Updated: Dec 30, 2020
Eleanor Roosevelt had it right when she said, “What other people think of me is none of my business.” I would like to propose that collectively we start to replace judgment with witness. It is much more productive for each of us to show up fully present and ready to witness, as opposed to judge. This includes how we witness our own actions and reactions. If we are present as witnesses, how does that inform the narrative that plays in our heads? That voice is a choice - everyday, at all times of the day.
I own the narrative playing in my head. I own the words that represent me internally and externally. It serves my values and intent better to continually bear witness to them, as opposed to judging them, which can create a vicious cycle of negativity. My effort should be in learning from what I witness. What word patterns exist? Which words no longer serve me? The same holds true for any judgment from others, as Mrs. Roosevelt proposes. There is no value in holding onto the negative words of others, words that overshadow your truth. Be specific with the voice in your head and connect it to what is in your heart.
Adapted from my upcoming book, The Words We Choose: Why it Matters. (publish date 8.20.20)