for the record, this is not a “judgement free zone”

every word. every action. someone is watching and forming opinions. and you should be too.

to put it bluntly, if you are fucking up up so badly that you feel it is unfair for me to form an opinion about you based on your words and your actions – i have already made a judgement about your character. who am i to make that judgement? i am the gatekeeper of my own life. i decide who to let in and who to shut out. i decide who to spend my limited time investing in. i will judge every word and every action and constantly weigh and assess your worth to me. what does this mean for you? most likely nothing. for my friends and those who i train – my judgement matters exactly how much i have made it matter. it matters to the extent that i have earned it. what i have proven.

judgement can be a grindstone. defending your decisions honestly against a hostile audience will make you stronger; will show you your weaknesses so you can fix them. it will help you learn, it will force you to confront mistakes in the hope that you will learn from them and move the fuck on.

judgement can be a lodestone. water seeks its own level. judgements only effect us if we let them. through our judgements we form our support structure, our network. with our choices attract and repel individuals in equal measure. we help shape the person we will become by creating the environment in which that person will grow – by dictating the type of people we measure ourselves against.

everyone is entitled to their opinion. we are all ultimately responsible for ourselves, and that includes who we let into our lives. who we let effect us. but on a personal level it comes down to this: are they right or wrong? we can argue tact and intent but if someone, regardless of their competency or intentions, points out a flaw in my character – that is on me. i can accept it or or accept the responsibility to change it. no excuses, no whining, no finger pointing. own it or change it. i will weigh their words against how invested they are in me, how knowledgeable they are, and their intentions in sharing – but ultimately their judgement will either not matter to me, or give me a chance to improve. trust those close to you, but remember that even the most malicious fool can be useful. the key there is useful – do not get bogged down in useless arguments, take the lesson and move on.

instead of berating people seen as judgmental, we should be carrying ourselves in a way where judgement is not as threat. on an individual level, the judgements of others can be one of two things: helpful or irrelevant. surround yourself with people who judge you harshly and often and to your face. people whom you respect. our friends should tell us the truth. should be a little ruthless. should hold us to the highest standard and encourage us to become more than we are, and be the first to tell us where we are fucking up. the confidence that is forged in such a crucible is not a fragile or dainty thing. through judgement, through testing, our sense of self can be honed into a valuable tool. a functional weapon.

a thing of consequence.

Never forget what you are, the rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor and it can never be used to hurt you.

-george rr martin.