Have you ever experienced being "frozen in time"? People remember you from when they saw or met you last and they think you are still exactly the same as back then? They have no idea of what has happened in your life since then, the changes you have made or your personal growth since.
To categorize things, situations and people is a necessary skill for us to make sense of the world as we know it, to remember certain experiences, situations, and people. BUT categorizing someone can have a huge negative impact on the relationship/connection or even the possibility of it growing into something new!
Some people will be open to who you are today. BUT please know this...
It does not matter how hard we try to convince someone that we have changed or have left the past behind etc.
We would also like to share with you two valuable lessons we have learned around this topic...
It is about their business... We cannot take responsibility for how someone else hears what we say or how they see us. They can only do so from their own story and experiences. And even if it is about something that is TRUE or actually did happen. If you have taken responsibility for the incident, paid your dues and asked for forgiveness, and they still can't see past it. Then they are the ones hanging on to the old version of you or what happened. They are making that choice and there is actually nothing you can do about it!
We love this quote by Winston Churchill! It is so true! While we are spending a lot of energy trying to extinguish old fires, trying to change their minds about who we are today or the service we offer... we could've spent that energy on our business, our personal development or driving forward with our new project.
They are going to think whatever they think and do what they do and say what they say... Regardless of the amount of convincing, we are trying to do.
This leads nicely into the next part of our blog...
It can be difficult to be on the receiving end of judgment and knowing that there is nothing that you can do about it! So the only thing really that you can do is to focus on yourself and "water your own garden" so to speak! Remove your energy from what they are thinking, how they are thinking and bring it back to what you would like to focus on in your life, and what you would like to "grow in your garden". Remember wherever attention goes energy flows. Stay focused on your goal and what you would like to achieve and do not leak out your energy towards something or someone whose mind you cannot change anyway! as that is up to them!
The other way we would recommend you deal with judgments and labeling is the Four Agreements. If you have not read this life-changing book by Don Miguel Ruiz we highly recommend that you do!! So the Four Agreements are as follows:
These four agreements are a life map to live by! When we are impeccable with our word (and life) we take responsibility for what we say to others and about ourselves. To not make assumptions, means to ask questions of clarification if we are not sure what someone means with a remark or a statement, or even assuming that they are thinking about us in a particular way when they might not be. The third agreement is much easier said than done, in regards to not taking comments, criticism etc. personally! Realising that whatever the person is saying is really about them and not about you. It is about them in the sense that someone can only "speak from" their own story, upbringing, past experiences, and sometimes from unresolved emotional issues. The fourth agreement is about "always do your best" in your life, no matter what you do or how you apply yourself. And always do your best in using your word impeccably, not making assumptions and not taking things personally. And remember a famous statement by Oprah Winfrey that says: "When you know better, you do better". At any given moment we can only do our best in what we know.
Finally... what if you find yourself judging someone or holding on to a past version of them? We would recommend the following:
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