Sometimes It Is Not Personal

a person sitting on wooden planks across the lake scenery
Photo by S Migaj on

“Sometimes it is not personal”. It is a hard sentence and outcome to accept. It means that it wasn´t about us personally.

Sometimes It Is Not Personal

I have always had a problem with criticism. Unable to distinguish it from judgement or attempt at superiority.  

I grew up with an internal feeling of not being enough. Should have been achieving more and my results would have to show that. My anxiety came shortly after whenever I found something complicated that I couldn’t produce what I thought was expected of me. I just couldn’t cope with it.

Growing into my teens and adulthood I always had, and still do, this problem in being told my work or result isn’t good enough or needs serious improvement.

However, this is not personal, no one is attacking my skills or telling me I am not good enough. I go back to my primordial feelings and reframe what I am being told as overall description of myself. It’s exhausting and unreal.

I become defensive and in battle mode as if the war between good and evil must be fought, in which words turn into weapons. However, there is no war.

There is only someone telling me your work isn’t quite there yet but with effort and consistence, it will.

How our childhoods can play a part

Our childhood traumas often do this. They narrow our viewpoints and almost everything is personal, and it hurts. But we also forget that when someone is actually trying to judge us purposefully, we understand when it’s happening. The words, tones, facial expressions they all collude into a specific message, someone is trying to hurt us, and that IS personal.

It’s when we are told that an assignment needs improvement or effort that we find it hard to let go of that feeling of worthlessness.

I could have definitely been better off if I had been told that I was good enough and I didn’t have to be anything or anyone else. I am here to tell it to anyone that needs it. You are enough. You can rest easy.

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