Adapted from an article by Jean Charles
The best-selling book, The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz is an insightful little book with a message that is simple and yet profound. The author invites the reader to adopt a code of conduct that includes four agreements – “Be impeccable With Your Word, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Never Assume Anything, and Always Do Your Best.” For this writing we consider the second agreement “Don’t take Anything Personally”.
Sooner or later, you’ll face negative feedback. When you do, remember not to let anyone crush your dream. If you are doing what you want to do (and aren’t hurting anyone else), the only question to ask yourself is: Am I doing the best I could in this situation? You can’t ask yourself to do more than your best.
Many times we may take criticism to be the truth, or at least to consider it as a possible truth or consisting of some truthful aspects and question ourselves as to whether we are guilty of said criticism and thereby in need of self examination and subsequent change. Actually, a critic’s comments are often about them and their perception of you, and have nothing to do with whom or what you really are. Some people will criticize you to boost their own ego. They pull you down a few pegs so that they’ll feel superior to you. Many people who criticize you without regard to your feelings grew up in an environment where they were criticized harshly. They are simply repeating the pattern.
After you get over the initial shock of a critical remark, allow yourself to have a good laugh! It reduces the tension and puts things back in perspective. Don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing what you want to achieve. Life will test you to see how serious you are about pursuing a particular path.
Bottom line: We shouldn’t take anything personally. Yet, it is a very difficult concept to put into practice. In most cases, you can learn from criticism as long as it is levied towards actions and not directed at you are a person. Once more the proverbial ‘take it with a grain of salt’ may be one way to circumvent a crushing blow to your self esteem and self worth when confronted with critical reviews.
Live Life Relaxed