Don't judge yourself
In today's episode, I want to talk about not judging yourself. I'm going to dive into that in a second.
Read on for the full episode transcription or listen to the podcast episode here
Okay, so not judging yourself. The idea of this came up actually, when I was recording Monday's episode, I am really in the thick of it at the moment. I'm directing a very big project, which has me run ragged, a little bit. And this is just always the way it is, especially big client projects, not even necessarily big client projects but projects where there is kind of a lot to work out. There's lots of details, there's lots of tech involved, or there's lots of people involved. And the week or two running up to the production are usually pretty hectic. Because naturally, you can plan and plan and plan but usually there's things that fall through the cracks. And you kind of know that a week or two running up to it, you are going to be the ironing out of the cracks. I've got to stop saying crack.
I've kind of gotten to a place where now, although it's kind of strange, because I'm coming off the back of obviously a much quieter period than it would normally be due to the pandemic and I've never really fully understood that I actually quite enjoy that hectic period, this this week or two. I know this, specifically, like when you're listening to this, the productions already finished, because we were doing the the bulk of it on Monday and so you're listening to a pre production Alex, and probably the next time you hear my voice, you'll be listening to a post production, Alex. And you'll probably hear the difference in my voice probably slightly less tired, probably slightly more like riding on high. I'm not sure when I plan to record Friday's episode yet but here's the key - I don't judge myself.
This has only really been a really recent practice which I've started to put into place. I go through periods of being super hectic and that means that I don't see my family or friends as much. And I don't reply to messages. I kind of let things, other things kind of fall back in terms of priority in my life. I don't judge myself that these podcast episodes might not be the absolute best podcast episodes that I've ever put out in the world. I don't judge myself, I don't judge myself. If I decide that after this project, I don't want to do another VR project for two months, because I'm burned out and I just don't, I'm just going to step away from it. I'm not going to judge myself for that. And although I am really, really into this idea of action based goals and consistency, and you know, showing up and I know that I've really, really enjoyed showing up and doing the podcast. And there was a part of me, though, that was thinking, well, maybe I should take a week off for this week because I just know that I'm going to be tired and stressed and my brain is going to be all over the place. Does anyone even want to listen to that? Then today I was like - you know what, I'm not going to judge myself. My goal was to show up and do three podcast episodes every week and some of them I'm hoping will be solid gold for you. Some of them will really help you in your business. Some of them will really help you just with your day. Like maybe they'll bring a bit of laughter into your life or maybe they'll give you that motivational kick that you needed. But some sometimes they won't and that's okay too. But I don't judge myself and I'm trying not to and I think you should do that too. You should think about the areas where you're going, just you know I really want to do this but I just can't at the moment, like the kids are, you know, going back to school and it means XYZ or whatever. Or maybe you want to be healthier but just can't because you just can't afford as much fresh food or don't have the time to cook a healthy meal. Don’t judge yourself. And I think this is a fine line, right? Because there's a line between not judging yourself and being a total asshole. Like sometimes people use, you know, not judging themselves and being really kind to themselves as an excuse to not do the things that they really want to do. So there is also an element of self awareness in here. For me, if I didn't record this podcast episode, I know that the reason is not because I didn't want to record a podcast episode, not because I didn’t have the time to record a podcast episode either because I've always got 5/10 minutes, even if I'm really busy. And I really love it. But the truth is, if I didn't record this episode, it would have been because I was like - oh, well, I just feel like the quality won't be as good and I don't want people to judge me for putting out like, a bit more of like a conversational and all over the place episode because I'm not in the best frame of mind. I know that the reason that I wouldn't have shown up to do this, if I didn't, would have been for those reasons, not because I didn't want to do it. And not because I didn't know it was the right thing to do. So sometimes you have to look at what you want to achieve and look at what you're aiming towards. Whether that be a better work life balance, or whether that be building a business or whether that be building a sustainable wage for yourself, or building towards your next art project, because you’ve got something you want to say to the world or whatever it might be. If you know that, that's the next goal, set yourself some actionable goals, not results based goals. Don't let quality and people's opinion of you and those subjective things that we all love to get in our own heads about but actually fundamentally are just the things that will stop us from achieving long term. Don't think about them. Don't let them get to you.
We'll think about them because you can't not think about them, because it's impossible not to think, because we're humans. But don't let them stop you. Don't judge yourself. Don't let your inner critic stop you from doing things. But also, don't judge yourself. If you can't show up that week, for very practical reasons. Don't judge yourself. If you were fully on the bandwagon with emailing 10 people a day or getting out and taking photographs for an hour every day but then something comes up in life and you're busy, or you land, you know, a different project or your 9 to 5 starts creeping in or demands more of you or your kid gets sick and you have to look after them. Or even if you just want to take a break because you're not enjoying what you're doing. Don't judge yourself.
So yeah, that's all I have to say, really. I feel like I stunned myself with that passion at the end there. I write myself weekly goals every single week, every week, I've found that this works for me, it doesn't work for everyone but I find that if I break my goals down into annual goals and weekly goals, that for me is like the best kind of breakdown.
If I do them daily, then I feel like I've not accomplished enough, if I don't get round to everything, which is I know isn’t true but I know for me that my I prefer to go after weekly goals. It also gives you more time and allows that fluctuation. Some days you'll wake up and not want to record a podcast episode and other days you will and so I set myself weekly goals, action based goals that are all action based known, although some of them are results based. It's just a show up action.
So whether that be, you know, a morning walk every day, that's an action based goal, it doesn’t matter if it's five minutes, doesn't matter if it's 20 minutes, doesn't have to be a really energetic walk, it could be just like a slouchy, walk around the block sort of walk but every day, I'm showing up for that morning walk, going out there and getting it done. I have an action based goal to record these podcasts, recording these podcasts three times a week. I'm not judging myself if they're crap. I'm not judging myself if you know they're not the best things I've ever put out. So think about that. Think about what goals do you want to set for yourself with this project that I'm working on?
I can get really in my own head. A lot of like imposter syndrome coming in, especially on a project as big as this. I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say, this is going to be a really pioneering project in terms of the tech we're using, in terms of the kind of reason we're creating it; how we're creating it; everything about it is quite boundary pushing. I'm not going to judge myself for not feeling like I'm good enough to do this project. I'm not going to judge myself for letting that creep in, I'm not going to judge myself for getting on the rehearsal zooms with the actors and being kind of overwhelmed with how much there is to take in. I'm not going to judge myself, I'm going to do my best. I'm going to show up, I'm not going to let you know those kind of thoughts stop me from doing things, but I'm not going to judge myself for it.
So I want that to be the parting message to you. What are you stopping yourself from doing because you're judging yourself?
It just felt very apt for me to be talking about this right now, because literally one of my weekly goals, is to not judge myself. I've written that in big letters, just get through this week. Do not judge yourself. That's what it says. Because I've acknowledged this week is not a crush it in every element of my life week. This week is a grind, tired, stressed, overwhelmed, lots to think about. These are the core things for me > morning walk, record the podcast, get through this week, and be ready to go into next week and give my absolute best at directing this project, but not to judge myself.
So what are your action based goals for next week? And what are you going to do without judgement? How are you going to show up and not judge yourself? What areas of your life can you apply this to?
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