Joy Comes From Non-Judgment

Xperience Growthblogposts

Judgment is the true thief of joy.

Judgment sounds like commentary placed on top of an experience. We’re like a sports commentating announcer. Something happens on the field of play in our lives and we comment & pass judgment. All. Day. Long.

Granted sometimes we judge things in a good light. “This meal is good.” “I’m nailing this presentation.” “I’m in control of this golf round.” However, just as quickly as we can give out props, we can shift that judgment into a harsh criticism. “I suck at this part of the presentation.” “I can’t pull this golf round together.”

Either way, it’s a joy killer because we are not allowing the moment to be. Usually judgements harken back to other judgments from our past and it can also project into the future. True joy is found in the present.

A strategy to eliminate judgment and return to joy is through mindfulness. Mindfulness is defined as the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose to the present moment – non-judgmentally.

In fact, non-judgment is a foundational mindset of mindfulness. To practice mindfulness, you simply notice when a judgment arrives, allow it to pass and bring your focus back to the present or where you want to focus. The importance of being able to let go of your judgments is because you cannot place your attention on the present moment AND judge it simultaneously.

To practice non-judgment, we can work on being an “impartial witness.”  Think of it like the play-by-play announcer in sports. If you watch baseball you’re familiar with the announcer describing the action you see on the TV screen. It sounds like: “Here’s the wind-up… the pitch… swing and a miss…strike one.” No judgment, just simply describing what’s happening.

In meditation, we can focus on our breathing. Practice coming back to the breath. When your mind wanders, and it will, bring it back to your breath, without judgment.

Because I’ve been focused on this activity for myself recently, I feel more resilient in life’s daily stressors. That resiliency in what would have created stress, gives me the space to thrive.

This week was a great test for me. The second week of the month is typically my busiest. I have the highest combination of coaching calls and deliverables. I love what I do, yet it can feel like a lot from time-to-time.

At times, that strain has caused overwhelm and stress. I teach clients how to move past and let go of overwhelm. And, it’s been almost routine that the second week of the month, I need to use those techniques myself. The techniques work to get rid of stress and limit it. And I was eager to see how a non-judgement practice helps to mitigate stress even more.

By practicing non-judgment, instead of looking at my to-do list and judging it as “a lot” or “too much,” I was able to focus on the next most important task. Overwhelm never showed up. My approach was more clear headed. I think I did better work more quickly. That is moving from lack of stress to thriving!

The path was in non-judgment. It wasn’t marred by intermittent stress, overwhelm, fatigue. There was even more joy and better work because of it.