How to Stop Taking Things Personally
By Anubhav Srivastava. (Register For His Workshop – Super Confidence For Super Success)
In the kind of world we live in, it is inevitable that we will deal with criticism and rejection at some point of our lives. At some point or the other, we are going to feel like our worthiness, abilities or something else about us is being doubted. We are going to be made to feel that we are not good enough for the thing in question. It’s inevitable!
The problem is when we start taking things personally and start equating our self worth with what is being said about us or make a rejection in personal or professional life convince us that we are just not worthy of anything.
1) Differentiate between opinions and facts.
Most of the rejection or criticism you will face from people is a matter of opinion rather than truth. What is the difference? The difference is that while truth is universal, opinions differ and for every person who thinks you are not worthy enough there maybe countless others who will value you tremendously.
For example if someone tells you that they don’t like your looks, it doesn’t mean you are ugly. It just means they have a different taste. There maybe countless other people who may find you attractive.
2) See things from the other person’s point of view.
Sometimes what you feel is right is not necessarily what everyone else will agree with. It is helpful to assume things from the other person’s point of view. Suppose you get rejected at a job interview or fired from your existing one, it is helpful to analyze objectively whether you would hire someone like yourself, if you were the one hiring? Most of the times you will realize that there is a mismatch between what they need and what you are able to provide them. Or if you would have had the kind of experiences they had, maybe you too would have come to the same decision. More often than not, the rejection has nothing to do with you so stop taking it personally.
3) Remind yourself of your strengths.
The reason why many people have a low self esteem which gets crushed further whenever they deal with rejection or failure is because they only focus on things they are not good at. Look, we are all going to deal with failure at some point of our lives. And in many of those cases, the cause of that failure will be the fact that we are just not good enough at a particular something. But failures don’t make you a failure because there is not a single person on earth who is not supremely talented in at least one thing. When you search within yourself and find that one thing you are awesome at, and there always is, you will realize how blessed you are. There is no one like you.
4) Ask for feedback
This one is a great method to separate fact from fiction. If someone’s reasons for rejecting you are invalid, you will immediately see that their excuses or reasoning makes little sense. By asking for feedback and trying to find the reasons behind the rejection, you can figure out whether the person actually has a valid point or not. If their reasoning is not valid, there is no reason to take the rejection personally anyway because their silly reasons are best known to them!
Sometimes though the reasoning is valid and when you ask someone for brutally honest feedback, you will probably end up hearing things that you do not like, some things may even be really hurtful, but you will end up getting a lot of information that will be helpful to you so that you improve yourself and increase your chances of success next time.
For example if you are rejected for a job and the person is willing to give you detailed reasons about why he or she thought you weren’t a fit, it may hurt in the beginning, but if you are the kind determined to succeed, it will force you to work hard on yourself, so that next time you are much better prepared and avoid such a scenario.
5) Try not to think about it too much
Once you are done with the separation of facts and opinions, and have the necessary information, move on. Do not focus on it beyond the facts. The more you will keep thinking about it or ruminate about it, the worse the vicious cycle of negative thinking will get and you will fall into depression.
If you can quickly shrug things off and move on, you not only keep yourself mentally healthy you also free up time for more productive activities. Remember, logical thinking may solve problems but worrying or regretting almost never does. In order to avoid taking someone’s statements personally and ruining your peace of mind over it, refocus your attention as quickly as possible and don’t dwell on it.
6) Understand that absolutely nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent
This saying is attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt and is absolutely true. No one can make you feel bad about yourself unless you give them the permission to do so. Anything that anyone says are simply words and words have no meaning unless you consciously choose to give importance to them. When you allow those statements to get inside your head and imbibe meaning to them that they start eating you from within. But if you have a high self esteem, you can simply deflect them off you and move on with your life.
Some of the greatest people in the world have been criticized and humiliated. Albert Einstein was called mentally disabled. Oprah was called too ugly for TV. Thomas Edison was called intellectually deficient. Walt Disney was told he lacked imagination. Amitabh Bachchan was told his voice was horrible. Yet in each of these scenarios, these people deflected the negativity directed towards them and instead used it to fuel the determination inside them to succeed. And greatly succeed they did!
What happened to their critics? We will never know because people remember legends, not the critics who pulled them down.
I hope this article has been helpful to you. Remember most attacks are opinions, not facts. Objectively analyze them, if they are facts then work hard to improve yourself, if they are mere opinions, just deflect them or channel them in the right direction to find the determination to succeed. Just remember, no matter what happens do not let people’s comments bring you down in the long run. Each of us is tremendously special, we are like diamonds in the rough. All we need to is discover our strengths, our gifts and then work with relentless determination to chisel ourselves into a diamond that the world respects.
About the Author
Anubhav Srivastava is an author, speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields, who teach the viewers how they too can make all of their dreams come true. The movie itself has been seen on Youtube by close to a million people. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
For one on one consulting or a motivational workshop at your organization please email firstname.lastname@example.org . If you would like to write a guest blog post on Anubhavsrivastava.com you contact me on the same email address. Facebook: http://facebook.com/anubhav981
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