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The Client-centred Blog

How to overcome ‘taking things personally’

Something that I think is true for every person is that, from time to time, we can find ourselves taking something personally.

It could be over anything, but it is extremely common if we feel we are being judged, someone criticises us or if we have built up our expectations around something and it doesn’t turn out that way.

How do we know if we are taking something personally?

We have a lot of thinking about it. We get defensive, indignant or even angry. We cannot seem to shake it off.

How can personal thinking be a problem?

We lose perspective. Our ego tricks us into believing it all about us and we suffer. When things feel personal, we are revving up our minds with lots of negative thinking.

And taking things personally uses a lot of energy – energy that could be going into something far more productive.

So, it is useful to reflect on the times when things feel personal to you because rather than continuing to suffer there is an invitation to grow buried in there.

The thing is the situation is never how it appears…

No one has the power to make us feel a certain way. No one can make us feel bad (or good for that matter).

Eleanor Roosevelt was a very perceptive lady who said, ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’

The human condition is that our thinking fluctuates and, accordingly, we experience different moods. In a lower mood we can take things personally, but the feeling is coming from our thinking, not other people.

So, what really matters is knowing where our experience is coming from.

My experience of life is that I can take things personally at times.

But the difference is that as soon as I catch on to the fact that I am feeling my thinking in the moment my mind settles and I relax.

From time to time in my coaching sessions a situation comes up where a client has an ‘issue’ with someone – maybe a client or a member of staff.

Rather than discussing what to do I know that in a clear mind it will look completely different – their wisdom will show up give them the thinking they need to handle the situation with compassion and understanding.

John Dashfield

John Dashfield spent 14 years as a self-employed adviser. Since 2006 he has been a coach, mentor and author helping advisers create transformations in their business and personal lives.



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