she decided to write an entire book on how to conquer judgmental thoughts (because even the most successful, badass women suffer from this!).

Ways To Be Less Judgmental Gabby Bernstein

In her post, Gabby straight-up reveals why healing judgment is so important (and I couldn’t agree more). She says:

“I believe that judgment is at the root of all our problems, from the pettiest disagreements to the most catastrophic world events. Our belief that we are separate from one another leads to gossip and bullying as well as deep divisions and violent hate. Healing judgment is extremely urgent right now. I created a video that shows just how pervasive it is and the harm it causes.”

Watch this short video to see just how judgment affects you, and how finding ways to be less judgmental can make a major positive impact on everyone:

I couldn’t have said it better than Gabby herself:

“Healing your own judgment doesn’t just help you. It creates a ripple effect that will be felt by everyone you come into contact with and will radiate energetically far beyond what you can imagine!”

Gabby’s first step in this process is called “Witness Your Judgment Without Judgment,” which means that it’s important to observe your judgment without actually judging yourself – without labeling it as “good” or “bad” or anything. Labeling will just keep you in the cycle of judgment. Gabby explains that the goal is not to eradicate judgment, but to be aware of it and release it before it can cause further damage to your life and others.

Let’s face it – we will never be able to control every thought that comes into our minds – and we shouldn’t try to (how exhausting!) But we can all benefit from recognizing harmful, damaging thoughts in their midst and release them before they wreak havoc on our lives. Seriously, imagine what your life might look like if you stopped knocking yourself down with cruel judgments. You would likely be more confident, happier, and go after your dreams with less hesitance – that’s the power of learning ways to be less judgmental of yourself, and why Gabby’s lesson below is so important!

Gabby’s Step 1: Notice how being in judgment feels.

Watch a short clip from Gabby’s Judgment Detox workshop below to see this in action:

Gabby suggests that we start paying attention to and become aware of our judgmental thoughts by asking ourselves these questions:

“What does it feel like when you judge someone? Do you feel tired, angry, restless? Do you get depressed? Does your energy plummet? Does a knot tighten in your stomach?”

To keep track of your responses and thoughts, you can write these down in a journal.

Gabby’s Step 2: Say a prayer

Don’t worry – this isn’t a religious prayer or anything. It’s more of a question that you ask yourself, with a special intention. Gabby instructs:

“When you notice yourself judging, ask yourself a simple question: Am I looking through the eyes of peace or am I looking through the eyes of judgment? Asking this is a prayer. You become the nonjudgmental witness of your judgment and you open up to the possibility of seeing differently.”

Check out the video of Gabby’s workshop below for more detail on this:

If you practice these two steps (I have, and they work!), I’m positive that you’ll be well on your way to creating a more positive mindset. By learning ways to be less judgmental of yourself, you can’t help but remove lots of old negative energy from your life.

Understanding our most poisonous, judgmental thoughts and treating them with acceptance and compassion instead of shame is a game-changer. It’s important to understand that many times, our judgments serve as defense mechanisms to protect the most vulnerable parts of ourselves. By releasing these judgments – especially the ones that we put on ourselves – we open our hearts and the doors to connection and new possibilities.

If you’re interested in learning more in-depth ways to be less judgmental of yourself and others, feel free to grab Gabby’s book, Judgment Detox, here!

Please tell us, what did you think of Gabby’s tips? Did they help you? Let us know in the comments!

Featured image via Michael Dam / Unsplash