Do you ask yourself, is this really about me? How to stop?
Intelligent life, as we know it, has always been a bittersweet adventure. To every up there’s a down, to every lit candle, there is darkness, and to every independent and hard-working person, there are old and “traditional” boundaries that need to be broken.
We’re not necessarily knowledgeable of these things when we are young and still in that little bubble of blissful, but extremely pleasant ignorance. But as we get older, we get more and more aware: Of who we are, what the world is really like, and more commonly than not, other people’s perception of who we are.
Are they thinking this about me…Or am I thinking about them thinking this negative thing about me?
Funnily enough, René Descartes’ infamous existential quote has shifted into “I overthink, therefore I am”. Because in 2022, if you are not mentally exhausted with everyday life and negative loop thoughts, are you even alive?!
In this blog, we would like to provide you with tips and mental exercises on how to not take things personally. How to calm anxiety and become more confident in who you are and where you’re headed. And today, you can’t go anywhere unless you have your own back first! So, without any further and annoyingly philosophical ado…
1. Examine your Judges
When you read the title of this blog and introduction, have you already thought of a few people? You know, those folks you wouldn’t be surprised are trash-talking you behind your back? Surely you’ve already had them in your head even beforehand, hence why you’re reading this blog in the first place.
Before you even think about ruining your mood, self-esteem, and confidence by taking things personally, ask yourself…Who am I allowing to criticize me…In my own head?
What have these people done so profoundly that their opinions have spread to almost every corner of your brain? Sit down, and genuinely think about it. Criticize the judges before you give them the Simon Cowell power to buzz you off that stage! Sometimes, we outgrow our mentors and critics without even consciously realizing it.
2. Is it Constructive Criticism or just Hate?
That’s the golden question right there. And although it’s very difficult to even see a difference between the two, distinguishing these experiences is vital for growth. Think of it this way, staying in one place at all times is only acceptable now, during a worldwide pandemic. On the other hand, mentally, you should strive to never really stop searching or staying in one place for too long. How do such amazing women in the world even end up in these stiff imaginative rooms?
They push away constructive criticism, thinking it’s hate, and take hate to heart, thinking it’s constructive criticism. So…how do we tell the difference?
Firstly, where is the message coming from? Who is the source? When it comes to people close to us, chances are they’ve barely gathered enough courage to tell us something so “harsh”. But they know they have pure intentions at heart, so they’ll maybe stumble over their words a little bit, but will share this with you because they care. And hate? Hate is nothing but deeply rooted insecurities expressed through bogus intentions.
With folks spreading hate, chances are they’ve been so hurt in the past that they are now trying to fix their complexes by putting other people down. There’s only one way up, right? So, better watch out for wounded messengers with grins on their faces before you take their letters to heart!
3. Let’s Talk Insecurity & Trauma
Certain people react to certain situations with how they’ve visually been taught to. In other words, we’ve taken specific personality traits and bad habits as kids, completely by proxy, without even being fully aware of it. Why? Because that’s what we saw every day of our lives. This is how our little brains form insecurities. We do something, get exposed to unnecessary or unwanted reactions that stick so deep within us, it’s almost as if that same negative thought process is set to fly on pilot mode whenever it gets triggered.
Hence, other people’s opinions are formed in our own heads, thinking everyone will show us a form of that same type of negative reaction. It’s an emotional flashback that won’t leave us alone.
Here’s what to do when you feel like a situation is a personal attack or something. On a rational level, it’s probably not. Chances are, everyone around you, whose opinions you are so afraid of, is doing the same thing as you…Thinking about what others are thinking of them. All while “others” are doing the exact same thing, creating an infinite loop of severely stressed people!
Do not allow your anxiety and insecurities to blatantly lie to you, because that’s exactly what they’re doing 90% of the time. Sometimes, you have to face the truth…it’s not all about you! And speaking of thinking you are constantly under the spotlight…
4. Are You Trying to Be Perfect?
Ah yes, the actual antagonist of this blog and phenomenon…Perfectionism. Have you been introduced to it? Do you suffer from this annoying and extremely stressful illness? Does your inner critic even allow you to recognize itself this way? Girrrl…let’s discuss.
Perfectionism is this little worm-like parasite in your head that won’t allow you to make any mistakes. Because if you do, everything will seemingly “crash and burn and we will all explode and die”…Or so say folks with the perfectionism worm in their brains.
“Not cool you guys, I feel personally attacked now”.
And you should! As we’ve mentioned before, recognition when it comes to problematically patterned behaviour, such as this, is vital! You simply have to call it out, there’s no way around it. However, in turn, losing this weighty part of your mind and soul will set you free from other fears, including our beloved topic of today. Essentially, when you boil that fear down, all you have is a mistreated individual who only strives for perfection because everything else is not enough. That’s the real fear here.
And grrrl, other people sure do have a way of making you feel like you are not enough. This is exactly why you should never give them the power to do so! Now we’ll be discussing how to learn and work on “being enough” for yourself first.
5. Finally, Time To Rewire your Brain
Now that we’ve dug a little deeper into the mind of people who quite literally depend on the opinions of others, let’s start filling that hole with some positivity. How many negative thoughts do you have per day? Please, try and answer that, we can wait…you can’t really answer it because you can not possibly count all of them, correct?
Here’s the real tea. When we’re in this state of worry, the only thing we are aware of is that awful feeling that comes with it. What we are, on the other hand, NOT aware of half of the time, is the fact that we are creating these negative thoughts in the first place.
Go off autopilot and track every negative thought you get throughout the day. When you end up catching one, like a spider in a cup, simply escort it to the closest window. And fill that cup with something much sweeter instead. In other words, for every negative thought, you catch, exchange it for a positive one.
“I’m so going to fail this project with my awful skillset”…no, you are not. What you should be replacing this with is: “Girrrl, I’m so grateful for my curly hair, I love it so much!”
And although it will be exhausting to do this every single day, after a while, it will just start happening automatically. And just like that, your new thought processing pilot-mode is a grateful, beautiful yet positively vulnerable woman who is ready for anything. At the end of the day, we are all on a flying rock in the middle of a seemingly infinite space of dark matter…You really don’t have to take anything that personally!