Do you suffer from taking things personally and getting offended?
Taking things personally usually means that our ego has been hurt or aggravated. Being offended in such a way causes us to react unresourcefully or destructively – making matters even worse.
Imagine being unaffected by other people’s condescending words or corruptive actions… This doesn’t mean being passive or controlling your emotions to avoid confrontation. It means having a natural reflex that enables you to see the ‘bigger picture’ and to be the ‘bigger person’ in challenging situations. I refer to this as opening the aperture of your awareness.
Opening the aperture of your awareness is the process of becoming aware of your thought stream, without being washed away by it, and in that ‘spacious perception’ finding clarity, creativity, courage and choice.
In this video I explain how the skill of opening the aperture of your awareness relates to mindfulness. Below I’ll be associating this skill with the ability to take things less personally and being the bigger person.
Opening the aperture of your awareness means ‘stepping outside of yourself’ and gaining a fresh perspective. It’s the process of detaching from your current point of view and expanding your perception to that of a non-attached observer. This is relatively simple when you don’t take yourself too seriously. When you know that your thoughts about yourself, another, or any situation are only a story that your mind tells you, and not necessarily the whole truth, then not being affected by disempowering thoughts becomes easy.
The first trick to successfully opening the aperture of your awareness is to accept that any point of view is never the final answer. The map is not the territory. Our internal representations (maps) are always subjective, and it’s our internal representations that determine our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Accepting this fact means gaining greater freedom over how you respond to people and situations.
The next time you feel offended by somebody, start by identifying your thought stream and observing it flooding your head. It’s only your head, don’t worry, thoughts are harmless unless you believe them. Through just witnessing thoughts for a moment or two they loose their intensity and we become less affected by them. Simply watch those thought bubbles come and go. Through observing thoughts, as opposed to believing them to be true, you detach from your ego’s pain and desires and connect more with your Authentic Self – that realm within you that is the bigger person.
Opening the aperture of your awareness, as explained above and as taught in this video, might be the ‘no brainer’ that seems obvious, yet it tends to be suprisingly effective when applied. Like all skills it needs to be practised. With enough practice this spacious mode of perception becomes embodied – and then it has a chance of being our natural response in difficult situations, which is when we need it most.
Becoming the bigger person who is not so easily offended is one shift in perception away…
Written by Jevon Dangeli – ASE Developer, NLP Trainer & Coach
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