The Four Agreements: Don’t Take Anything Personally

In three years of working in door-to-door sales, I realized that there is no way of lasting as long as I have without starting to believe that rejection is not personal.

When I first started in the job I would finish work with no sales and beat myself up for the rest of the evening about it. Everyone said no to me because I sucked at speaking, I sucked at listening, and I sucked at sales. Although this was almost certainly true, it was massively disempowering and my confidence levels were in freefall.

I eventually started getting a few sales and gradually started improving. Fast forward to my attitude today and it is completely transformed. If someone says no to my offering now, I just tell myself that they didn’t want it. Of course it’s a lot easier to say that now, knowing that I have sold close to 300 security systems.

The consequence of having this present attitude is that it’s stress-free. I know who I am and I’m secure in myself. Instead of coming home with the world on my shoulders, I just know that I will put the work in and I’ll get what I get. I’ll make hay while the sun is shining, and just place one foot in front of the other when results aren’t so good. But things will come good.

Taking things personally comes from the need to be accepted, the lack of self-identification and self-confidence. Occasionally, I will knock on someone’s door that will yell expletives, and be physically and verbally threatening. I stay calm, excuse myself from the situation and carry on to the next door. I know it’s not personal. Have they slept? How is their mental health? Is he or she just a terrible person? Whatever the answers are, none of it has anything to do with me. They’ve done what they’ve done because of them.

Say if someone lies to you. You get offended, and it ruins your day, or even your week. But that person probably lies to everyone, including themselves. It’s just part of their character. They’re the common denominator. So who’s really going to suffer in the end?

To take something personally is an imbalance of self-importance. It’s likely that if the same thing happened to someone else, they wouldn’t care the slightest bit (or at least not as much). The fact that it’s happened to them magnifies and exacerbates the situation.

To take something personally is to choose suffering over peace. Next time you encounter a choice to take something personally or not, which will you choose?

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British-born Chinese guy who wants to inspire and help others by sharing wisdom and learning through one's own experiences. Main interests are health and fitness, psychology, sales and sports.

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