Welcome to Week 25 of the Authenticity@Work Leadership Tool-kit! My intention for this series is to share a quick tool each week to help you lead with more authenticity, adaptability and inspiration so we can together create workplaces where we bring the best of ourselves and inspire others. So grab a journal and an accountability partner to make these practices even more powerful for you!
In last week’s post we discussed letting go of trapped emotions and how anger affects our authenticity. Did you find moments where your emotions keep you from being authentic at work?
We take things personally. It’s human. What I’ve found is that we often take things personally that we ourselves are insecure about. We project our own insecurities on to others’ actions, often reading more than was intended. When we observe ourselves taking anything personally, it’s a great opportunity to practice curiosity about our own triggers.
When we take it personally, we place ourselves at the center of the drama playing out in our own heads and interpret others’ actions as somehow related to who we are. The reality is that the actions of most people have very little to do with us. We are usually not the central character in the drama playing out in others’ heads; they are.
How does not taking things personally help us be more authentic? It helps us maintain authentic connections with people, even if we disagree with their ideas. It helps us develop inner authority (a stronger voice) by not taking others’ disagreements with our ideas as a rejection of us.
Importantly, it allows us to pursue what brings us greater aliveness rather than succumb to others’ standards of success. When we decide we will not take a no personally, it allows us to ask more powerfully and freely for what we want.
This Week’s Tool:
Make a list of what you tend to take personally. What we tend to take personally are often aspects of ourselves that we don’t accept. For example, if I tend to take failure personally, I don’t accept the part of me that can fail.
What’s the impact to you and others in your team when you take something personally? What do you avoid saying or doing? What happens instead? How does this keep you from authenticity?
Do a small experiment. Pick one item from your list above (something that is least risky for you) and share with someone a time when that aspect of you showed up. For example, if you take failure personally, then share with someone you trust a failure you experienced and notice the impact on yourself and the other person. Capture the learning in your journal.