Quit Taking It Personally
I've had people say to me at various times in my life,"Stop taking everything so personally." Or, "This is not about you." How big is my ego to think that everything is about me?
I can imagine there is behavior that is hard-wired into the brain. This behavior "needs to take responsibility for everything." As a woman, I also believe, for obvious reasons, this behavior is more prevalent in our gender than in men. If we could stop translating others' behavior into "this is my fault, I should have, what did I say or do wrong?, I screwed up, etc." we would be less stressed out, probably a lot happier with more time to focus on our needs, goals, and desires.
People Create Their Own Movies
My first influential step to stop taking things personally was reading the book "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. This is his second agreement, "Don't take anything personally." Ruiz says that nothing other people do or say is because of you, it is because of themselves. People live in their own mind, they are living in a completely different world than the one we live in. We make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.
Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. Their point of view comes from the way they see the world. Then comes their own conditioning, programming, and environment. This creates their belief system, behaviors, and attitudes.
This then translates to how they choose to deal with themselves, and then others. Ultimately, they are making their own movie in their mind and living it out. If you are part of their movie, it will be based on their interpretation of you, not who you know yourself as.
By taking things personally you set yourself up to suffer and hurt. Humans can be addicted to suffering at different levels and degrees. We support each other in maintaining these addictions.
Seeing people from this point of view helps us remain neutral; even if others lie to you. They are lying to you because they are afraid. They are afraid you may discover they are not perfect. It can be painful to remove the social mask.
Self-Confidence and Self-Worth
You will find that you don't need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices. Trusting yourself comes from self-confidence and self-worth. We become more susceptible to someone’s comments if we are doubting ourselves and placing too much of our own self-worth on others' opinions and actions. When you are confident in your abilities, another person’s rude behavior or negative opinion will be less likely to affect you. Feeling proud and confident in your own skills trumps the other person's negativity.
Most of us can use a dose of confidence building and self-worth. Here is one way to begin.
- Write a list of your strengths and abilities to remember what your strong points are.
- Make a list of things or moments that you’re proud of. Reward yourself for these good things. Think about the sorts of skills that you demonstrate during these moments. How can you do more of those things? This will help build your self-confidence.
You can truly follow your heart when you are feeling confident and choosing to not take people's comments personally. Saying, "I love you" without fear of being ridiculed or rejected. You can ask for what you need. You can say yes, or you can say no - whatever you choose without guilt or self-judgment.
Write the following: QTIP (Quit Taking It Personally) on an index card or post-it note and place it on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror, or in your car to remind you all the time.
You can also explore hypnosis to connect with your unconscious mind; hard-wire new behavior to create that positive liberating change.
All we are is changing...