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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?