It was painful. I was wiped out from the 3 hour discussion we had, completely drained, emotionally exhausted – yet I still had to debrief the team.
In spite of all that, you barely get a thank you or an appreciation of the hard work that you’ve done. But well, it’s the culture where you are.
No thank yous and on top of that – having to listen to someone drone on and on about how your performance wasn’t good enough, you didn’t ask question 36, you went through the charts a little too quickly, you are the reason why the people in the room sounded so sad.
You should have. You didn’t. You could have been better.
As with any area of life – getting feedback from others is an invaluable experience. It helps you grow. I rather someone tell me how I need to improve, than tell me everything was okay when it wasn’t.
But it is not always easy to accept feedback. Because as humans, we tend to take these things pretty personally. It feels like an attack on us, our worth and our competency. It feels awful.
Is it even possible to walk away from the personal attack with your head held high, you ego un-bruised, your self-confidence still intact?
And how about these scenarios – someone cutting into your queue whilst you take your line at the coffee shop, someone stepping on your toe in the subway, shoving past you to get into the lift…
Was that personal or… was it something else?
If you are anything like me, it can be difficult not to take things personally. But for our sanity and self-esteem, we have gotta learn how not to.
As I was recalling my experiences, I am reminded of this quote:
Don’t take anything 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*
In this episode, I talk about the 6 ways we can shift our perspective in order to take things less personally and achieve greater personal freedom.
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*Don Miguel Ruiz is the author of one of my all-time favourite books: The Four Agreements. His concept of not taking things personally was something that I chanced upon with a life coach a few years back and it did change my perspective on my behaviour and inspired me to keep a healthy emotional distance from whatever that was going on around me. Read it if you haven’t!
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