It’s your life; be your own judge
“How are things going with Katelyn,” I asked Lisa as we started our life coaching session.
Katelyn is Lisa’s 8-year-old daughter, who Lisa described as strong-willed and moody with an unending need for attention.
“Yesterday we had a tough day,” Lisa said.
“What happened?” I asked.
“The kids played nicely all morning. When I announced that lunch was ready, Katelyn wouldn’t come inside to eat. I set out their lunches and informed them that lunch would be served for the next hour. After that they would need to wait until snack time. After an hour, I put Katelyn’s lunch away. When she finally came in, she had a fit.
“When she asked why I had put away her food, I explained my reasoning,” Lisa said. “Then it escalated. She got so mad she marched to our neighbor’s house. A few minutes later the neighbor walked Katelyn back home. The neighbor had a look of knowing on her face as though she was judging me. I could only imagine what Katelyn had told her.”
“Then what happened?” I asked.
“Katelyn and I talked about her behavior and the resulting consequences,” Lisa said. “We had it resolved rather quickly, but I kept worrying about what the neighbor thought about me. Part of me wants to call her and explain. The other part feels like it doesn’t matter.”
“It sounds like what your neighbor thinks about you is very important to you,” I said.
“I know it shouldn’t matter,” Lisa said, “but for some reason, it does.”
“What’s the best way to move forward?” I asked.
“I could let it go,” Lisa said, “but it seems like I should explain what happened to my neighbor. But it isn’t really her business. We are neighbors, not close friends. I just hate feeling judged.”
“Where else do you feel judged in your life?” I asked.
“People judge me all of the time,” Lisa said.
“Do you usually explain your actions to others in hopes of their approval?” I asked.
“It would be difficult to talk to everyone who judges me and impossible to live my life to everyone else’s standards,” Lisa said. “In fact, I’m not sure I could call it ‘my life’ if I were so busy trying to please everyone.”
I paused while she thought about her last statement.
“That’s it, isn’t it? It is my life, which means I don’t have to explain myself to other people, especially those who I’m not close to. That would be ridiculous! I’d spend my entire life explaining and second guessing, instead of living,” Lisa said.
“How can you take this revelation forward the next time you feel judged?” I asked.
“I’ll stop and look around to make sure I’m not in a court of law,” Lisa said, smiling. “If there is not a person in a black robe, holding a gavel, I’ll remind myself that I am not being judged, and even if I am, it doesn’t matter. It’s my life!”
Coaching challenge: If you constantly feel judged by others and allow this perspective to create doubt, find a way to remind yourself that it is your life.
Take the feeling of being judged to an extreme. Imagine that you are asking every person in your life how he or she thinks you should live. Try that on and see how it feels.
How can you move forward the next time you feel judged?
Sheri Fisher is an intuitive life coach living in Grand Junction. The situations and characters in her column are fictional to maintain client confidentiality. For information and to access her blog, go to http://www.coachwithsheri.com.