I am a fat Purple GiraffeYour boss gives you a hard time, your Mum is critical of your parenting skills and your partner leaves the toilet seat up again – These all sound like normal every day occurances, but how many of us simply shrug them off and forget about them choosing not to take it personally or deciding  not to sweat the small stuff?

For many of us, normal every day instances like this, can really trigger our emotional hot buttons, make us lose confidence  and if we are not careful, we can end up allowing them to build up over time and we can get resentful.

‘You are a fat purple giraffe’

When coaching my clients, I do this little exercise with them where I tell them ‘ You are a fat purple giraffe’.   Most just laugh and think I am crazy.   What is interesting though is this simple phrase, doesn’t get people upset, it doesn’t trigger their hot buttons and therefore most just end up having a giggle. There is simply no meaning for them attached to it.

However, if I said something like ‘ You really are a failure’ – then the reaction would be completly different!

You see, we all 100% know deep down that we are not fat purple giraffes!  Therefore, we don’t make it mean anything more than I am a little crazy.    However, when saying ‘ You are a failture’ to people, they would often react because deep down, they believe they are.

Only in our Heads

Nothing really has a meaning until we attach a meaning to it.  It really is in our own heads.  So what do you make it mean when someone is critical of your work? Are you kind to yourself and choose not to let it upset you?  Do you encourage yourself by telling yourself that you are only human and of course, sometimes you will make a mistake?  Or do you attach great meaning to this, telling yourself you are failure or that you never get it right.    Lets get honest here, the choice is really up to you in what you make things mean about you!

Why did I let this client go?

I had a situation last week where I had to deal with a rather difficult client.  For a while, I took their critisism personally.  This just lead to me feeling stressed and emotionally  bruised.    After giving myself a quick talking to – I decided to make it mean something much more positive – that the universe had decided that it was not a good idea for me to work with this client and I need to let them go in order to make room for something better.    What a difference that made to my mindset and it felt much more empowering.

So this week, why not do yourself a favour and have some self awareness of what you make things mean about you.   Take a few minutes to delve deeper.  What are the facts? Where is the evidence?  Most often or not, you will find it is just an old thinking pattern and you are doing some mind reading!

Lisa Phillips is a Confidence and Empowerment expert based in Sydney.  She was also the founder of the ‘ Donate your Socks for the homeless‘ initiative.  Please see here for more information:https://www.amazingcoaching.com.au/media.html