Select Page

Maybe you know this feeling? You’re working so hard right now to keep all the plates spinning at home and at work and you’re busy, SO busy.  You’re doing you’re very best, and then, a hidden enemy pops up out of the box when you’re least expecting it and totally floors you. What is it that’s taking us down that we don’t even see coming? What is this jack in the box enemy?

It’s taking things personally! That’s our modern day corporate kryptonite!  Yes, business is personal AND we must learn to stop taking it so personally! 

I keep seeing this modern day kryptonite draining us everywhere.  It rob us of our super powers at the time when we need them the most.  We don’t have time for this!  It’s destroying us from the inside out and rather than positively influencing anything it’s breaking things down, It’s TOTALLY off our radar that THIS is the cause of so much of our stress.   There is a way to free ourselves of this and it’s quite revolutionary, easy and free.  

OK – Let’s be super clear- the reason I’m now something of an expert on this subject is I used to take EVERTYHING, ANYONE, said to me personally.  In fact a long time ago when I was a baby lawyer I was told I was like a stray angry alley cat, always ready to fight back by throwing barbs of sharp tongued sarcasm at anyone who crossed my path. Oh it was wonderful.  Totally life affirming and a great way to make friends and influence people (nope, no it wasn’t and it was killing me but I didn’t know any other way to be). I’ve come along way since those stray alley cat days, with a little bronze Buddha now keeping me company on my desk a boss gave me a few years ago as he couldn’t believe how calm I could keep when I “should” be losing my shizzle.  From angry alley cat to content chubby Buddha!  Maybe I just learnt to eat more? ….

Now, look, I’m no Mother Theresa.  I’m still very much a work in progress here and there are times when I lose my cool and take something personally and quickly feel the consequences of doing so!

Here’s an example – it matters not who says it to me: best friend, lawyer, parent, my yoga teacher or facebook friend, in a flash it ignites my fire paper of wrath and it’s game on – Fight Time:

“You’re so good at mothering your team”.

I promise you I don’t hear a SINGLE word that comes out of their mouth after that ONE word “mothering” is uttered.  It could be said with nothing but the greatest of generosity and respect.  You could go on to tell me I’m more beautiful than the sun.  It’s not going in. I’m tapped out.  I’ve left my body and I’m immediately up in my head hanging out with Joan of blinking Arc harnessing the full “power” of my summoned wrath to create the perfect argument to take this person DOWN on behalf of all working mothers:

“Are you f+ing kidding me.  Do you think I suckle my team and make them warm milk bottles and blankets.  Do you know how hard I work as a mother to be taken seriously?  I’ll teach you what you should have said……”

Once I get triggered like this, it’s game over.  I’m no longer in the room. I’m no longer anywhere near the conversation I was in a just a second before. I’m up in my head lost in a reactive trance made up of only my meaning of a word busy preparing to fight. And we’re not talking about losing just that moment in time.  Days, weeks, months or years can be lost to fighting this head locked war.  And if you’re like me you’ll probably drink some wine, call up a few friends who immediately agree with you and get on your side to fight (I bet some of you did reading this?  And others thought I was crazy… but be honest with yourself, just replace my word “mothering” with the word which immediately gets your defence hackles up.  Got it?  There you go…..).


And don’t worry.  Breathe.  The answer isn’t doing nothing!  Ok? Stay with me….

There is another way through this where you stay IN your power.  Where NO ONE loses, but this isn’t one for your brain to handle (don’t tell your brain, it will disagree with me and is probably telling you how to argue with me right now😊).

The alternative way?  Put the weapons and clever argument back down.  Instead have the intention to stay cool, calm and collected. Breathe.  Everything’s ok.  Create some space around you and the word that rubs you up the wrong way.  And when we feel that fight song rise up again, breathe again.  The best way out is to stay in it, to keep going through it, and not escape up to party with Joan of Arc up there and start a fight.


Relax.  All is well. It’s only one meaning created by my brain and MANY more are possible.

If you’ve managed to stay cool and calm (yay!), now it’s time to get curious!  Ask them what they mean! “Can you help me to understand something, when you say XYZ, what does that mean to you?”

Then, listen again. 

Stay listening.  Stay calm.  Lean back a little in your chair and watch it play out in front of you like it’s some matrix movie scene that doesn’t mean ANYTHING about YOU, you’re just watching it. That’s the key.  It’s learning to watch it.  It’s not personal.  It’s just a word with a thousand different meanings.

But Lauren, business IS personal!  Yes it is.  But while it may feel like the right and perhaps honourable thing to do to, taking things personally only ever drains us of our power and makes things worse. If we can side slip our brain we can step instead into an authentic, powerful place, where we can create amazing things together rather than try to destroy each other.  I’m a work in progress on this too and learning how to turn the volume down on my well worn fight song so I can hear what’s actually being said.  I have a feeling that if we practise this new way when it’s easy, it will be easier when its hard?  Shall we try?  Makes me feel like going and grabbing a cape to put on!  (Step too far??)

p.s. Here’s a quick video of my very own 3 step “Check Yourself before you Wreck Yourself” process I created for myself to help me to navigate real life moments with more ease & grace.  Check it out and share with anyone you think might find it helpful 


Lauren  x

Read More…