Masterful Mindsets ~ 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
Do you take things personally when something doesn’t go your way? Do you feel hurt, angry or let down when others don’t react and respond how you think they should?
I received an email recently from a reader who was having trouble with a co-worker. I knew as soon as I read what she had described to be going on, that it was a great example of the Second Agreement from Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, so I wanted to share it with you…
She was feeling attacked and hurt because the co-worker was always extremely rude and disrespectful to her. She felt she was the victim of his rants because she was a soft-spoken woman who didn’t like conflict. So, I asked her to get on the phone with me for a Discovery Session, to see if I could help her feel more empowered.
After briefly discussing the situation and the environment at work, I was able to help her quickly discover that the co-worker’s behavior had nothing to do with her or the fact that she was a “soft-spoken woman”. She was taking his behavior personally when in fact, his behavior wasn’t about her at all. Once she was able to make the shift from taking his behavior personally, she no longer saw herself as the victim of his rants. Rather she was able to see that he was acting out because of his own reality which was of course, most assuredly based on his own experiences. In that moment of awareness, she actually felt a sense of pity for her co-worker and immediately became more empowered.
NOTE: This does not mean that it’s okay to allow yourself to be treated badly, EVER. But it is in realizing that it’s not about you and you are not a victim, that you can be empowered to stand up for yourself and take ownership of your own feelings and behaviors.
Which is why from there we were able to devise a plan for how she would handle her co-worker on their next encounter. She was prepared, empowered and feeling confident. She was able to own her feelings and request respect. The co-worker was surprised but apologetic. Interestingly enough, he confessed to her that he’d been very frustrated and let down from a recent divorce. Did this make his behavior okay? No! It was certainly not an acceptable excuse for his behavior but it was more validation that his behavior was really not about her. And when she was able to pull back from feeling personally attacked, she was immediately able to step out of the role of the victim. When you don’t allow yourself to be a victim, you immediately become empowered and life becomes so much easier, enjoyable and rewarding.
My challenge to you is to not take anything personally. Remember that people are fighting their own battles. More often than not, their behavior has nothing to do with you. And the more you can let go of taking it personally, the more empowered and happy you will be.
***Since I’ve started this reflection of Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, I’ve been flooded with emails and social media comments. It’s been wonderful to get the feedback on how my posts and the book are effecting people’s lives. I would love to hear from you too! Leave your comments on the blog or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org