This article is super important, as so many people struggle with this, but half the time, we don’t even realise it’s happening and that’s stopping the inner critic. Stopping the judgement we too often pass on ourselves is super important, as in most instances it to our detriment.
Taking Charge of the Inner Critic
Do you feel like you’re always being judged?
How many people do you know that you feel judge you?
For some people, it seems like Judgement Day is every single day.
Sometimes you can’t go through a day without being judged by someone. And it’s a really awful feeling.
It completely knocks your confidence and your self- esteem is in the toilet.
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It totally drains us of all of the energy and the zest for life. And life can be challenging at times. We all know that.
So What’s Up With That?
Why do people constantly judge themselves and others?
Sometimes we just want someone to come along and tell us how to do things right. That’s the funny thing about it.
We assume that it’s always others judging us. Yet, sometimes we’re the ones doing the judging.
What I see a lot is people tend to judge themselves more than anyone else judges them.
That may seem crazy to you but whether you’re judging someone else, or you’re judging yourself, it’s the same thing.
But what’s really worse is when we start to judge ourselves. We become our harshest critics.
Sometimes people say stuff like, “Hey, look at you. If only I could be like you, or, Wow, you’ve done really well. Great family, great car, great business, or great career.
Wow, Allah has really blessed you huh?”
What do you feel when people say stuff like that?
Sometimes we get worried. We get worried that people are jealous, we get worried that people are envious. And that’s probably not the worst of it.
As people say these sorts of things to you, we can interpret them in all sorts of ways.
You could be thinking to yourself, “They so don’t understand my life, how much hard work I have to put into it, just to keep it all together.”
In the Quran, Allah says,
لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا
“Allah does not burden a soul more than it can bear.”
Everyone knows and has heard this verse.
Then the thought runs through your head, “But I really can’t bear this; this is so overwhelming.”
Sometimes people think these things, but they never actually say it.
Because we all believe in God and we absolutely love and appreciate all of the blessings in our lives.
However, the feeling of pressure, of being so overburdened with life can be troubling for the best of us.
So ask yourself this question. Do you feel isolated or disconnected?
Or do you feel misunderstood or judged?
It could very well be the case or everyone else sees you and sees this great success.
But you don’t actually feel that and you don’t actually see it.
You feel like your life is just being held together. Just about.
It’s like you’re drowning in your life and you don’t want to seem ungrateful. So you keep it bottled up inside of you.
Now, if you’re thinking “What has any of that got to do with being judged?”
Insha’Allah, I’m going to share with you exactly how that judgement plays into that and also what you can do to actually find your way out of this problem.
In my coaching practice, I see this all the time. I speak to people and we have these amazing sessions where we’re trying to figure out what’s actually going on.
And in the end, it occurs to me that it’s self-inflicted a lot of the time. Unintentional, of course.
No one wants to judge themselves, but somehow, we end up doing it.
This is a difficulty that many people face. I’ve personally suffered from this for many years actually.
It’s something that I didn’t even realise at one point. When you’re striving so hard, you’re killing yourself to make your life happen the way you want it.
Always feeling like it’s never enough, that you are never enough. This feeling is the feeling of being judged.
It’s like being overwhelmed by the sheer intensity of life. But it’s almost like you’re doing it to yourself, and you don’t realise it.
It can be completely debilitating. It can zap the energy and enthusiasm out of your life.
No one likes to admit that but many people feel it. And they carry this with themselves on a daily basis.
In my life I’ve seen two types of successful people.
This is a generalisation, so this is not absolute. But let’s just say, for argument’s sake, there are two types.
I’ve been teaching adults for a while and you see some trends. People end up trusting you and they start to seek advice.
One example is a successful person who’s doing great in different areas of their lives. They’re doing great in their career, great in their businesses.
Financially they’re secure. They’ve got a busy social life. And amidst all of that, there’s things missing.
They just don’t know what it is.
People like to develop themselves and be better and better as life goes on. But in the midst of that, when there’s this constant feeling of no matter what I do I don’t feel good.
What tends to happen is the introspective look becomes more of a challenge.
You start to challenge and question yourself and doubt whether or not you make the right decisions, because everyone else seems to be happy.
That’s what you say to yourself.
“Everyone else seems to be happy. They’re all doing great. All my friends and colleagues are doing great. But here’s me,it doesn’t matter what I do, there’s always this feeling inside me that just really doesn’t go away.”
It really bugs you.
That’s the one sort of successful person.
The other type of successful person is the one who achieves all of that.
They have a great career. They have the family, and the children, they’re doing things in life.
But in the midst of that, they always feel like their life doesn’t square up with the picture of what they assumed their life would be like.
So they’re always bashing themselves.
These are two different examples of what seems to be success but in both cases, for different reasons, people struggle. In both cases, self-judgement plays a pivotal role.
I’ve done this myself.
We try to develop ourselves so we set ourselves these standards, these goals, and when they’re not met, we end up judging ourselves.
We end up beating ourselves up over it. You end up feeling isolated and alone.
The good news is that you are never alone.
In their struggles, people can end up believing that they’re the only one because the people they compare themselves to don’t have the same issues.
Or even if they do, they don’t openly discuss it.
People are very private about these things. They don’t want to share their vulnerabilities.
The feeling of being alone is a large part of the problem. It causes people to feel that there is no way out of this challenge.
Solving and Overcoming the Problem
I guarantee you that there’s always a way out.
Because Allah (swt) says in the Quran,
وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا
“And whoever has Taqwa of Allah, Allah will make a way out for them.”
That’s a promise from the One who created you and brought you into this world. You will always find a way out!
Even if you feel that your local community absolutely sucks. They don’t support you. They don’t give you what you need.
Your friends, your family, they’re not giving you what you need. You feel like you don’t have that support network and you feel completely socially isolated.
Allah promises that He will give you a way out. And that’s a guarantee.
You don’t have to believe me. That is a verse of Divine Revelation.
That is a promise from your Creator. You don’t have to rely on yourself. You don’t have to figure it out. Allah will give you a solution.
There’s always a way out. Allah says,
مَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ
“Whoever has Taqwa.”
Taqwa is commonly translated as piety or fear, but comprehensively this means to have a connection with the Creator.
A connection of love and hope. A connection of fear too yes, but fear of falling foul; fear of doing things to displease your Creator.
More importantly, it’s the love and hope.
It is a guarantee ; Allah promises it. If you’ve tried, and you’ve not found what you needed, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
It just means the things you’ve tried didn’t solve your problems.
You have to try things that you haven’t tried before. You have to look in places that you haven’t looked before.
As a Coach, whenever I deal with problems, I see one common factor playing out over and over again in different lives.
We are always looking for a quick fix. We don’t want to invest time or energy.
We might even want to go to the doctors and get a prescription for some medication, that will just suppress the problems and let us get on with life the way it is.
But that’s a large part of the problem.
Trust and Reliance in Allah
The way that we have been living up until now is a contributing factor to why we suffer.
You can’t expect to find a solution from a place where the problem was created. You have to change the place, so you have to change the thinking.
Only by doing that can we find a solution. By doing that, you can absolutely trust and rely on the fact that Allah has made you a promise.
But here’s the bad news.
What you’ve done up until now may not have worked for you and you know that already.
Maybe it made things a little easier. But you’re still searching because it hasn’t solved the problem.
That’s how suppressants work. Suppressants and life hacks don’t work in the long term. They only help us cope for a short time before the problem resurfaces.
And over time, it can get worse.
So Allah tells us very clearly here. If you rely on Him, if you turn to Him and have hope in Him, then you will be provided with a way out.
It’s not that you’re going to fix it, but you will be provided with a way out.
Having hope means going out and looking beyond your comfort zone. Beyond what you’re comfortable with.
Reliance on Allah means being able to believe in the solution, believing in that guarantee. And knowing that it must exist, even though you haven’t found it.
You can and you will find a solution. There’s no doubt about it.
There is never a problem that’s too large for Allah. He is Ar Rahman, Ar Rahim, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.
Even when you judge yourself for not being good enough, or worthy enough, the mercy of Allah is so vast; the compassion so encompassing that you won’t be able to escape it.
In fact, you’ll find that it already exists in every area of your life.
It’s just difficult for you to see it when you’re in so much pain.
Change the Challenge with Courage
Challenges in life come and go for every human being. That’s a fact. No one goes without them.
But people keep themselves occupied with anything that will help them to stay distracted from what’s actually happening.
That’s something that I’ve seen over and over again.
We like to keep ourselves busy, whether we’re busy reading stuff or training in stuff or binge binge-watching movies etc.
People are busy doing stuff, and keeping ourselves busy is similar to sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich, hoping that the challenges will go away.
You don’t have to do that because Allah is always there, always taking care of us. The challenges that are often self-inflicted, or even inflicted by others don’t have to be your life.
You can change it at any point.
The door is always open. So don’t give up. Become resourceful. Become daring and take a leap of faith. That’s what it takes.
Get out of your comfort zone. You have to get out of what you’ve been doing because obviously, that’s not working.
Yet, it doesn’t mean the solution doesn’t exist, because there’s a guaranteed solution.
It’s a matter of your faith that will raise you above your challenges.
You’ve got to believe in it to make it happen. That faith will increase your chances of finding a quicker solution.
But quicker doesn’t mean you’ll find it quickly. If you’ve tried everything and nothing worked, then all you have found are ways that aren’t giving you the solution.
You may have knocked on countless doors seeking solutions, but the solution may lie behind the next one.
So you’ve knocked on maybe 1000 doors but it could be door number 1001 that has your solution.
That’s a big number. The truth is that most people try a little, they get nowhere near 1000.
They try a little and then they give up. They try two, three times, four times maybe; MAX!
Then they get frustrated and give themselves a hard time. And then they give up, thinking: “This is my lot in life.”
And it’s not. There is a promise there for you.
Now, judgement is where we started with this.
Judgement is something we see more and more in our own lives. It’s self-inflicted and it also comes from the outside.
We judge each other, ourselves, our families, our husbands, our wives, our bosses, our colleagues.
We’ve become the judge and we hate it at the same time. Because it makes you feel awful.
We can agree that you don’t like to be judged by other people, but you have the option to stay away from them.
The challenge you have when you judge yourself is that you can’t stay away from yourself. You wake up and there you are, you turn and look in the mirror, and there you are.
You’re having breakfast, and no one else is making a sound but you hear you.
You never leave yourself. You can leave others who judge you but you can’t leave yourself.
But, you can leave the judgement.
You can just decide TODAY that I’m no longer going to judge myself and demolish myself and absolutely do my own head in.
We do our own heads in. We judge ourselves to the state where we absolutely demolish our confidence, our self-esteem, our belief in ourselves.
And then we think that circumstances have inflicted them.
If you feel like you’re not good enough, remember that you’re not the one who created the Heavens and the Earth. You’re not the one that created you.
You’re not the one that sustains your heart. You don’t make your heart beat. Allah makes it beat. So all you have to do is submit to the Creator.
And rely on Allah. If you don’t feel like you can rely on yourself, let go. You don’t have to sit there judging yourself.
Knowing What To Let Go Of
Let go of what you’re using to beat yourself up with. Those expectations.
The worst thing is to continue to judge yourself because you will never allow yourself to get out of that pit that you find yourself in.
On the one hand, you’re listening to YouTube videos or motivational talks, to get you pumped up and motivated. And as soon as that finishes, you beat yourself up.
You give yourself a hard time and knock your confidence.
Recognising that you have the power to let go is the first thing.Recognising that you’re doing it to yourself is really important.
If the problem disappeared, you wouldn’t judge yourself, would you?
If those problems disappeared you’d be too focused on how great life is. You’d be enjoying the blessings.
And oh yes, you actually have blessings in your life right now.
However, sometimes you can’t feel it because you’re too busy focusing on the feeling of not being enough, not being the person you want to be.
This comes from your own set of rules and expectations. But even that has a solution.
There is nothing without a solution.
The minute you start relying on Allah, you can stop relying on yourself. You can take life to new heights and new levels, new successes and levels of contentment, just by relying on Allah.
In that verse, Allah says,
مَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ
Whoever has Taqwa of Allah, then they don’t need to find their way out. Allah will give them a way out. They just need to look.
It’s important that we understand the components of this.
Taqwa is hope.
Hope is knowing that Allah will give you a solution. Hope is not a wish.
Wishful thinking won’t help you. Hope is knowing that Allah will give you a solution, and it’s waiting for that. It’s going out and looking for that.
It’s something that will absolutely transform your life, relying on the Ever-Living; relying on the only One that can always be relied on.
You don’t need to rely on yourself. You just need to rely on the One who’s always sustaining your life, who’s always given you everything you need.
You won’t find it until you stop relying on yourself and start relying on the All-Powerful.
We can become as powerful as we want if we rely on Allah(swt); the All-Powerful.
That’s your support network! That’s what you need! If you turn to that source of power in your life, then you can have just about anything.
There’s nothing you can’t reach. There’s no success that can’t be reached in your life.
Your potential is absolutely unlimited if you rely on the All-Powerful, the one who gives us everything.
The only thing that stands between us and that is our judgement. Sometimes, in judging ourselves we actually curb our ability to even think straight.
You lose your power by judging yourself. All you have to do is let go and rely on Allah.
Does that mean you don’t take action?
No, absolutely not. You have to take action. But the action will follow the certain belief.
When you have those thoughts that you become absolutely certain of, you will become motivated.
You will have the drive that you need and you will take the correct action.
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