Don’t Take It Personally

3 Practices To Implement

If you are willing to look at another person’s behavior toward you as a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves rather than a statement about your value as a person, then you will, over a period of time, cease to react at all

Yogi Bhajan 

The first time I read this quote it was mind blowing, heart-opening & freeing. It sums up so beautifully a state of be-ing I strive to achieve daily, in essence for me it is how  “I don’t take anything personally”.

The road to where I am today, being able to not take things personally has been paved with mental anguish, depression, anger, frustration, heartache & all sorts of suffering. I’m not taking about temporary, momentary or short-lived, I’m talking about thousands of hours, hundreds of days, numerous years of suffering simply because I took things so personal.

Although I had heard and repeated things like “other people’s opinions of me is none of my business”  or “it’s not personal, it’s business, it’s just the way it is” I was not living as such; Intellectually I knew the meaning of the words but emotionally, psychologically the concept was foreign. I paid dearly and suffered tremendously because I took things to heart and it literally almost cost me my life more than once. 

Through my mindfulness practices though, I began to slowly let go and really experience life differently by not taking things so personally. 

Know somedays, in some situations, I still take things personally. The beauty is I am aware in the moment (or soon thereafter) it is happening and can choose how I proceed. I am not a perfect person, not striving for perfection, simply to continually progress.

The change started with me, from within, first taking responsibility for myself, my actions and attitudes. Small shifts like not cussing or being angry for stubbing my toe, choosing not to have a bad attitude with the bank representative when I called up to get my card unblocked, or not sending a snarky response to a text that interrupted my workflow, after all, how was the sender supposed to know?

Once I got in the habit of “checking” myself, I was faced with having expectations of others, expecting them to do the same and act accordingly, this was a fun learning curve and continues to be a challenge for me. Side note, an aha moment I had recently is that my expectations of others change/differ if I am paying for service/product, 

ego ✔️ 😬

My mindfulness practices molded me and has brought me to a place where I can truthfully say and mean that I don’t take things personally. And when those moments do happen, because they have and will continue, I can acknowledge them for what they are, forgive myself and others, let it go and move on.

Why don’t I take anything personally? Because it causes me suffering.

How do I achieve this? Through mindfulness

How can you become better at not taking anything personal?   Live mindfully. 

The 3 Practices

  1. Become aware of your thoughts, emotions and actions. 

Notice what you are noticing, noticing is the richest form of learning, which can help you to strengthen your ability to detach from thoughts and mindfully focus your awareness on your breathe.

Reflective journaling is also a great way to become aware. This form of journaling can be about writing about the day’s event’s, your feelings, emotions, thoughts about them. The practice helps to cultivate a dialogue with self, not only does it bring clarity and awareness you become aware of your thoughts, emotions and actions ultimately leading to identifying when you take things personally, giving you the opportunity to choose to no longer do so.

2. Release judgement or criticism of yourself or your experience my focusing on your breathing. 

Use your breathe as an anchor to bring you to the present moment. Your breathe as always there as as refocusing tool. By turning your attention to the quality of breathe, the way you are breathing, you can use the exhale to let go, as a release mechanism. As you exhale see and feel yourself releasing judgment and criticism of the experience, yourself and others.

3. Reprogram your subconscious mind with mantras. Our actions are almost exclusively controlled by the subconscious mind which makes up around 95% of your brain power. 

Repeating mantras during meditation or silently to yourself throughout the day not only is calming but it can help to program your mind a desired state. A mantra can also act as an affirmation, which when repeated over and over, helps to recondition your subconscious mind with the message you are trying to convey.

The truth is, no one is 100 percent mindful all the time. But the more mindful you learn to be, the more control you will gain over your life and the easier it becomes to not take anything personal.

Until next time, whatever you do, make a difference in you own way!


Ayana O


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Ayana O
Ayana O

Ayana is a highly transformative Business and Mindfulness Consultant, Teacher and Speaker combining yoga, meditation, visualization and traditional results-proven methods to help maximize time, talent and empowering people to live happier lives.

“At the core of everything I do is helping to close the gap between current state and desired state utilizing mindfulness techniques”.

 Ayana O [MBA (Hons), RYT-200] Consultant – Teacher – Speaker

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