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How many times have you heard the phrase “Just don’t take it personal!” it’s business not personal, you need to have a thick skin!
And you’re left feeling pretty gutted and like all of what was just said was very personal and maybe even hurtful.
What if I told you that I have a different way of breaking the idea of not taking anything personal down so that it emotionally makes sense to you and it’s something that you can actually constructively use to move on quickly past the moments in our careers where things hurt and feel pretty personal.
Music is one of those chosen career paths where everything is highly personal. People are judging your looks, your voice, your skills, your personality, how can it not get personal.
Sorry but we’re not playing your song because well, it’s just not good enough! Ugh! Personal right.
So a lot of well meaning mentors, industry people will simply tell you – ahhhh, shake it off, not everyone is going to like you, you’ve gotta have thick skin if you want to be in this business. But they offer nothing extra on how to actually shake it off, and how to build emotional IQ and emotional skills to be resilient to that. So what ends up happening and you may be here and feeling this right now.
People do get a thick skin, they get hardened to it, they get what we call jaded, and they become driven by revenue “I’ll show them!, that son of a bitch better never tell me again that I”m not good enough!” I’m sure we’ve all used rejection as a tool to motivate ourselves to rise up and do better, however when it becomes the force by which you do everything. It’s really obvious and it’s really repels people away from wanting to work with you.
So…what’s maybe another way to look at situations that cut us pretty hard?
I love the book the 4 agreements, I love the 4 agreements which are, 1. Be impeccable with your words, 2. Don’t take anything personally 3. Don’t make assumptions 4. Always do your best.
But I have a different way of looking at Don’t take anything personally that really helped me to get through some hard times. And I literally rephrased that statement to be “Don’t let it mean anything negative to me!”
I figured out that this is what not taking anything personally really means, it means after you’ve heard or felt the rejections or bad things about you or your music and you’ve had time to process it. You cannot let it mean anything to your person. It cannot change the way you proceed in life or business, it should not harden you. I don’t agree with having thick skin for this reason.
Sometimes feedback give that feels really hard to hear and personal, ends up being the key to stepping things up to the next level, but not if you can’t see past the feedback. Not if you take it and make it mean something big and horrible to you and create a struggle that you now think you have to overcome. My coach always says, the worst thing that can happen to you is a thought!
It’s not that someone says something nasty that is the problem, it’s what you make it mean to you that becomes the problem.
If you make rejection, hard feedback mean – I’LL show those jerks! You’re now in fight mode and no one wants to work with someone who is in fight mode all the time.
So, the next time, or maybe right now if you’re feeling some personal shots to the heart on something. Then ask yourself, what are you making this mean to you? Someone just told you “Don’t take it personal” And you felt like “what the hell – but it’s SOOO personal!”.
This business is personal, it always will be, that’s why the journey of knowing why you’re doing this and who you are is SO very important. So that when you know how to not make these things mean something about your or your situation.