Three things that lift you out of self-judgment


Is negative self judgment or doubt pervasive in strangling many of your efforts?

Does feeling “not enough” make you feel exhausted and heavy and like it is not worth trying?

Does Fear stop you from doing what you want to do?

You are not alone. So many of us feel this way that I find myself telling my clients, friends and family to stop judging themselves over and over. And I constantly need to remind myself.

anxiety treatment

Judging yourself makes everything worse.

But it may be so engrained you don’t even realize that you are doing it.

Here is how you know. If you feel bad more than you think is appropriate for the situation, negative self-judgment is probably the culprit.

Here are three things that can lift you out of the “beating-yourself-up-blues.”

Practices that you can do to lift you out of negative self judgment:

1. Separate fact from opinion

We make up stuff in our heads and then we do a kick-a– job at believing that it is true. These ideas are just ideas.  When you have an idea that makes you feel bad, ask yourself if it is fact or opinion.

If it is opinion, this can help you take a step back from it. If you still believe it, ask a friend for help. He or she usually has some distance from the situation and can help give you a different perspective.

2. Lower your expectations

What standards do you hold yourself up to? Write down all of your expectations.

I have to be the best mom.

I have to get everything done on my list.

Or, I have to eat perfectly and work out every day.

I am supposed to make more money at this age. 

For each decide: 1.) Where does this come from? 2) What sustains it in my life? (Or better: How do I sustain it?)

Take a step back. If someone you loved had these expectations of herself, what would you say?

3.  Embrace your imperfections

Nobody’s perfect and it is in our imperfections that we find richness and learning in life. Don’t judge your imperfections. Love yourself through them. Imperfect doesn’t mean bad. It means you are human.

Compassion is the answer once again. While judging ourselves perpetuates everything, compassion is what eases the pain. Check out The Map to help.

Here is a mantra:

“I am imperfect and I am enough.” (from the work of Brene Brown.)

These general mantra’s help remind us. If you want a strategic (specific) affirmation, click How to write affirmations that work.

Okay, Loves, you are a savvy, enlightened group. Tell me. How do you overcome self judgment?

Happy Soul Message

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Tina Fariss Barbour

Great video, Jodi! I really needed to be reminded that just because I’m thinking something doesn’t mean it’s true. Asking myself, “Is this true?” is a good way for me to move beyond intrusive and destructive thoughts. Being aware of what I’m thinking in any one moment–which has become easier the more I practice mindfulness–and stopping the negative self-talk has helped me a lot too.
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Jodi Aman

You always work so diligently, Tina!
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Harleena Singh

Hi Jodi,

Yes, you are so right there that fear does stop most of us to proceed further and take the next step. We get caught up with ourselves and think of so many things and issues half the time.

The only thing that really works is fighting your fears and giving yourself that much needed push, and things do happen. Yes, they do, if you believe.

Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead, and I shall see you next once I am back from my little summer break 🙂

Jodi Aman

We need something esle to take our brain space. I like Mindfulness like Laura does, but also I put in creative projects like Monica to get my mind from getting caught up in it all.

Troy S.

One thing that is a burden when holding myself to such high standards is mulling over and over in my head the ‘failure’ of not living up to my own expectations. To end this is hard. I try to tell myself to just move on and that experience will produce better results next time.

Jodi Aman

Do the second idea. Write down your expectations, where did they come from, what sustains them. When you oberve them in this exposed way you can decide to change them. Instead of trying to recover from the failure, lower the expectations in the first place. Please.

Troy S.

Great words. Thank you Jodi. Hugs!

My Inner Chick

I am imperfect, but I am enough.
I am imperfect, but I am enough.
I am imperfect, but I am enough.
Simply and utterly BRILIANT. LUV U. xxxxxx
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Jodi Aman

You are perfectly, imperfect!

Laura Zera

This is where I’m finding mindfulness is so important. Staying present helps keep me in my body, and helps me so I don’t get “stuck” in my mind (and the judgment soundtrack). But every now and again I beat myself up for not being self-critical. 😛
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Laura Zera

Whoops, meant “for not being *less* self-critical.
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Jodi Aman

Haha! And then you have to go back to breathing and it won’t matter.

Sebastian Aiden Daniels

These are fantastic tips. When I did DBT these three things were worked on intensively. It is so important to differentiate fact from opinion. One other thing we learned is to ask ourselves the question of, are our emotions reasonable considering the situation or are they blown out of proportion? I found that to be useful. I also think embracing imperfection is a key component like you said. Perfectionism is a drain and unattainable. What the heck is perfectionism anyways?

Jodi Aman

Perfection is ridiculous. Once we realize it is ridiculous, we can go to judging ourselves about it, or having a great relief! I choose relief!


I’m so glad you started doing the vidoes. I really like them. As far as self-judgement goes, those were 3 great ideas.

Jodi Aman

Thanks, Mary, I hope they give you company.

Balroop Singh

HI jodi,
One of the ways to emerge out of such thoughts is self-talk. When we enter into such a conversation, we can analyse how much we have dragged ourselves down and how much potential our mind possesses to convince ourselves that nothing is perfect in this world. If we have some frailties, it is only human. Self analysis can focus on our talents and imperfections and I have always believed that self-help is the first relevant help, even after therapy.

You have put this across very effectively. Thanks of sharing.
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Jodi Aman

You are very welcome, my friend.

Lisa thomson

I always ask myself if I would say or do that to a friend or someone I love. If I wouldn’t be as hard on them, i wonder why I do it to myself. Works quite well. Thanks, Jodi. Another important topic!
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Jodi Aman

We do it to ourself because we are so close to the situation. Our friends have a bit of distance. By asking you what you’d feel if it was your friend, you are seeing yourself from a distance-away from the chaos of it. And can see more clearly from there.


I sometimes feel unable to “judge myself” whether in a positive or a negative way. I judge myself based on what the persons I trust most think of me.
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Jodi Aman

That is great!

Jodi Aman

I don’t mean that the “unable” part is great. You have opinions, maybe you don’t trust yourself and look to others for reassurance? But I know you and I know you know you are good. You know right from wrong.
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Here’s me secret to chasing away self-doubt and fear: 1) I stay so busy I don’t have time to think about that. 2) whenever I receive a compliment about me or my work, I write it down in a notebook. Then, when I’m feeling bad about myself in any way or having self-doubt, I take it out to remind myself that there are people in the world who like me, like what I’m doing and think I’m okay. That list has come in handy now and then. No one else need see it. Just me and that’s good enough.

Jodi Aman

I love this practical idea of writing it down. I encourage people to do this because it could be so powerful! It is just too easy to forget when we have fear and doubt.

Stephen Brandt

That, especially number two is key. We so much want to think the great thing, the best for us, that if we don’t get it, it’s hard. THat’s what Istruggle with, why am I not like other 35 year olds. When Jodi, could probably say, that others think the same. We are who we are, all complex, fun people.

I hear it all the time “Your good at this”and don’t see the results.

Jodi Aman

Do you mean you don’t see results because you don’t acknowledge some since they are “not enough”? I’m sure there are some results, but we think things like, “everyone should do that” rendering our efforts/results invisible. Then, we don’t trust ourself, and it creates a cycle of not being enough…
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