THIS WEEK’S FOCUS:
Don’t take anything personally!
Years ago, when I was still practising law, a senior partner in the firm – in fact, someone I didn’t particularly respect – gave me some of the best feedback I have ever received. He said I was prone to being defensive. And he was absolutely right – and I am eternally grateful to him for having had the courage to say so. It gave me a chance to deal with it.
At the time, I set out to check myself whenever I felt I was defending myself. The interesting thing that I found is that there are times it is obvious that we are taking something personally – for example, when we feel hurt by something others say – and then there are those times that creep up on us – when we defend ourselves and, even less obvious, when we explain ourselves (after all, we always have a reason for having done what we have done, don’t we!).
Many of my clients find themselves in the same boat and many a session has been spent discussing it. So, if you take things personally, don’t feel alone.
Here’s the thing though: in a book I have quoted before (The Four Agreements) the author chastises us for taking ourselves far too seriously and gives some really sage advice: don’t take anything personally!!!! And he is as accurate and sage as that senior partner!
So, catch yourself wallowing, feeling hurt, defending or explaining yourself, and wonder whether that moment will really be important a week from now!
Monday Morning Perspective: “Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.” Miguel Angel Ruiz