J is for judgement

judgeEvery day we make judgements. Most of them are needed: is it safe to cross the road? What task needs to be done next? Who should I trust? Some of them are harmful: What I’ve done here is useless. This is a waste of time. I’m not worth it.

One thing that I’ve recently realised and come to notice more and more is that we judge others differently to how we judge ourselves. We can be really hard on ourselves at times. And yet we’re not even comparing like for like. We often compare what we feel inside with what we see from the outside of others, and judge ourselves as sadly lacking somewhere along the line. In reality, our outside is probably much the same as their outside, and our inside is probably very similar to their inside.

Have you ever listened to someone give a talk, and marvelled at how calm they seemed, only to hear them say afterwards how nervous they were? Have you ever considered how much better someone else looks or performs, while having no idea how hard they’ve worked to achieve that?

One thing I learned with the jantastic running challenge was that many of the people I run with every Saturday, most of whom are a lot faster than me, run regularly during the week as well. They don’t just turn up on a Saturday, run fast, and then do nothing for the rest of the week. Once I started running regularly during the week, I got faster too.

When I read someone’s writing, and fear that I’ll never be that good, I’m not seeing the weeks and months and years of hard work that’s gone into developing their skills, I’m just looking at the end product. Just like ducks, where all the effort is below the water, the effort people make is hidden, and all we see is the peaceful gliding, while we’re bitterly aware of our thrashing legs as we try to move as fast.

My writing has slowed because I’m too busy judging my own work; I’m looking at what I produce and considering it not worth the effort; poor quality; pointless. I need to move past that, forget the judging and just do. Because each day you should be looking not for the rewards, but for theĀ opportunities that come.

Leave a comment


  1. Hear! Hear! Beautifully said.

  2. One of the hardest things we’ll do as writers is turning off that voice in our heads…that voice puts doubt in our minds and keeps us from being our best. The only way to (somewhat) silence it is to keep writing in spite of it. Eventually your confidence helps you listen to it less!

    Visiting from the A to Z signup page. Great to meet you!

    Stephanie Faris, author


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