Don’t Take It Personally

9 Immutable Laws of Not Taking Things Personally
by Christine Kane

I always tell people that there’s nothing like the entertainment business to teach you how to not take things personally! 

Really though, there’s opportunity in EVERY business to get this same lesson. It’s about learning to live as a creator, and not as a reactor. 

In my work, both as a coach and as a coachee, one of the common challenges is about not taking things personally. That’s because moving forward, getting bigger, and living your dreams require that you step out of the petty concerns of your small self. You simply can no longer afford to waste that kind of energy and attention. 

So, here are the 9 Immutable Laws of Not Taking Things Personally. Let them guide you to bigger places in your world! 

1 – SWSWSWSW 

A well-loved acronym, this stands for “Some will. Some won’t. So what? Someone’s waiting!” 

It means that some people will love what you do. 

Then there will be those who look at your work, read your poems, review your resume, visit your store – and they’ll shrug and say, “Yea, not so much.” 

So what? 

Somewhere out there someone is waiting for your gift. And if you have to keep working on your craft, or wait a little while, that’s okay! 

2 – Know your “Why.” 

This is what Sheri McConnell (my coach) says to me if I ever get afraid of stepping out in a bigger way. 

Your WHY is your deeper motivation. Your WHY is your guideline. Your WHY will help you dismiss the minor petty things that try to hold you back. If you don’t know your WHY, it might be time to get clear

3 – Remember that people are busy. 

People are busy. 

Don’t sink into resentment when a single email isn’t answered. It’s not personal. Many times, it’s just that people don’t have time to answer every email. We all have a lot on our plates. It’s not personal if you have to try someone twice or three times! (Revisit #1.) 

4 – Email is instant. Use accordingly. 

The rapid pace of our culture has removed much of the etiquette that some might normally expect. Most people just “fire off” email without thinking. 

If you get an email that hurts or feels personal, take some time to chill out. Then re-read the email in a kind voice. Be careful with the temptation to over-dramatize someone else being in a hurry. 

5 – Begin each day with presence. 

How you begin your day sets the tone for the day. 

Learn to start your day by getting centered with creative and proactive activities. Some possibilities: meditation, yoga, going to the gym, writing down goals and intentions, visioning your day in advance. Start with a strong foundation each day. 

6 – Eat enough. Sleep enough. 

Being tired or hungry will make you more sensitive or irritable. Don’t try to function well in these draining conditions. 

7 – The power of lists. 

Are you hoping for the ONE BIG THING that will be your “saving grace?” This is a veritable petri dish for taking things personally! 

Examples: Applying for a scholarship to one single program. Submitting your article off to one magazine. Waiting to hear back from one single new client. 

There’s a better way. Before you send yourself out into the world – be it resume, grant, publication – make a list of many options. Then, move down the list if someone says no. Find the someone who’s waiting. 

8 – Shut up and listen 

When you quietly listen, you may actually see humor in how you can take everything so personally. 

When you’re in a conversation with someone else, stop and listen. Really deeply listen. Try practicing this first in everyday conversations that aren’t emotional. This will prepare you for more highly charged situations. 

9 – Communicate without Emotion 

Do you use phrases like this?

– “Well, you’re the one who…”

– “You took that all wrong!”

– “You ALWAYS do that!”

– “I’ll NEVER make it!” 

Notice that this language is laced with drama and blame. 

Language is a very powerful tool. Learn to use words that aren’t about the emotions and pointing fingers.

“I didn’t communicate this well so let me try again.”

“I’m not sure I understand you. Can we discuss this on the phone?” 

Learn to take a “Here’s the facts ma’am” approach. Write out your desired outcome for the conversation. Get clear inside yourself, and then talk with the other person.


Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her ‘LiveCreative’ weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative atwww.christinekane.com.

Thanks Christine for the guest post! 

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