Don't Take Things Personally
“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” ~ don Miguel Ruiz
The second agreement from don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements is Don’t Take Anything Personally. For many of us with thin skin, we take everything personally. When someone disparages us or says something mean, we take it to heart and believe it to be true. This happens because what the person has said triggers our old wounds. One of my old wounds is that I am not good enough. So, when a boss or colleague criticized my work, I was crushed and saw it as more proof that I really was not good enough.
Over the years, I have worked on not taking things personally. This is easier said than done, but the more I practice, the better I have become. A few weeks ago in the blog, I talked about human domestication. Ruiz tells us that during domestication you learned to take everything personally because you think you are responsible for everything. But you are not responsible for everything. The most important lesson, that has taken me a long time to learn, is that what someone says about me has nothing to do with me – it is about them. As soon as you understand that what people say about you has nothing to do with you, you will no longer take things personally. Each person is making judgments based on their life experiences, which are different than your experiences. Their point of view comes from all of the programming they received during their life. So what they say is more about them than it is about you – they have not lived your life and therefore cannot know your situation.
You take things personally because you are looking to others for validation that you are good, lovable and worthy. You must learn to look on the inside to know that you are good, lovable and worthy. You have a choice to let your self-worth come from the outside or the inside. Who will you give your power to – yourself or others?
When you follow the agreement to not take things personally, you will become immune to all of the negative energy and suffering that happens when you believe what others say about you. Whatever people say about you, remember not to take it personally. It is never about you!
Do you take what others say about you personally? If your answer is yes, what can you do to not take what others say personally?
When you get offended by what someone says, it is because they have triggered your old wounds. What are the wounds and limiting beliefs you still have that need to be addressed?
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Peggy Steffens is an artist and Chopra Certified Meditation Instructor
My goal is to build a community with like-minded individuals who want to grow, share and learn from one another. Please post comments to enrich the experience for all.