Skewed Judgements

5 mins read
a girl with black coat running
Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on

When I was little, my family often sat on the back porch after dinner, and I had one goal during that time: to run around our house within a certain time limit.

I can’t remember the time limit anymore, but I remember lining up in the same spot in our yard, looking up at my dad, waiting for him to tell me to go as he’d look down at his watch and taking off. We didn’t have a fence, so I had a straight shot to run around the house back to the starting spot.

I would practice using different routes, taking the corners tightly, running them at a tangent, going far around a tree or cutting it tight to go on the inside in hopes of making my goal time. I’d cross the finish line and look up at my dad, often to hear that I was too slow.

So, I’d catch my breath, and then I’d try again. And again. And again.

I brought this up to my family several years back and my dad nonchalantly mentioned that he always made up the times he told me. I stared at him in disbelief, jumping right back into my childhood self and how much that now unknown time goal meant to me. To be fair to my dad, he felt bad when he saw my face and realized I never knew he made up the times.

No, I don’t share this story because it is a “traumatic memory” for me. I’s actually a story we all genuinely laugh at now. It quite accurately depicts the seriousness with which I took almost everything in my childhood. Rather than depicting anything about my father’s parenting, who is a great father. As I am a parent now, I completely understand him making up the times. But, this story has been coming back to me again and again lately and I’ve struggled to realize why.

I’ve sat with it for several days and I think perhaps it’s serving as a reminder to be conscious of what we are using as judgment for ourselves. For our successes, for our worth, for our growth.

Not reaching my goal time didn’t necessarily ruin my evening when I was younger, but I would get frustrated with myself, wondering why I couldn’t run faster. And the whole time, it was because of a number that didn’t depict the real value of what I was doing.

And I think we do this quite often. With the unknown editing that we compare ourselves with on social media. When we compare ourselves with friends who have multiple differences in contributing factors for where they are compared to where we are. With the expectations of our younger self who could never know all that we would go through and what it takes to accomplish some things in this life.

We won’t always have as direct of an enlightening moment as I did when my dad directly shared that he was making up the times he told me. But, we can take the time to become consciously aware of what we are using to evaluate our worth. And, if in that awareness, you realize that some of those things may not be as true as they appear. Then may you give yourself the freedom to release those comparisons and progress towards being more kind and fair to yourself in your evaluations of how you are doing.


Kylie Larson, MA, LPC

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Find Kylie’s reading commendations by clicking here.

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Outside of the therapy room, Kylie enjoys spending time with her family, exploring the world through the eyes of her son, adventuring with her husband, running around with her dogs, cheering on our Kansas City teams, gardening, being active, reading and exploring new recipes.

Professional Background
Bachelors in Elementary Education from Kansas State University, 2015
Master of Arts in Counseling from MidAmerica Nazarene University, 2020

Kansas Counseling Association
American Counseling Association

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