Journaling to be Less Judgemental

 

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The potential of journaling for personal development is infinite. You can quite literally use it for anything you want to improve, weaknesses you want to overcome. It doesn’t mean it’s easy. But it is possible. 

If you are truly one of the rare people who is not at all judgemental, congratulations. In my experience, most of us are judgemental to one degree or another. Some people have more control than others over expressing their judgements, but if you are judgemental even in the privacy of your own head, you are judgemental. Perhaps fairly, but perhaps also unfairly. I know I certainly do that from time to time. 

So how can you use journaling to be less judgemental? Here are three ways:

  1. Write down when you are judging people. 
    Find yourself judging someone? Assuming something about someone? First step is to write it down when it happens. Don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t make excuses. Write down who you are judging and exactly why you are judging them. During this step, you will probably feel all self-righteous and perfectly justified in your opinion. Revel in it. 
  2. Write down when you realise you are wrong.
    This when you realise…um I was wrong. I judged too quickly, or without complete information, or just through my own self-centred view. Okay, if your judgement had been openly expressed, first you need to apologize (and mean it) of course. Then comes the worse part. Private confession. Journal about it. Journal about why you were wrong, how it made you feel, and why that makes you a bad/weak/normal human being (depending on how hard you are on yourself). Be honest. 
  3. When you are judgemental again, remind yourself about the times you were wrong. 
    This is where the evolution comes in. You are aware that you can be judgemental. You are aware that you can be unfairly judgemental. So what are you going to do about it? If you’ve written down step 1 and step 2, at least two or three times, this process will stick in your memory. It will remind you that you are capable of…wait for it…being WRONG. And so when you are forming judgements or assumptions again, you may remember (that quiet voice in the back of your head perhaps?) that you may be wrong this time, so hold off on the judgement. Remind yourself constantly. Write it down. And quiet down that voice of judgement and give other people a chance to actually prove themselves through their actions. 

Remember, honesty (at least to yourself) is essential. Unless you admit the truth to yourself, you will have neither enough self-awareness nor authenticity. And if you are lying to yourself, then you will never get started with self-growth. Weaknesses and failings are okay. They are and will always continue to be a part of our humanity. But ignoring those failings, or shrugging them off is not okay. If you strive to be better, to overcome your flaws, to be kinder and nicer to everyone who crosses your path – you may not always succeed, but you will bring out more smiles and gratitude than if you hadn’t tried at all. 

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:

Start writing in your journal today. Who did you judge recently, why? And were you wrong to do so?

 

 

3 Ways to Overcome Inner Resistance

 

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I have a bad habit of immediately resisting things that I’m told/ordered to do or change. If someone tells me to do something that I think I don’t like, or is not my thing, my first instinct is to say no. But as I have come to learn, first instinct is not always right. I’m okay with change. In fact, I love it – when I choose it, or when I decide to go with it. But when it’s forced on me, I resist. Generally, if I put my mind to something I can learn or do anything. But if I decide that I don’t want to do it, then it’s almost always a disaster. Not necessarily the right way to go about things, particularly as I do believe in making the best of circumstances and situation one is in. 

Here’s the truth most of us don’t like to hear: Change – whether chosen or not – is an opportunity for growth. Yes, it’s almost always challenging, often uncomfortable or painful. But it is also always an instrument of character growth. 

Inner resistance is much harder to fight than external resistance. When other people or circumstances are trying to stop you from getting what you want, you can fight it, push past it, and consider it an achievement of your will. Overcoming that outer resistance is a trait most of us value, immensely. Inner resistance on the other hand is a whole another problem. Inner resistance comes from within. It’s barriers you’ve created or acquired over the years. Inner resistance plays on your fears, even fuels them. It makes you thinks that you believe in something, and so should resist things that are seemingly opposite. Inner resistance comes in many guises and is a pain in the ass to overcome. But you have to overcome it. Because inner resistance is you holding yourself back. That’s worse than letting other people or circumstances hold you back. Allowing your inner resistance to win is to limit yourself. 

I try the following things to overcome my inner resistance. It doesn’t always work (because I’m very stubborn) but it’s a work-in-progress:

 

  1. Admit it (at least to yourself)
    I may or may not admit it to people, but I admit the truth to myself, in my journal. You have to accept that your resistance is without any rational or justification. You have to accept that you are resisting for the sake of it, or out of fear or ignorance, or out of objection to change, or another similar negative reason. You have to accept that and be honest with yourself, because until you do, you will always be on defensive, trying to fuel that resistance by building up arguments in favour of it. 
  2. Force yourself to do things you have not done before, and didn’t think you would want to
    If I needed more evidence that change of mind, heart and preferences is entirely possible – my current enthusiasm about football (soccer) would be enough proof. I believed my whole life that I had no interest in sports, that it was boring. As it turns out, not really, and I actually enjoy it. That’s a minor example, but the horizons it expands are limitless. I’m now trying to expand my horizons further, to try more things that I have not tried before, perhaps things that I’ve been resistant too – and even if I don’t like all of it, at least I would have learned something, and perhaps discovered a few more things I enjoy. 
  3. Surround yourself with the right people 
    This is essential. You want to surround yourself with the people who encourage you, call you out on your bullshit when required, but still provide positive support. It’s not an easy thing, and it’s not something that everyone can provide. So when you find people like that, appreciate their value. Treat them like gold, because they are precious. These relationships are invaluable. Right people make all the difference. Just as negative people make it difficult to retain positivity, the right people push you to be a better version of you. 

Do you have more tips on overcoming inner resistance? Share them in the comments below. And remember, this is a continuous journey. None of us are ever going to reach perfection. We are never going to be the best human beings who ever existed, but we can continuously keep striving to be a better version of ourselves. Each day. Baby steps. Through these baby steps, we can be Kaizen Warriors

 

 

On Birthdays and New Beginnings

 

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My Third Birthday Party

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.

Oprah Winfrey

Today is my 32nd birthday. Convention is to settle down in one’s thirties, mine started with major overhaul of my entire life. So it’s a whole new type of settling down now, but the journey’s been rewarding, and life experiences gained – priceless. 

Recently, on April 17th, it was third anniversary of Kaizen Journaling. Between that and my birthday, there are a lot of new ideas merging in my mind, new beginnings on personal level and for Kaizen Journaling. But the ideas are still marinating, and I haven’t had time to execute them yet, hence there has been no contest or other such usual post. However, stay tuned. New, exciting things are coming. 

Every year on your birthday, you get a chance to start new.

Sammy Hagar 

I like special days. I love birthdays too. Yes, you can start new things on any day of the year, but I feel like special days give one an official day to begin new things. It’s no surprise that so many people try to start something on January 1st. 

Each birthday is a new year of your life. Yes, you are growing old, but that is because you are lucky enough to still be alive. Think about the people we all know who died too young. So, each year when you can say that I’m “old”, is another year of life’s blessing. Each year accumulated is 365 days full of experiences and feelings, of days when you left your footprints in the world, touched people’s hearts. 

Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time.

Jean Paul

Birthdays are about celebration of your life, of your being. Surround yourself with people who appreciate that, who make that little bit of effort to make you feel like they are glad that you are here, in this world, and in their lives. My plan today is to spend a lovely evening some of my very good friends, each of whom, I’m grateful for. There are other important people – unfortunately, not in the same country – whom I am not celebrating with, but they matter too. No matter how you define success, or personal satisfaction, none of it is ever enough unless you have people in your life to enjoy it with. Your birthday then is just another way to remind yourself of the people, and of the relationships that matter. 

I like birthday cake. It’s so symbolic. It’s a tempting symbol to load with something more complicated than just ‘Happy Birthday!’ because it’s this emblem of childhood and a happy day.

Aimee Bender

And finally, that’s what birthday is: a simple joy. A reminder to enjoy little things, to stop and just celebrate, to not be cynical about getting old or not having achieved enough or not being where we want to be – because as long as we are here, we have the opportunity to keep moving. A birthday is just another reminder that you are surviving, you are living, and that you can carry on.

So carry on…

Celebrate each year because it is worth celebrating…

and enjoy the journey. 

 

 

 

5 Reasons Why Negative People Are Bad For Positive People

 

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Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A world of optimism and hope. A ‘you can do it’ when things are tough.

– Richard M. DeVos

People who have a positive outlook on life have already won half the battle. Their glass is always half-full. They have a way of looking at life events, and looking at the good side of things, rather than the worst of it. They have a way of making the best of things, even setbacks. One of the things positive people do is to try and encourage negative people out of their negativity. They continuously tend to offer positive reinforcement. But constantly being surrounded by negative people can wear them down too. Here are some reasons why being constantly surrounded by negative people is bad for positive people:

  1. They don’t realise that positive people need positive reinforcement too. May be not to the same degree as negative people, but positive people still need the support. Their positivity is not an infinite source. It needs to be replenished, and the best way to do it is through being surrounded by positive atmosphere.
  2. Negative people drain energy. You spend so much of your time trying to make them feel better about themselves, and increase their self-esteem that it gets frustrating, particularly if all of their positivity boost is extrinsic.
  3. They find problems for all solutions. Their glass is always half empty, so instead of just drinking what they have, they keep waving it about, complaining how empty it is, and spill what they already have.
  4. They don’t inspire or encourage you to be your best. Deep down most of us want an easy life. Comfort is the enemy of progress, because if we are comfortable we don’t need to strive for anything. Negative people are too busy finding flaws with everything, to inspire themselves to be their best self, let alone pushing you.
  5. They are not the best this world has to offer. Yes, the world is full of shit, and full of legitimate issues. And of course we all complain, are unhappy or mopy from time to time. But wallowing in negativity changes nothing. It just wears down positive people too.

Therefore, if you are a negative person, remember to appreciate and value those who bring positivity into your life. If you are a positive person, make sure you are not letting negative people rob you off your positive energy.