One of the most powerful phrases I came across during my coach certification was: “Nothing has meaning until you give it meaning.” For me specifically, the meaning came from a place of judgment as to whether the particular event fed my ego or deflated it.
No, I wasn’t a narcissist. Quite the opposite actually. I’m a recovering codependent. Regardless of the label, each of us was wounded in some shape or form in the past …. And not once either.
My judgment came from those wounds. It’s a self-defense mechanism from getting hurt again. So, because I didn’t feel valued as a child I had this inner need to go to best college and get the highest paying job so that I can validate myself. Anyone who didn’t, in my mind, was lazy and unfit to live in the land of opportunity … and oh by the way I’m an immigrant:)
Lazy, unfit … as you can see those are all labels that helped me make sense of my world and gave me a sense of purpose. The unintended consequence being a tunnel vision that rarely looked past those judgments.
Lessening judgment is not easy though. There are no shortcuts. While I have come a long way, I find it most helpful to use my reactions to others as a mirror.
For instance, I used to make fun of people who took time to get to know themselves. For me that was such a waste of time, which would be much better spent if used for productive activities with a much more tangible return on investments such as MBA, certifications or an additional job.
Recently I heard this quote: “Behind every fear is a wish.” And so for me, making fun of “space cadets” masked my own fear of stepping away from the habitual human doing to reconnect with my inner human being. Oh, and by the way, as an added bonus I realized that guiding others through the same process is something that I want to do full time.
So, what ticks you off about others? What is the wish that is hidden behind that fear?