Last week I wrote "Quality not quantity" as the first in a series of 4. Its based on the "Four Agreements" book (movement). The hardest of the agreements, agreements with myself, however, was (not is): Don't take things personally. I say was because now its just how I'm wired. The best reason to take this one to heart is that it is a way of self-healing. When I first learned of this concept I thought, you have got to be kidding? How can something said to and about you personally not be personal?
I'm an avid follower of the ancient Toltect philosophy made famous by Don Luise Miguel, "The Four Agreements." A few years ago I had a major life change so I went out on a quest to search for the new me. The philosophy has become more of a life mission. Its easy to understand at first and a short read, but its way deeper in spirit. It's a way of being. I decided to accept that philosophy I started looking at life differently. Don't take things personally. is #2.
Words are great but allegories are better. Can we agree that we have different cultures and value systems that creates different views? If someone said they don't like chocolate does that make chocolate bad? Not at all! It means their taste buds are wired differently. Its specific to them. Sure there may be others that don't like chocolate, they may hate it, they may just prefer vanilla, but still, it doesn't make chocolate bad. In fact, the majority of people around the world, from every culture likes chocolate.
Similarly, if I am at a cafe and someone compliments me then I can choose to accept that compliment and kindly say Thank You. Or not. There are some who easily deflect saying, Oh, thank you but I really need to ___________________________ (fill in the blank with their self-perceived deficit). There is something beautiful in all of us and if we'd just accept the compliment we'd think better of ourselves. We can do the same thing with criticism.
If someone critcizes us we can choose to accept it or not. Just because someone doesn't favor, like, or appreciate something, even if it is about us personally, doesn't make it truth. Not everyone loves chocolate but it doesn't make chocolate unpopular. So why then do we allow others to define who we are? Just like we are what we eat, we are what we think.
But it can seem very personal in practicum. I put this into reality when I was in the dating world. It was upsetting when someone I found attractive didn't feel the same about me. But worse, I was letting it define me. I had other opportunities but I wasn't interested. I was stuck on the unobtainable. Once I started practicing what I was studying my thinking evolved. Some people don't like chocolate. There is nothing wrong with that. Sure enough I let it go.
These days I go around with the mentality that we are wired uniquely: different experiences, values, likes, cultures, etc so I accept that we won't all have the same opinions about anything. An opinion is just that, an opinion. Don't take it personally. From a business standpoint, do what is right for you, assuming it is ethical, but don't let people's opinion change your core.
I hope this gives you some insight into your life. Happy reading!