What Your Judgements are Costing You

A friend pointed out to me, who I’ve been talking to, that when I’m driving, I tend to complain about the other drivers on the road a lot.

“What’s with this guy?” “What an idiot” “People are crazy today”

Somehow or another, the conversation ended up connecting something for me.

All those casual commentaries on the personal qualities of other people that are apparent from their behaviors was costing me a fortune.

It was costing me my life.

Every time I put a judgement out there, there was an implicit “and I’m not like that.” “I don’t want to be like that”

And that means that an ever increasing part of my mind is now preoccupied with making sure I’m “not like that” with an ever increasing list of rules.

And all that meta-awareness of myself makes me miserable. It keeps my focus off of just going after what I want directly, because now I have created a large bureaucracy in my head of all the things I can’t do on the way to doing that thing.

Now I’m a people-pleaser, wasting time and energy pleasing all the people I now represent to myself, in the form of the crowd of inner voices all telling me how I ought to behave in this or that scenario, so that I’m not “like them”.

Jordan Peterson, in some place I can’t remember (podcast or book), mentions that thinking about yourself is almost synonymous with negative emotion (from brain scans, not just as a conjecture) and thinking about something else is almost synonymous with positive emotion. (Sorry JP if I am misremembering this).

What does that mean? It means that if we have this little crowd of critics in our heads watching us, we have a baseline negative emotion happening all the time.

The amazing thing is realizing you can let that go whenever you want.






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