Letting Go of Judgments
Yesterday morning, I was working out with my trainer, Helen, at the gym. We were in front of the large mirrored wall and I was doing squats with a kettle bell. Around me there were guys working out and lifting weights.
The scene totally struck me.
Ten years ago, I would have been incredibly intimidated to be in the free weight area, sweating and turning pink with all the cardio and lifting work I was doing. In fact once I had even gone home and cried after a trainer made me spend the whole session in the free weight area then proceeded to tell me that now was the time for me to “get in shape” and “stop being lazy”. Okay, clearly all of the crying wasn’t just because of where I had to work out. It was because I felt judged, by that trainer and by the people around me.
In my 20s, I felt the weight of judgments all the time. Did that guy think I was attractive? Does that woman think I’m fat? What does he think of me? How does she see me? I constantly was looking at myself through the eyes of other people and wondering. And even if they weren’t actually judging me, I was judging myself. I was trying to force myself into this concept of perfection that I (or society in my head) had created. It was exhausting and I felt small.
It took me years, but I learned to let go of all of that.
It wasn’t a single thing that changed my perspective. It was archery — being around men, jokingly flirting with them all, and having a good time. It was my business — discovering that I could be completely in control of my life, my time, and (most importantly) my self-worth. It was friends — the amazing women who are in my life, each who has helped me expand into myself, love myself, and trust myself.
As I did my squats and pushups and deadlifts at the gym yesterday, I had myself in mind. My thoughts were on how strong I felt and how much healthier I was becoming, not on what the guy next to me thought of me or if other gym members thought I was overweight or chubby or whatever.
That was an amazing feeling: to be focused on who I am, on who I want to become. And to know I’ve given up so many of the judgments that were once in my head.
It’s all a process. The self-judging still creeps in at times, but it’s gotten so much better. I feel like I’m living my life now, rather than shaping my life because I’m worried about what others think.
We can all relate, can’t we?