Sally looked at Mary Carol and said, "Wow how did you do that? How did you just brush it off, I mean Jim just got in your face and told you that he hates working with you. And you are just as calm and collected as ever." Mary Carol looked at Sally and said, "Well I am really not taking it personally." Sally was flabbergasted. "How can you NOT take that personally?" she asked.

Mary Carol shared her beliefs about taking things personally: "What other people say and do, is really a reflection of them. The decisions people make about their own behavior is really about themselves. If I make it about me, it is only because I am being human and focusing on me. We all tend to take things personally because we think that everything is about us. We like to be the star of our own movies for lack of a better expression. But really it is only about me if I decide to take it on and take ownership for Jim's decisions. I am not doing that."

"So if someone says or does something to you that can be construed as negative, you simply let it be about THEM and not about YOU?" Sally asked.

"Well technically, everything someone says or does is not about me. So if someone tells me I am fabulous, it is because there is something about me that coincides with something that they see as good. Of course this is a huge compliment, but it is still not really about me," stated Mary Carol.

"How did you come up with this?" asked Sally.

"I read it in 'The Four Agreements' By Don Miguel Ruiz," replied Mary Carol.

What Mary Carol was sharing with Sally is the second agreement, don't take anything personally. This agreement builds on the first agreement which is be impeccable with your word. Part of being impeccable with your word is to avoid making agreements based upon the words of others. When you agree not to take anything personally, you agree that you don't need to accept the emotional garbage that other people may try to fling your way. When you don't accept the garbage that others toss your way, you also don't use your time and energy going on the defensive or making a big deal out of nothing. You can simply be at peace knowing that others must deal with their own beliefs or agreements.

It also means that you don't need to wait for their words of encouragement to build yourself up. Of course it is nice to hear that someone has a high opinion of you. But your self worth and your self definition need to come from within you, not from others. You decide who and what you are.

To keep this agreement is to bring yourself tremendous freedom. Freedom from anger and jealousy and fear. The freedom to trust yourself and to stop taking responsibility for the words and actions of others. Doesn't that sound wonderful?

Author's Bio: 

Margaret developed a passionate belief that it takes courage and skill to be human at work and that all individuals have a responsibility to treat each other with dignity, respect and compassion.

Motivated by her beliefs and the desire to make a difference in the lives of others, Margaret acted on her vision by founding Meloni Coaching Solutions, Inc. Her vision is to create a group of successful individuals who are at peace with their authentic selves; a group of people who help and support others; a group who bring humanity to the office and thrive because of it. Margaret sees a world where achieving peace and achieving success go hand-in-hand.

Margaret’s students and clients often find that what she really brings them is freedom to bring their authentic selves to the office. As a former Information Technology Executive, Margaret always knew her preference was for the people behind the technology. Now Margaret brings those beliefs to individuals from many professional backgrounds. The common thread across her client base is the desire to experience peace at work and the recognition that peace is not absence of conflict, peace is the ability to cope with conflict. For these people, Margaret Meloni is truly ‘A Path to Peace’. ™

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