Don’t Take It Personally!


Occasionally in the midst of enjoying a good experience, something triggers us into a nosedive of anger, an ever increasing downward spiral spewing words causing us to later look back with regret after realizing the hurt we caused in our out-of-control outburst. We call these party crashers: Emotional Triggers, Mind Traps, and Mistaken Certainties.

Usually a little thing, like the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, it’s like our own personal Butterfly Effect, and we’re often as surprised as those on the receiving end.

One of our primary intentions and goals is to defuse and disarm these party crasher moments by sharing Closely Guarded Secrets, Timeless Insights and New Findings that empower us in recognizing the process and stopping the hammer before it nails us.

This blog is all about developing our Personal Power/Authenticity creating our own gatekeeper (our strong personal boundary) to prevent party crashers from disrupting our moments.

Top 6 Emotional Triggers, Mind Traps, and Mistaken Certainties

1. “Don’t Take This Personal, but…”
2. “It’s Not All About You”
3. “Focus on What I can Control”
4. “Do or Don’t Do, There Is No Try!”
5. Why is it “Give and Take” often creates hurt feelings
6. “May I Be Brutally Honest?”
Anger, fear, hurt feelings; these are the frequent responses to these common comments and statements that hit us wrong frequently engaging us in No-Win situations, which we later discover were simply misunderstandings.

Receiving/understanding the message correctly is crucial. Correctly interpreting the message is the difference between feelings hurt or worse and a calm unruffled response. The perceived threat is a mistaken certainty (something we’re certain we know what it is – only to later discover we were mistaken).

1. “Don’t Take This Personal, but…”

What is the best response to someone telling us “Don’t take this personal, but ….” It’s a volatile moment, almost always a derogatory, or worse, comment about us, our work, or our family. How can we NOT take it personal?

First, let’s recall what a “mistaken certainty” is so we understand the subtle dynamics at play, and let’s empower ourselves to respond in a way that defuses the situation and avoids words we later wish we could take back.

This is important: Whatever is thought, said, or done is only personal to the one thinking, saying, or doing it. If I didn’t say it, think it, or do it, it’s not personal to me. It may be personal to them, but not to me.

For example: Some years ago, my wife and I were at a Jack Canfield seminar in Dallas. It’s midday, the crowd is mesmerized with all the good vibrations being generated, while Jack is walking among the group training us. Suddenly, he stops, turns to a person on his right, and asks how is the training going; is it meeting her expectations; is she learning something new? Bubbly with excitement, she quickly responds it’s great, she’s learning, and he is exceeding her expectations.

Suddenly without warning, Jack says don’t take it personal but …as he rips her up one side and down the other. Then he asks what she thinks? She’s besides herself, on the verge of tears, she can’t finish a sentence. Jack looked her in the eyes and said – there’s only one thing for you to be thinking – what’s his problem?

I know my wife and I still clearly remember that lesson, as probably does most everyone that was there. I learned a lot in that seminar, but nothing struck home like that moment so clearly illustrating how so many of us don’t enforce our personal boundaries, allowing others to pull our triggers!

The next post in this series will address “It’s Not All About You,” “Don’t Take This Personal, but…”’s twin.

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