Don’t take anything personally. That’s the second agreement of Don Miguel Ruiz’s classic, “The Four Agreements.” He states, “Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally. Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.”
I’ve been criticized many times in my life. Many times it absolutely consumed me. But in this episode, I hope to share some insight I’ve learned over the years and hopefully give you a path through your pain and get you to evaluate it from a new perspective.
What’s in the episode:
A very hard thing I recently went through.
How to move through the pain and muck others throw at you
How to deal with petty trolls
What I differently now when it comes to criticism.
“Within every struggle, every obstacle, every challenge, every injustice, we get a choice to decide how we're going to react and how we're going to let it affect us.”
- Kim Strobel
If you enjoy this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a screenshot of you listening on your device, post it to your Instagram Stories and tag me, @kimstrobeljoy.
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Kim Strobel is Chief Happiness Officer at Kim Strobel Live Events and Retreats. She is a teacher, consultant, motivational speaker, happiness coach, and mission-minded person whose passion is helping others overcome their fears and discover their joy!
Kim Strobel 00:07
Hello, everyone, I am actually recording this on June 15. Even though I know that this episode doesn't go live for a couple of weeks, I'm trying to get ahead of the game. But before I begin, I want to start by saying that last week, which by the time you hear this, it will be a few weeks
ago, I spent some time in Tucson, Arizona, I was speaking for I did a keynote for the Department of Education. And I met some of the kindest, most loving people I felt so loved when I was at this conference. And so I want to welcome any of our Arizona people who are new to the podcast, thank you so much, actually, there was a lady there who said she had been following me for five years, and we were just meeting in person. And that was really cool. Today's episode is a little different. I have debated about when I want to talk about this, or how I want to go about it. And I think I just want to jump in because part of my podcast, and part of my coaching and teaching is that we have to expose everything. I mean, we don't have to expose, but I, as someone who is in the space of being a teacher, and a leader and a coach, I just feel like I need to be vulnerable with you all at times. I do real talk. And I just never want people to think that my life is always wonderful butterfly, sunshine, sprinkles, all the good stuff. And so a couple of months ago, I went through a really hard thing. And I'm just going to, I'm going to explain exactly what happened. And then I'm going to back it out and talk you through my teachable moments. My husband and I, we have rental property in our town of Tal city. And we have seven different apartments. And when you have one come available, you always post it on Facebook marketplace. And you posted in all the Facebook groups that are houses for rent, and you always have people who come in and tell you like, Who do you think you are, this is too expensive. You're being greedy. Like that's just normal. And I never even pay attention to that because it's like, you just can't deal with that, right. But here's what happened. There was a young woman who was private messaging me. And as soon as she private message me, I thought she looked familiar. And I did some checking with someone who I thought might know her. And this person said that she has a huge drug addiction that she does drugs, or has in the very recent past that she sells drugs, that she was arrested for choking her own mother, that she has been in jail multiple times. And so then I, you know, looked up and I saw the six pages of arrest in the last four years and the drug charges and all of that. And so I just kind of ignored her message like I just wasn't responding because I knew that we're not going to run rent to people who have a recent track record of using drugs. And again, I am not trying to be ugly. I you know, my own father is a recovering alcoholic people have problems people have
addictions. And yes, you know, we we want them to deal with those addictions. But the bottom line is, and I'm going somewhere with this, so hold tight because it's going to become super meaningful. I as the homeowner have a right to say no. And we also have a pet policy even though I'm a huge dog lover. I do not trust people with pets to rent our stuff because I don't know that they're going to take care of the place the way I take care of my home with my pets. So anyways, I guess she got irritated that I wasn't responding to her. So she started spewing some hateful messages such as you know, you call yourself a dog lover. You're What a joke or I don't even know what the words was, you know, you you don't read the pet rent to people who have pets. It just you know, so she started doing some of that. It wasn't a ton, but it was enough. And I'm just going to tell you I made a mistake. And I had just woken up that morning and there's more messages from her. And I'm a little of a reactionary person. Actually I'm kind of a lot something I've been working Not it's my extraversion, I think. But anyway, I responded because I felt like she was attacking me over this pet policy. And so in my head, what I was thinking was, Look girlfriend at this point, your dog isn't the problem. The fact that you're a druggie, you sell drugs, you take drugs. That's the problem. And so I responded and said, We also don't rent to druggies. Now, I will say, I wish I would have said, we don't rent to people who have a criminal record of drug use. I do wish I hadn't used the word druggie. And that was wrong. And I so anyway, long story short, she screenshots my message crops off her hateful messages, and begins to send it through social media. And let me just tell you, it caught like wildfire. I mean, it was like all 10,000 people of Perry County, we're watching this crazy thing unfold. Now, I have been through many times in my life, where I get what I call a public stoning. And I think it's just part of who I am, I'm always going to be somebody who's going to put themselves out there, if he's, I'm a very ambitious woman, I'm going to, you know, state my opinion, and I'm not the type to like, stay quiet and stay in her corner and keep her head tucked and never make waves. It's not who I am. And because of that, and because of some of the success that I've experienced, it makes me a really big target. And it makes me a really big target, especially for people who aren't. They're not living their best lives, they are not doing what it is they want to do. And so they wait for me to misstep, they hope that I fail. And that's what happened. And it became this media frenzy. Now, let me just tell you, I have been through this before, like, I don't know, if I think in my previous lives, I literally was stoned to death. Because, you know, when I got divorced, and I had a two month old baby, it felt like the whole town stoned me for you know, for that, even though they didn't understand the circumstances I was in. I got stoned several years ago on social media for another thing. And so here we go again. And I have learned that the more successful a person becomes, the more this kind of shits going to come at them. It's just the way it is. Okay. But I've also learned over the years to stay out of the muck. And so I had heard from a couple of friends that like this was going crazy, that all kinds of people were commenting, that all kinds of people were liking these posts against me, you know, you call yourself a happiness coach. I mean, it went crazy. It got so bad that people were going to like these people were going to my struggle, education Facebook page and writing bad reviews. I mean, it was just absolutely crazy, my friends crazy, crazy, crazy behavior. And here's what I know about crazy behavior. Any truth that you have, is not going to be heard or received, when you enter into this mob squad mentality, or when people are triggered by you and your success, because they don't feel like they've been able to succeed. And so what this did was it gave me an opportunity to really stand in the truth of who I know myself to be because we are. Here's, here's another thing that I know, you are not responsible for the versions of yourself that exist in other people's minds, like you. You cannot control that. Right. And Don Miguel Miguel Rue is who wrote The Four Agreements, which is one of my favorite little books, The Four Agreements, he says, Whatever happens around you, don't take it personally. Nothing other people do, is because of you. It is because of themselves. And all people live in their own dream in their own mind and they are all in a completely different world than the one that you're in. And so even when a situation seems personal, or if others are
insulting you, it really has nothing to do with you, what they say, what they do, the opinions that they have, or according to the agreements in their own mind. And what I also know and have learned from Steve Harvey, who wrote the book success success principles is that this
really comes from their own woundedness, right, you're triggering some kind of pain in them, some kind of inadequacy in them. And it comes from their own fears, and their own insecurities. And we all do this, I do this, I get triggered by people, right? All humans do this, we all have trauma and pain in us, and at times that pain does get projected onto others. I'm totally guilty of this, too. And so, you know, I found myself in this situation. And normally, when this has happened in the past, I will just tell you, it has eaten me alive, like I would be in this just dark space for weeks on in. And this time, you guys, I handled it completely different. It gave me an opportunity to stand in the truth of who I know, myself to be. Right. And so these small people, and what I mean by small people, is their small minded, right? They are the naysayers, they are the ones that are secretly hoping that you misstep so that they can feel better about themselves. And I, as I heard from a couple of friends that this was happening, I stayed out of the muck, I was like, I don't want to read anything. Like don't send me anything, I don't even want to know what's going on. I don't have time for this, I'm over here in my office working on what I'm creating, standing in, I got bigger, because I don't have time to kick it the people below who are like coming after me trying to pull me off the ladder, because I just gotta keep stepping. I just have to keep doing, you know my thing. And the only way I, the way you heal a hater is just by being yourself and continuing on your own road of success. Because you can't do anything about that, like you, you the mentality of people, which is when people literally want another person to feel pain, so they can feel better about themselves. You can't do anything about that. And so I'm really speaking to those of you who have found themselves feeling criticized to have found themselves letting other people's judgments of them, make them reevaluate who they are. And what I know is that this gave me a really great opportunity to think about where I'm spending my time, where I'm spending my energy, what are the friendships and the relationships that I'm allowing into my life that are no longer serving me. And I will tell you that I was at a grocery store, and I had a woman come up to me and she was so upset. She was like, I think you're such a good person. You do so much good in the world. I'm so upset at how the public is shaming you over this. And I was thinking, you know, like, I shouldn't have used the word druggie. But I was thinking of out of 100 things that week, I did like 98 really freaking great things. And I made that misstep in that. So we have to like, where do people and why do people think that they have to join in on that, you know, I always love the quote that says, I don't know who needs to hear this, but it's possible to see something that you don't agree with, stay quiet about it and go on about your own damn business. And I would say that one of the things that really hurt me at the time, was when I found out that a couple of people that I considered were friends. We're actually liking all of the posts that were against me. And in fact, I had about seven or eight people. You know, text me or call call me and tell me about a couple of people that I would consider were friends. And that really hurt because one particular friend, like I've given her the benefit of the doubt over and over and over again. And so I made it through that week, and I was really strong, and I really stayed in my lane. Okay, I've really stayed in my lane. But then, then I had like a, like a delayed reaction about a week later, where I think it was actually when I found out that a couple of these people that I considered were friends, were kind of doing all this, spending hours and hours reading through the comments. And so I had to spend some time feeling the pain of that. And then looking at what are the lessons? What's the lesson I need to learn here? Because within every struggle, every obstacle, every challenge, every injustice, we get a choice to decide how we're going to react, how we're going to let it affect us. And when we go through those things, I think a great question to ask ourselves is, is this actually happening? For me? Is this an opportunity to grow? Because I do think unfortunately, at times, it is through pain that we grow. And sometimes we get wonderful blessings. Because it It forces us to pay attention. You know, it's, it's kind of like
that, what is that quote about? If you throw up, you know, God first throws a pebble. And if you're not paying attention, he he throws a rock. And if you're still not paying attention, he throws a boulder. And so some of these boulders make you stop, make you see, hey, as hard as this was, what is it that I have learned? What needs to change? Because of a result of this? And of course, I was thinking, okay, Kim, your lesson here is not to be reactionary, right, like to stop and think and not use the term druggie. Like, that was definitely my lesson. But let me just tell you, friends, when I get to the pearly gates of heaven, and God wants to review all my transgressions, I'm pretty sure that's not going to make the list like I've done far worse than that. But one of the other things that, that we use, and people say, like, how do I go through this? How do I navigate through these? How do I, I want to feel better, I don't want to feel so stuck in in how, you know, the victimhood of what has happened to me. And what I say is, you need to change that to what has happened for you. Because here's what else I know, I don't want anybody to pity me, right? But I know that I signed up for this, I signed up for this, because of who I am, and how I'm willing to put myself out there, over and over and over, I am willing to chase what I want. I am willing to have the courage to go after really big things in my life. And here's what I know about a lot of people is a lot of people, you know, they don't want the responsibility. They say like, Hey, I want to start a business, but they don't really want to work really hard for the business. They don't want to be stressed out. Well, guess what, if you're going to start a business, you're going to be stressed out and you're gonna work your ass off for a while, right? Or they say, oh, I want freedom in my life. But I don't want the stress. I don't want the stress of a business. Okay, you can't have your cake and eat it too, right? And so what I know about myself is I signed up for this. This is part of who I am. And the way I choose to see it, right? And the way people have at times come after me. That just means I have to coach myself through it. And that's exactly what I did. I coached myself through it. I asked myself, How do I want to see this situation? Right? How is the situation for ever going to change relationships in my life? Because that was one of the biggest, most wonderful lessons of going through this pain is that there were people that I truly thought were my friends, even though I've had a lot of other examples from them that they weren't but I'm kind of that person that just like, just keeps trusting people and just keeps, like seeing the good in them. One of my biggest lessons was those people no longer get to be in my circle of emotional intimacy, like they are not a real friend. And while I truly wish them well, am I sad and disappointed at how they treated me? Yes, but they have their journey, and I have mine. But one of my biggest lessons was, I could have spent the next 20 years thinking that they those two people were my friend. And I am so thankful that I got to learn the lesson that they aren't, and that they don't get to be in my emotional circle anymore. And you know, that's a valuable gift. And so I ask you, as you've gone through pain, as you've gone through challenges, do you eventually give yourself that perspective to look within and say, what were the silent gifts of this? What was the new learning? What can I do better in my life? But also, what can I apply better to my life? The other thing I know is that sometimes you have to have these lessons to get to where you're going next. Because there's an opportunity here, there's a lesson that you need to learn, so that you can get to where you're going to later. And you want to learn that now you don't want to learn it later, right? And so what we know is, you know, if you're somebody who is ambitious, if you're somebody who has a purpose, if you're somebody who lives your life with passion, if you're somebody who has goals, you have intent, you're living your life, with intention, that's going to rub some people the wrong way. I mean, how many times have you run into someone on the street? And, and you know, hey, what are your goals? And they're like, my goals, I don't know. I'm just trying to make it through the workweek, right? I'm just trying to survive. And so the more success you have, right, the more that's going to come at you. And you have to learn not to take it personally, you have to learn how to view it as a way to learn to do better, and then to move the hell on because people are going to have negative opinions about you, they're going to judge you, they're going to spray their hatred on you. Right. And, and that's,
they're like the petty, I don't know, some people call them the petty tyrants or the petty trolls, like, literally, some of those people, they spent hours basking in the glory of reading everything that people were trying to say about me. And so what I know as a person, is that when this crap has happened in my life, it always takes me up a level, like, it's my business levels up, or my life levels up. It's almost like you have to have this lesson right now, in order to level up in your life. And, you know, when I was sitting there, in working that, that those couple of days, knowing some of this was being said in the background, I'm just gonna tell you all I went and did eight freakin contracts in two days, right? Like, the universe is responding to me staying in my lane. And so when, when these things happen, and I know that many of you have had people like you have so called friends, but those friends, they will turn their back on you in a hot minute. Right? They will. There's just some people that are wired like that. Those are not your friends. Your friends are the people that when you do screw up, maybe they can say, hey, you know, you could have done this better. But that's not the conversation later. The first conversation is, I love you. We all make mistakes, I am here for you. Right? And so it makes us really reevaluate our life and ask ourselves, where do I want to go from here? What is the better version of myself? Because I went through this challenge, because I went through this pain because I went through this adversity, and we get to choose how we see the situation. And many times the lessons we are there to learn are people or relationships that no longer serve ERG s right that no longer serve us. And so I really hope that for those of you who are listening, if you've ever felt, well, if you've ever paraded yourself, right, because we all do that, but like, you know, why do we knock ourselves for the one thing we've done wrong? And not give ourselves credit for the 99 things we've done? Right? Okay, so a few key takeaways, which by the way, if you're on Instagram, and you're listening to this, I would love if you would take a screenshot, tag me in it, tell me what your biggest takeaway was, send me a message I love or even Facebook, I love when people let me know what has resonated so that I can give you more of this. But I want you to walk away from this episode and remember that you are more than your mistakes. Okay? Secondly, you have a right to get rid of people who truly don't have your best interest at heart who truly are not your support, right? You have a right to get rid of people who want to focus on your one mistake, rather than all the stuff you did really well. And I mean, shoot, I could do a whole episode on self righteousness. I wanted to tell those people that were shaming me, like, did you screw up this week? Because I asked her up every single day, right? I mean, I do I make mistakes. And so understand that someone else's self righteousness is just their own junk in their trunk and that we don't have to let that seep into our bones. And the last thing that I want you to walk away with is understanding that you have to feel your hard feelings. But you don't have to let it change who you know yourself to be. You are a human being. Yes, you've made mistakes. Yes, you will continue to make mistakes, but you are worth loving, and you are definitely worth being loved by you.