There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz
Most of us have taken something someone else has said personally. If someone says something negative, we may get angry or upset. And when we continually rely on others saying positive things to make us feel good, we allow them to determine our self worth and confidence. Both negatively affect our self-esteem, our relationship with ourself and with others.
When we stop taking things personally, we realize that what other people say and do is not about us at all; it’s about them.
According to Don Miguel Ruiz, author of the Four Agreements, nothing others do is because of us. Their words and actions are a projection of their own reality, their own feelings, beliefs and issues. When we become immune to the opinions and actions of others, be they negative or positive, we are no longer allowing ourselves to be victims.
Three incredible things occur when we refuse to take things to heart.
1.We become the ruler of our own emotions and get clear direction for our life. When we take the things other people say personally, both negative and positive, we are in effect handing over control of our emotions and our life to someone else. But when we choose to no longer take things personally, we are then in charge of our emotions and our actions. What other people think or expect of us no longer has an impact. We follow our heart, believe in ourselves and do what is best for us and our lives without being influenced by outside pressures.
2. We discover who we are, and what we are about. When we don’t take other people’s opinions, actions and words personally, we begin to learn what is important to us, what we want to do, what makes us happy and unhappy. We develop an independent moral compass and vision for your life, and our decisions become more vivid and have more certainty. We live more boldly, making choices that work for us and our personal value system, all with much less regret and second-guessing.
3. You connect more deeply with others. When we practice understanding that nothing anyone else says or does is actually about us, we begin to have compassion for the wounds that those who say or do unkind things toward are experiencing. We are more able to connect with people from a place of mutual love, respect and a commitment to engaging in relationships that reflect the friend, partner, family member and professional we want to be in this life rather than coming from a place of quid pro quo, caretaking, obligation and name-calling. Our relationships will be built on that foundation are deep, strong and healthy.
Taking things personally is limiting. It gradually erodes our clarity and boldness by forcing our life into something that no one else will find objectionable. Release the tendency to take things personally. Doing so is transformative, putting us back on the throne of our emotions and our actions.