“The highest form of human intelligence is to observe yourself without judgement.” ~Jiddu Krishnamurti
I teach acting. Acting is an art! The actor is one of the most courageous beings you will ever meet. They put themselves out there to be watched, while being aware that they will be judged. This causes many of them to be hard on themselves.
I work with actors who have been in films that they won’t even watch, fearful of how they will come across on the big screen, and worried that they will hate what they see. Others I work with will watch their films and dissect every little part they disliked! Every little piece!
Judgement can cripple us! Judgement causes us to label ourselves and others. “I am too expressive! I am too fat. I look old. I am not as good as she is.” And when we judge ourselves we will also judge others: “She is lazy. He is cheap. She is too loud. He is overdramatic. They are both needy.” And the judging can go on and on and on…
What does an actor do? Heck, what does a person do? HOW CAN WE STOP JUDGING?
How do we take on Jiddu Krishnamurti’s advice and observe ourselves and others without judgement?
While we observe ourselves and others, lets be curious instead.
What would happen if we replaced judgment with curiosity and interest?
Here is what we could transform by being more Interested and less Judgmental! We can increase these 3 things:
Increasing our interest and curiosity as we observes ourselves and others will lead to higher creativity. According to best selling author Gary Douglas, founder of Access Consciousness, a 20 year old self-awareness method offered in 25 countries world-wide: “Judgment is one of the greatest limitations to creativity, including creating your life.” How does he recommend to get past judgement? “One way Douglas recommends is to remind yourself vigorously and repeatedly that every point of view you have is not significant or true, but no more important than ‘just an interesting point of view.’
Limiting your judgements and increasing your interest can open up possibilities. When we judge ourselves, we limit our observations. We basically label ourselves something. But if we get interested in what it is we are judging, we can gain knowledge to why something is the way it is. We can find compassion behind the judgement. For instance, if you are someone who rages from time to time, it is understandable why you would judge yourself to be crazy after an episode of this behavior. But if you get interested in why you rage; what happens to your body inside when the raging occurs? What triggers your rage? What else is going on for you during these episodes? If you allow yourself the time to be curious about your observation, a realm of possibilities can now enter your thought process. Perhaps you rage when you feel threatened, and it is your survival instinct. Now you can pay attention to that instead of limiting yourself to a label that suggests you are crazy, and something is wrong with you! Imagine for actors what this opens up! When an actors plays a character who has a negative flaw, they can now become curious about it. If you don’t judge, but instead become interested in the flaw, what will that open up for you?
Judgement creates barriers. When you judge yourself, you cannot appreciate you for who you are! When I watch my clients perform, I appreciate them…all of them, even their mistakes. Most of the time, I appreciate my clients more than they appreciate themselves. They have already categorized themselves as looking silly; not prepared not enough; or just no good. Their Critical Parent has kicked in, and I want to be the nurturer during these moments, but I am not always there with my clients on their auditions to do this. And so, when I get my clients to appreciate themselves for who they are, without them being who they want or think they should be, they let go! They enjoy their performances and become more playful. When we limit our judgements about others, we can appreciate them on higher levels. It is a win win for all!