SW SW SW SW is an acronym my first life coach taught me.
It has to do with not taking things too seriously and the stories we tell ourselves.
But let me start at the beginning.
The other day, someone was saying to me that some people find my newsletter/blog laughable. My immediate reaction was: I am being attacked, I need to find out who it is and attack back or at least defend myself. I basically took what that person said personally.
Then I stopped and breathed. Because that reaction usually happens when certain people push our buttons and trigger our default settings.
I did not want to go there and remembered what my coach said many moons ago:
SW SW SW SW: ‘Some will, some won’t, so what, someone’s waiting.’
There are people who will love what you do. They will read your newsletter, buy your art, come to your talks, attend your classes, listen to your songs, share your stuff…
Then there are other people who are indifferent, will laugh about it, find it silly or stupid, may even hate it or get upset by it.
And that’s okay. And it doesn’t matter. It’s most often more about them than it is about you. It is how they translate what you do, how it makes THEM feel.
What matters is that you know why you do what you do, and that there are people out there who you touch and help. But you only ‘get’ SW SW SW SW when you are self-aware and clear.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”
The stories you tell yourself
If you do however get thrown by situations where you tend to take things personally, know that you need to observe the stories you tell yourself. These stories have nothing to do with the facts. They are only your translations. Do you tend to play the victim when people throw something at you that you don’t like? Do you have a story about all the good you are doing and all the others who are just ‘not getting it’? Do you feel rejected by situations that are not really about rejection? Your stories are rarely correct and once you start noticing them, you will be able to break the habit of taking things personally.
The danger of misunderstandings
We communicate fast nowadays. Email, Whatsapp, texts… Things are flying back and forth and often the subtle things get lost in-between the lines. So if you are triggered by what someone wrote, take a time-out. Go outside, do something physical and return to the message with a clear head. Read it again, kindly, with the sender in mind. Did that person really send this to upset you or might you be reading something that isn’t there? If there are doubts, call the person to clarify things.
You have received thank you notes, good feedback, pats on the back. Right? Well, whenever you feel like something is knocking you down, revisit those good moments. Those are the people you do what you do for.
When you do want or need to clarify a situation, make sure you do it in an un-emotional language. No finger pointing like: ‘You always do this…’ or ‘You never…’. Instead, start with yourself. ‘I am not sure I communicated this well. I would like to clarify.’ or ‘I am not sure I understand, can we talk about this?’.
I don’t care if people like what I write. Some don’t and it’s a free world; they can unsubscribe or stop reading my blog.
I am just wondering why they feel the need to gossip about it and what that says about them 🙂
Anyone trying to put you down is already below – Noel Jones