Sharing, musing, reflecting...

The Pitfalls of being Significant

One of the traits of human beings is their inclination to take things personally. Of all the things I’ve learnt and continue to learn, this is a big one.

A typical example is when someone tries to sell an idea. They get a ‘no’ and they make that mean something about themselves as a person ie. “i’m not smart enough/ they don’t like me” etc. Consequently, they begin to avoid situations where they might get a no, so they can avoid the bad feelings they experienced before.
Or how about the person who doesn’t like doing presentations because they think the audience will judge them as a person rather than simply assessing the content or the ideas being presented.
There are many pitfalls to taking things personally. Here are a few worth considering;

1) Business/commercial endeavours.

Taking things personally is a major business repellent.
Why? Because it stifles objectivity and the ability to see the bigger picture.
It also makes people overly and unnecessarily self conscious. So, instead of being present and noticing what’s going on around them (essential for connecting and developing opportunities) they are self absorbed and busy minded.

2) Business & Personal Relationships:

Taking things personally creates all sorts of problems in relationships.
Essentially, you’re making it all about you. This lack of objectivity leads to misunderstandings, paranoia and unwarranted conflict.

3) Creativity & Self expression

When people are concerned with how they’re doing or how they look to others, they’ll often try to avoid criticism. To them, criticism is a personal attack. This often results in avoidance of speaking out, sharing opinions or asking questions.
If you notice yourself getting into that type of thinking, you might want to stop and ask yourself “why am I making myself so significant in this?”. This will direct you to a more objective position. From there, you’ll have far more influence.


Chantal Burns ScreenshotChantal Burns

Executive Coach, Speaker and Bestselling Author of

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