One of the biggest challenges people often face in counseling (and in life) is self judgement. Often as they begin to unpack their behaviors and notice things they want to change, they can slip into a place where they criticize the old behaviors that are no longer serving them.
Unfortunately, this common response can actually anchor in that behavior more deeply. The shame or irritation that comes with this new awareness can create further damage to our self esteem and slow our progress towards emotional healing.
Healing happens in an open space of grace and forgiveness. Allowing ourselves to see our patterns and behaviors with openness and acceptance will also allow shifts to happen more easily and effortlessly.
The one tool that is most effective is the use of the following two words:
Try this activity for one week:
Choose a behavior or pattern that you'd like to shift.
Notice when you are actively engaged in that behavior or pattern.
Say to yourself with deep curiosity "That's Interesting".
Ask yourself what thought or behavior are you interested in pursuing instead.
See if you can try putting that in place even if it's just for a moment.
When we replace judgement with curiosity, awareness grows as well as our ability to make new choices in the moment. When we are not sidelined with self irritation and judgement, we can easily slip into gentle, peaceful awareness that opens up our ability to guide our thoughts and behaviors.