Don’t Take Things Personally
Ah, such wonderful advice. But how do we go about achieving this?
As a performer, this is advice that would have changed my experience in the dance and theatre world, had I learned to implement it. I didn’t however. I spent my auditions taking everything very personally. Sometimes I would win the job, sometimes I would lose, but either way I’d take it completely personally.
Why did it affect me? Because I didn’t have enough awareness of myself, and my true strength. I was looking outward for confirmation of my skills and expression. Skip ahead many years and this wonderful phrase ‘don’t take things personally’ is starting to really make sense to me.
Two Steps to Begin…
Firstly, there is no point in taking things personally because each of us lives in our own world inside our minds. Our view has been shaped by everything we have lived through. Not one of our journeys is alike, and it all has an impact on how we see life and other people.
This is liberating stuff! It means that whether someone likes you or not, likes your work or not, it doesn’t matter, because it is just a reflection of how they see the world. Instead, we can know who we are for ourselves and hold that vision strong inside us.
Which is the second thing. The more we really connect with ourselves, our beliefs, values and joys, the more we really know and understand ourselves. Then we don’t need outer justification. We don’t mind other people’s opinions because we know who we are. We know our work comes from within us, and the choices we make are ours.
Of course, this info has taken time to embed itself into my mind, and I am certainly not completely immune to people’s opinions yet. But, as I am aware, I practice and I get stronger.
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I was told about a superb book called The Four Agreements many years ago by a lovely friend who lived life to the full! The book describes four agreements to make with yourself to lead a happier existence (one of which is ‘don’t take things personally’) I have since read the book several times. Certainly I will continue to do so throughout my life. It is one of those books that you understand more and more each time you read it. It has been a game changer for me.
I highly recommend it.