So, Deborah sends me an e-mail saying she can’t wait to see my fist post. YIKES…you mean somebody might actually READ this? What a concept. Now I really have to come up with something good. No pressure there, nope, none.
Deborah is just trying to be supportive and encourage me. I know that. She is not the one putting the pressure on me. I am.
What is it, in us, that turns the kindest gesture from another into something that creates stress? What purpose could this fulfill?
This is a major focus of my life’s work. I sit across from people who have found themselves in more distress than they would like to be. It’s my job to show them how they are doing it to themselves, then to help them do something that works better. I love my work.
What I find over and over in my work is that what causes us the most pain is the judgment we place on ourselves. We often don’t notice that the source of our judgment comes from within; we project it out onto others. That’s what I did with Deborah’s e-mail. I projected my own judgment onto her, onto anyone who might read what I write. There isn’t anyone out there who will read what I write and judge it more harshly that I can. Most people won’t even think to judge, they will just read and enjoy, or not.
If I censor what I write, to avoid another person’s judgment, I limit myself. If I censor what I write to avoid my own judgment, I will completely stop myself. How much of the time are you stopping yourself? What is the self-judgment you are trying to avoid? And, what would happen if you tried to see yourself from the perspective of the ones in your life that most support you? How much of the judgment can you hold onto if you are seeing yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you?
I’ve just met Deborah. From what I know so far, she loves to write and to share what others write. I haven’t posted anything yet, so she has no idea what my writing “voice” sounds like, and she is curious. In the way that I love to work with people to help them release the self-judgment, she loves to help inspire people to write. So, when I took the first steps to be able to post something, she was pleased, and let me know.
Now, I have a choice. I can succumb to my self-judgment and stop myself, or I can take a deep breath and face my self-judgment by posting something. In facing it, I find the next best place to stretch myself to grow. In this case, it is writing and posting. What is it for you?
So, here you go Deborah. Thanks for the inspiration.
Carla Camou, NLP Trainer and Personal Change work: www.nlpinseattle.com