“Your opinion is not my reality.” ― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
“Don’t take anything personally.” I’m sure you have been hearing a lot about this over the past few years as it is one of the agreements in don Miguel Ruiz’ book The Four Agreements. Being of a sensitive nature, I knew this would be a biggie for me.
Deep down I knew the opinions of others are just that, opinions. I understood what others thought or said about me was more about them than me. Still, I struggled with this for years. Finally, I reached the plateau of being able to release this negative energy and allow those opinions to be the business of others. I learned to concentrate on what I thought of myself. Sound selfish or narcissistic? Perhaps, then again we’re forming opinions here.
What I did in actuality was claim my own story. I refused to allow anyone else to write it for me. I’ve realized what others say and do (even when I am the subject) is their story not mine. When words or actions prick through the skin and scathe the heart it becomes a challenge.
I thought I’d conquered this agreement, but yet I found I was doing the same thing to myself over and over. I had (and still have) many opinions of myself. I focused on my weaknesses. I held myself back by setting unreasonable expectations.
I’ve decided to be kinder to myself. I am challenging my own beliefs about myself. While I’m aware of my weaknesses, I am not concentrating on them except by trying to strengthen them. I am learning to use my positive attributes to my advantage.
Rather than prejudging my abilities, I am giving myself a shot at new ideas and opportunities. Opening one’s mind instills confidence. Approaching life with a positive attitude enables me to be less fixated on things that shouldn’t concern me and helps me concentrate on my own endeavors.
What about you? What do you struggle with? How do you deal with these challenges?