I can remember insults and hurts like they are lyrics from a favorite song. ~ Jennifer Pastiloff

 

The stories you tell yourself about who you are and the drama you create around those stories, are often driven by your inclination to take things personally. Taking to heart how others judge you and letting their words define your self-image can ignite a firestorm of self-deprecating thoughts and beliefs that lead to hurt, disappointment and sadness in your life. It is a short journey from there to mistrusting your own wisdom and intuitive guidance that results in the construction of your story of victimhood and disempowerment.

 

When You Take Things Personally You Lose Your Power

Being sensitive to what others judge in you can create dramas and beliefs that damage your sense of self worth and leave you feeling hopeless.

  • Someone suggests you look fat in a photo. You immediately react by feeling humiliated and embarrassed. You spiral into frenetic actions that are fuelled by the internalized critical voices in your head.

“See! They are right. I told you…You are fat …You are fat…you are fat!” The mantra sets off a panic inside you as you frantically search for every weight loss method you can possibly find.  Your story expands this one issue into a flood of memories about every other time you heard someone tell you what was wrong with you. It creates a false and crippling connection to every imperfection you know about yourself.

  • You interpret someone’s behaviour toward you as a personal attack because they don’t do what you want/need them to do. Maybe your spouse doesn’t pay enough attention to you so your ‘taking it personally’ meter registers a lack of caring and love. Your story kicks in to confirm that you are not worthy of their regard or concern that results in anger, resentment, sadness or hurt.
  • You are constantly on guard against others’ criticisms of your efforts so, you bury your gifts and shrink away from new challenges that are integral to your growth rather than potentially hear all the ways you aren’t good enough.

 

How to Get Beyond Taking Things Personally

Taking things personally is a reactive cycle that sparks your story and its associated drama. In order to learn how to shift your reactions, it takes patience, awareness and making clear choices about what you will take to heart and what you simply won’t accept. Here are a few ways to stop the continual noise generated by others’ false judgements of you:

  • Explore the story at the source of your reactions and heal it. Commit to digging into and understanding your reactive triggers. You can find self-love, calm and strength in the rubble of the aftermath.
  • Acknowledge that who you truly are is not the sum total of others’ opinions of you. Learn to validate your own worth without the need for outside appreciation.
  • Decide what is important and accept any valuable feedback and allow it to support your growth.
  • Establish boundaries to choose what information from others you let in and what you keep out.
  • Silence any damaging inner self-talk by freeing yourself from absorbing false information about who you are and what is possible.
  • Become aware of your reactions and cultivate compassion for others’ situations and perspectives even as you detach from their behaviours toward you.
  • Consciously remind yourself not to take things personally and maintain your sense of self-love in any interchange.
  • Take full responsibility for your own healing and support your own self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth as the anti-dote to painful external opinions that try to invalidate you.

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When the unfounded observations and opinions from someone else has power over you, it is challenging to hear your own voice and equally as difficult to appreciate that everyone sees reality through the lens of their own unconscious conditioning and unhealed perspectives.

 

What others observe about you is really a statement about their state of mind rather than a critique of you!

 

As you free yourself from the entangled web of false information that keeps you trapped in your story and drama, it is possible to embrace your unobstructed, authentic self and learn how to live fully supported by your inner wisdom and intuition.

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