Why Are We Hard on Ourselves?

"Here Comes the Judge" is a song and single by American soul and comedy singer Pigmeat Markham first released in 1968. Its intention was to make fun of courtroom etiquette.

This is a fact or circumstance. You may have thoughts or opinions about this circumstance.

The only relevance here is that I grew up in the '60s and '70s and internalized this phrase to pass judgment on myself, circumstances, and others.

For me, it has become a catchphrase for "The Judge" that lives in my head and in your head. Some use other names to describe this sneaky son of a gun, such as an executioner, mean girl, or monster.

A voice lives in our brains that is critical or sees all the mistakes in ourselves, others, and the circumstances of the world, whatever they may be.

Circumstances are things that we can't control, cause or cure, for example, a pandemic, the state of education, parents, teammates, policies, and state testing.

There are many circumstances to have thoughts about.

I slip in and out of believing that circumstances are the cause of all my pain. If they, the world would only change, then I would feel better. Can you relate?

The circumstances are what is making me angry, feel ashamed, guilty, causing the anxiety or worry that I'm experiencing and that disappointment, especially in others.

What if this isn't true?

These thoughts about a circumstance that creates negative feelings can greet me in the morning. When "Here Comes the Judge" sends up thoughts, they are about mistakes that I made 20 or 30 years ago or about shortcomings in my present life that have not been fixed.

There are also thoughts from "The Judge" about what is wrong with my loved ones, others, and the world?

I begin to be compared to others believing I am either superior or inferior in some way. We can be hard on ourselves.

We can also focus on the circumstances in the world.

We see them as bad, wrong, shouldn't be this way.

The pain is in the fight rather than seeing it is not the circumstance that is making me feel bad but my thoughts about it.

What if what is happening is an opportunity, a gift, or a teachable moment?

Are there circumstances in your life causing you pain that, if you thought about them differently, would be a gift? If so, what are they?

I am predicting that about now, "The Judge" in your head is screaming at what I wrote, and this is okay.

What does it sound like when "Here Comes the Judge" focuses on ourselves? We are the circumstances. What does it sound like when "The Judge" is really hard on us?

It sounds like this:

"What is wrong with you?"

"What is wrong with me?"

"What is wrong with what is happening in the world?"

"What is happening or what is wrong with this circumstance?"

Thoughts create how we feel.

The feelings are shame, disappointment, regret, guilt, fear, anxiety, anger.

When we ask, "What is wrong with Me?" the brain usually "The Judge" will answer back.

This is how "The Judge" answers:

"Without me on your rear end all the time, you would get lazy, get nothing done, and become complacent."

"If I am not punitive about all your screw-ups, then the screw-ups keep happening, happening, and happening."

"If I don't keep you in terror about the future, you're not going to work really hard right now to make sure that this future circumstance doesn't happen."

"You will no longer be able to protect yourself if I don't make you feel like "bloody hell" for the outcome."

"You must never change or grow."

"Here comes the judge" is the master of throwing up thoughts that cause our feelings of unhappiness, suffering, depression, and anxiety.

It is also what causes great conflict in our relationships with ourselves, our loved ones, those we work with, our students, colleagues, and the world.

"Here comes the judge" is factory installed.

It is hard-wiring in our brain. It exists in every human being.

"Here comes the Judge" came about from our time when we lived in caves and survival was the main pastime.

Judging, ruminating, catastrophizing every little detail is an original survival function. If you do not notice every circumstance and see it as a danger, it could mean life or death.

Most of us have lived in safety and abundance for a long time. "Here comes the Judge" has not caught up with the present.

We do not want to be unkind, judge our judge, or have an exorcism.

The solution is awareness to make "Here comes the Judge" be smaller, come less often, and show up when there is a real danger and not prehistoric imagined ones.

Awareness begins with discernment.

Seeing how the judge shows up for you is the discernment.

Be aware of when 'Here comes the Judge" shows up in your life.

It's easier to journal, write down the thoughts to see how "Here comes the Judge" is whispering in your ear or screaming at you!

Catch that judge with a pen or pencil.

I am also available for a discovery call to talk more specifically about how "The Judge" causes pain in your life and makes you really hard on yourself.

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All my best,



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