We all know “the survival of the fittest”, reflex action, automatic response, unconscious competency … all these shout out one truth of human being – to survive. Unknown to many, everyone of us has an internal Judge in us since we were young whom existence was to keep us safe and to survive tough and difficult situations, experiences or emotions we were going through. “Don’t be sad it is not your fault, you are just too weak, you have never been strong.” Judge whispered to me so that I won’t be hurt by my own mistake. “Don’t need to try so hard, you will never succeed.” my Judge would say this to prevent me from the pain of failure. In childhood, this might served us well and helpful but as adult, the Judge is triggering in us a whole list of negative emotions. The Judge co-exists in every part of our life.
The Judge would hijack us from our true happiness and higher potentials.
Globally we are all moving and adapting a new way of living and going about our lives, career and interaction with others. This is the “new normal” and it might stay this way for a long time until a vaccine for Covid-19 is found. However, as we mitigate through this VUCA times (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity), the internal Judge would emerge to prevent and avoid possible pains associated with unknown, failures, mistakes and uncomfortable zones while going through crisis. Crisis forces us to change things. Crisis bursts the bubbles we were in – “it is safer to stay status quo”, “this mindset of doing things have been working so far”.
The Judge was judging myself. Two years ago due to Visa issue, I was not able to be in Malaysia for six months. Meanwhile, I have had on task to deliver talks every week in Malaysia. I remembered using iPad, iCloud, on site laptop and a projector, I managed to conduct the virtual talks weekly. I could even do live annotations!! A year ago, I started to have clients both in Singapore and Malaysia. To reduce frequency of traveling between countries, I started virtual coaching. In many ways I was ahead in virtual interactions. With COVID-19, many trainers and coaches are moving virtual. Webinar, Facebook Live, and online training are springing up everywhere. My Judge was judging me :”What’s wrong with you? People are catching up and doing even better than you! Look! 3 months and not one new engagement or client!”
The Judge was judging others. Working from home is not easy with an energetic less than 2 years old, fighting for your attentions and draining out your energy. Movement Restrictions made taking a stroll for fresh air an chargeable offense. Being a startup entrepreneur, doing my sales campaign, learning to create sales funnel, writing blogs, clinching interviews on podcast etc,. It was painful and tiring. Many times my Judge whispered into my ears:” Your wife is not supportive in your career. She does not care. You are fighting alone, man.”
The Judge was judging the situation. This pandemic came as a surprise and as any crisis, situations were unpredictable, uncontrollable and unknown. For almost a whole month in March, I blamed everything that was happening for my lack of success, projects not moving forward and tasks not completed. The Judge’s lies placed the problems away from my own responsibility.
The Judges in trying to “protect me”, telling me lies that resulting in me being angry with myself, others and the situations. I was not happy. The lies shielded me from becoming a better me, to own my problems.
I am glad that I have grown to be more aware of my own Judge Saboteur. This allows me to shift from its lies and all those negative emotions, to access the insights and compassion of my inner leader. Now I can make better assessments, decisions and choices. I have learn to surf with the waves of crisis. In last two months, I have completed 6 weeks online lessons on my YouTube Channel “Into Crisis, Onto Champion – Building Characters”, involved with “ICW 2020 Embracing the Unknown” by the ICF Malaysia Chapters, and yes, I will be in an interview in a US popular radio show in early June.
Don’t let your Judge sabotages you in the”New Normal”. It is in VUCA times and yes, Crisis consists of “Danger” as well as “Opportunities”. MCO is My Creative Opportunities.