Stop Making It Personal–It’s Not And It Never Is

Part of what I do in my business is edit books for clients (if you’re writing a book and need a Developmental Editor, check out my editing video here). 

And along with the feedback on the book, you also get a phone call with me to discuss the feedback, brainstorm ideas, talk about how to implement the suggested changes, etc. 

Most people take me up on the phone call, but you’d be surprised how many people I send feedback to that I not only never have a follow-up call with, but who I never hear from again. When this happens, I always assume it’s because the person didn’t like the feedback I gave them/couldn’t handle the truth about their story/book.

And then I end up making myself wrong for the feedback I gave them. I start worrying that I shouldn’t have been so honest, or that they hate me now and think they wasted their money and are wishing they never hired me, or whatever nonsense thoughts start coming up.

I always end up making it about me. This then keeps me playing small and not fully sharing with people the work that I do or how I can help them (for fear that someone won’t like the feedback I give them). 

But here’s the thing–it’s not about me. It never was and it never is.

Case in point: last week I returned feedback on a novel to a client who hired me to read her book and give her feedback on what’s working, what’s not working, why it’s not working and how to fix it. We had our post-editing call scheduled for last Friday at Noon Eastern.

Well, Friday at Noon came, I got on the call… and my client didn’t show up.

The first thing my mind went to was the same-old limiting beliefs: she must have disliked the feedback I sent her; she’s upset with me; she’s probably regretting that she even hired me.

I made it personal, as usual. I made it about me, like I always do. 

I made it mean things about myself that it really, truly does not mean.

I know I’m a damn-good Developmental Editor. I know what makes a story awesome and I know what makes a story fall flat. I know how to take the story you have and turn it into the story you actually want. 

I know all of this is true about me (and I have tons of testimonials to prove it). Yet I was still making my client not showing up personal. 

Until two days ago, when I received an email from my client’s son, letting me know that she had a health scare, ended up in the hospital and they almost lost her. 

That short email was then followed yesterday by this email: 

Hi Jennifer,

I (name removed) wanted to give you at least a little background on mom before we started the (editing) project. However, mom and (name removed) worried you might have a hard time giving it an honest review if you knew she’s almost 95. She’s also running on her 2nd or 3rd pacemaker and you would think she would (be) at the point of winding down in life.

Not even close, right now she seems to be energized by working on your (editing) suggestions and the book in general.

Back to her recent health scare; she had fluid build up in her chest and it took a battle to get her to allow anyone to call 911. The EMT’s took her to the ER at our local hospital and they ended up admitting her to their cardiac ICU. 

However, mom being mom, it only took a couple days before she bitched them into sending her home. She really is doing much better and we give you a lot of the credit for that improvement.

Thank you for the extensive review and giving mom some new goals.

The part that got me the most: “She really is doing much better and WE GIVE YOU A LOT OF THE CREDIT FOR THAT IMPROVEMENT. THANK YOU FOR THE EXTENSIVE REVIEW AND GIVING MOM SOME NEW GOALS.”

Holy shift, right??!! 

And here I was taking her not showing up to our editing call personally and making it all about me and my insecurities and BS limiting beliefs. 

Sadly, this is what we so often do in life. We take the things people say (or don’t say) and the things people do (or don’t do) to mean things about ourselves that they don’t actually mean.

But it’s NEVER about you. NEVER. 

Even when a hater is hating on you, it’s still NOT ABOUT YOU! 

Everyone has their own lives and their own shit going on internally, and none of it has anything to do with you. Not now, not ever.

As long as you know that you’re doing the best you can and you’re being of service and giving it your all, that’s what matters.

So it’s time to stop taking everything so damn personally. It’s time to start fully backing yourself and the work that you do, and not worrying what anyone else thinks, says or does.

It has nothing to do with you, and frankly, it’s none of your business anyhow.

Dream life or bust,

jen

P.S. I’ve got a few Developmental Book Editing spots available left for this month!! If you’ve written a book that you’d like to get feedback on–what’s working, what’s not working, why it’s not working and how to fix it–watch my editing video here and then email me and let’s chat about how I can help you turn the book you have into the book you want. 

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