Learning how to not take things personally has likely revolutionized my life more than any other learned behavior.
It’s gifted me the freedom to express myself freely and to keep pushing for the things I want in my life.
About a year after graduating college I applied for an Americorp position.
Not only did I apply for this position, but, I was asked to apply for this position.
Needless to say, I felt like I had it in the bag.
I didn’t doubt for a moment that I would get it.
When the news came back that they’d gone with someone else, I felt emotional whiplash.
I didn’t prepare myself for that possible outcome and I couldn’t have really prepared for the level of disappointment that I felt at the time.
I questioned my worth, I battled with my ego and I doubted almost everything.
I wish I were dramatizing my emotions for the sake of this post, but, well, I’m not.
It felt like the world was ending.
My plan didn’t work out.
They didn’t want me.
They didn’t want me.
They didn’t want me…
As I recounted the events to my partner at the time I spoke and spoke of disappointment and then I said, “how can we turn this into a good thing? What if we took the next year and drove around the country? What if we went to as many of the 50 states as we can in 1 year?”
What at the time felt like a direct rejection turned out to be the catalyst to one of the coolest years of my life.
Learning to not take things personally has revolutionized the way I view the world and the way I exist.
If a job doesn’t workout, perhaps it was never meant for me.
If a relationship doesn’t workout, perhaps they weren’t my person.
If someone is rude to me, there are a myriad of reasons for that which have nothing at all to do with their direct feelings toward me.
If that shirt doesn’t look good on me, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with my body, it just means that shirt isn’t a good match.
I’ve certainly not perfected this.
I still take failure like a blow directly to my heart and my inability to do everything perfectly arises as an ugly reminder that I’m vulnerable.
But, there’s a certain beauty in giving ourselves the emotional space created by not taking things too closely to our hearts.
Honestly, at the end of everyday all we can do is our very best at work, happiness and love.
We’re guaranteed to fall short.
My hope, is that realization will be the difference that keeps us all trying.
The world I want to live in is one where everyone is trying their best.
The world deserves your best.
You deserve your best.