lisa mccourt

How to Overcome Self-Judgment

lisa mccourtDo you ever find yourself scratching your head saying, “Why did I do that?” after doing something you had not consciously intended to do? Most of us are run by subconscious programming we aren’t even aware of. You probably know that your beliefs are dictating your experience of reality. But did you know that the beliefs you hold about yourself are actually dictating your day-to-day behaviors as well?

In the same way that your beliefs about the world create the world you experience, your beliefs about yourself will create circumstances wherein you do and say things in accordance with those beliefs. If you find yourself doing things you wish you hadn’t done, a good examination of your underlying self-judgments is the key to a new, fabulously-functioning you!

Here’s an example: Not too long ago, I went through a period of worrying about how my increased workload might be affecting my kids. Worrying never makes any situation better. I know that; I teach it; but hey, I’m always still a work-in-progress. I had an underlying fear – one I wasn’t consciously acknowledging – that I was becoming a bad mom by putting more time and energy into my career.

During this time, my son, Tucker, was invited to the Bar Mitzvah of two good friends of his, twins. It was Tuck’s first Bar Mitzvah and he was excited. The invitation was up on the fridge and he had a stylin’ new outfit to wear. But the boys had gone to different middle schools and Tuck wasn’t around anyone who was talking about the upcoming event; nor was he mature enough to manage his own calendar.

We missed it. No excuse. I was simply preoccupied with preparations for an upcoming retreat and I didn’t realize the date had passed until several days later. It was completely out of character for me and I was utterly devastated when we discovered it. Tuck was sweet because that’s his nature, but he was naturally disappointed.

It would have been easy to view this situation as evidence that I truly had become an awful mom, which would have further cemented the harmful belief in my subconscious programming. Thankfully, I was able to instead recognize that I had fallen into the trap of allowing an insidious belief to create a situation to support it. I knew that I never would have let Tuck miss such a special event before the recent bad-mom self-judgment had worked its way into my life.

That experience was the wake-up call that made me finally pull the belief out and examine it so that I could balance it for good. By bringing these fears and self-judgments into the light of conscious awareness, I came to understand that my irrational need to be a perfect mom had caused me to disown the completely natural parts of me that weren’t so perfect in that department. Anything we disown in ourselves becomes the target for our harshest judgments – oftentimes of others, but in this case, I’d turned the judgment on myself.

Through honest introspection, I came to see all the ways in which I was actually becoming a better and better mom. My personal development career, though it took up much of my time, had given me innumerable skills for guiding my kids and supporting them, and being an ever-better example for them to follow. They were becoming more independent as a result of my work schedule. By sincerely apologizing to Tuck about failing to get him to the Bar Mitzvah, I was able to model how to deal with making a mistake.

I believe that my deliberate attention to balancing that “bad mom” subconscious self-judgment was the reason the ensuing events went so smoothly. I called the mom of the Bar Mitzvah boys, a friend I had shared room-mom duties with for many years, to apologize, and she could not have been more understanding. It turned out she had recently done the same thing, causing her boys to miss another friend’s Bar Mitzvah! Tuck and I decided to throw a karaoke pool party to celebrate his friends’ milestone, the kids got to continue their celebration, and we had a fabulous time. ‘Cause I rock as a mom.

The judgments we hold about ourselves – both conscious and unconscious – have an enormous impact on our actions and what we create in our lives. In the words of the fabulous Louise Hay, “Your thoughts and beliefs of the past have created this moment, and all the moments up to this moment. What you are now choosing to believe and think and say will create the next moment and the next day and the next month and the next year.”

Taking Back the Puppet-Strings:

  1. Think about something you’ve done recently that you don’t like, large or small.
  2. Take a few deep breaths, quiet your mind, and ask your higher wisdom: “To have done this thing, what must I be believing about myself or the world?”
  3. Write down any thoughts that come to you. You’ll probably be able to identify some self-judgments. Can you see how your behavior was simply the result of your subconscious carrying out the instructions you’d been giving it by holding these negative beliefs about yourself?
  4. Write down ten reasons the self-judgment is inaccurate. Read those reasons to yourself until you can start to see the truth in them. Read them every day.

If the reasons you came up with feel false, it probably means you’ve created some evidence in your life to support the self-judgment. Well, of course you have, Silly. That’s the whole point of this article. It’s time for you to realize that the negative belief is what caused you to create that evidence.  The evidence doesn’t prove the belief is true; it just proves the belief is there. Leaving it there will only cause you to keep creating similar evidence, but shifting the belief right now will cause you to create opposite evidence!

Beliefs are nothing more than energy. You have the power to change the energy of your beliefs. Freeing yourself from the powerful influence of your self-judgments is simply a matter of choosing to believe better, kinder thoughts about yourself!

About the Author: Unconditional love expert Lisa McCourt is a dynamic speaker, seminar leader and author whose 34 books have sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide. Her new book, Juicy Joy – 7 Simple Steps to Your Glorious, Gutsy Self, teaches people to embrace “radical authenticity” to fully experience unbridled joy in life. Lisa lives in South Florida with her two children. For a free Juicy Joy audio program, visit

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