Your brain’s need to be right. Judgement’s job is to constantly scan for negative and illogical thoughts.
Why the habit exists
Judgement is fanatical about always making the right decisions. It wants to avoid ambiguous situations and shut down ideas when they are not clear-cut and completely logical. It doesn’t want to waste any time or energy unnecessarily and therefore, instructs you to predominantly use your critical intellect to weed out any wrong answers and bad ideas before they cause any disruption.
Judgement controls your amygdala, the alarm centre of your brain, and devotes the majority of its neural activity to scanning for negatives. In neuroscience, this is called a ‘negativity bias’, where we perceive negative information as being more important to act on.
More than that, Judgement has a reputation of credibility to uphold. It is responsible for shaping your ego, ensuring you act in ways which you believe are right and enabling you to feel powerful or superior. Revealing any weakness is to be avoided and Judgement will fight your corner to demonstrate you are correct. This can lead to an ‘overconfidence bias’, where the more expert someone believes they are, the more convincing they are going to take to be persuaded otherwise.
How it holds you back
Judgement makes it far easier to criticise than invent and this prevents you from spotting useful concepts within flawed ideas.
Most innovative ideas are fragile. They don’t usually seem logical at first because they don’t fall in line with an existing approach. As soon as something new is put forward, Judgement will instantly compare it to what’s come before and find reason to reject it.
Your mind needs to understand the logic and practicalities before it can be agreeable. That means you won’t stop asking probing questions until you are satisfied something makes perfect sense to you.
When you apply your logic too early in the creative process, you close down exploration of alternatives and miss out on potential new connections and hidden strengths in ideas that need a little development.
Let Judgement have its way and you will never get to the point whereby you can hone down the potential of new ideas into workable solutions. It’s easy to come to the conclusion seemingly flawed ideas won’t work before they even see the light of day.
How you can train it
To overcome the seriousness of Judgement, you can consciously choose to change your mindset in the following ways:
From problem-oriented to solution-oriented
There are always opportunities within challenges. Fixate just on the negative aspects and you’ll end up fighting fires rather than blazing new trails.
From practical to playful
Allow ideas room to breath and grow and be explored before they are cut down. A serious mindset will only create practical ideas. Lighten up and explore interesting alternatives with new potential possibilities.
Overcome practical logic to open your mind. Instead of identifying ‘what is’, try asking ‘what if?’. Suspend Judgement’s idea of what is know to be correct and allow unrestricted flights of fancy to explore the potential of new situations.