“Don’t let the behaviors of others destroy your inner
peace.”—The Dalai Lama
Seriously, who cares? I think this is one of the most freeing sayings you can train your mind to believe.
- Do you ever say this when you are going over a challenge or a problem?
- Does your partner ever say this?
Let’s break it down…..
Think about the last time one of you vented a challenging situation. Normally, you would go back and forth in the event, creating negative energy (remember my Mama Bear example, this comes up here a lot).
Often, we get wrapped up in other people’s judgment, lives, material possessions, children, jobs, you name it. We can sit and dissect and judge all day long. Having written before about judgment regarding my mom and how we used to spend time doing things along these lines; it doesn’t create a positive energy force, does it? No.
Instead, you are wasting time, precious time I might add, discussing other people’s shit. Why?
Think about that.
Sit with that.
Why not spend more time focusing on your relationship, challenges, goals, wins, and accomplishments, etc. These are the things that can help propel you to the next level.
And by the end of this chapter, I want you to say, Who Cares?
Remember in the intro when I mentioned the feedback I used to receive on my annual reviews? “Melinda, just worry about yourself, you are very talented, but you need to learn to work with other people.” I came to realize this to be true a few years later, after I had moved on from job to job. It was a useful piece of feedback.
My second job out of college was with Spiegel catalog. Spiegel was a very large catalog retailer which is no longer in business. I interviewed and got a job as a planner, but had to go through their training program first for three months. I was okay with being a trainee until I was placed in a clothing division and sat next to another girl named Adrienne.
Adrienne was hired the same day as me but didn’t have to go through the training program. She was placed as a planner on day one. To this day, I have no clue why. As I got to know her, I learned that we both had the same background working in a retail store in management for six months. We also went to similar colleges, earned the same degree, had the same background, were the same age, but yet she didn’t have to go through the training program.
Wow, this made my blood boil every time I looked at her. In my competitive eyes, she was three months ahead of me regarding getting promoted to be a buyer. Being a buyer was my goal, and I dreamt of being a buyer since my mother had owned a store when I was a child.
Oh my goodness, as I sit typing this story, I realize just how ridiculous I was. I made up this entire story in my head. I literally made up a story that because she had three months additional planning experience, she would be promoted three months sooner. Seriously, WTF?!
Now it’s nothing, but back then three months was a lifetime. And what crystal ball told me she was going to get promoted? None. But there I was, heavy in competition and worrying about the other person.
I was promoted to assistant buyer a week after she was. That week when I was waiting to hear if I had also received a promotion felt like the longest week ever; it was painful. But again, a week! Seriously.
And then, as life would have it, the company started to fold. There were significant problems with shipping orders. They implemented a new warehouse and computer system and they were poorly executed. There wasn’t anything to do while we waited, so all of us were working on our resumes during the day. Resumes were flying off the printers like little paper airplanes. Spiegel became a sinking ship and we were jumping overboard; it was a disaster.
The state of Spiegel was a signal for me to move to NYC and land my dream job (or so I thought) at Saks Fifth Avenue. I moved to NYC and left Spiegel and Adrienne behind. About a year later, I learned about a year later that she left retail, got married, and had a baby. We ended up randomly speaking on the phone one day while I was living in NYC and she was super cool. I felt like a fool; embarrassed and sad that I wasted so much energy thinking about her. At 22 years old, there was a whole lifetime ahead of me, and I was focused on competing with someone who didn’t care about making it to CEO. Can you say wasted energy?
The hindsight of my competitiveness was an enormous learning moment, but I am glad I learned it at that age, as I never felt that way again. There are people ahead of you and you have no idea what their desires are or where their lives will take them. So, to focus any of your precious energy on them is truly a waste.
In the past few years, someone may have been watching me as a top sales rep and been envious. While inside my brain, I had no desire to be a sales rep selling someone else’s product and getting a small cut. No one knew that except Ryan; I didn’t want to lose my income, so I never told anyone.
Even famous successful actors fall off the screen or take a break. Cameron Diaz and Kate Hudson are great examples of women who quit making movies to take a different path. Years ago, I am sure they had other actresses viewing them as long-term competition.
We often bring competition, worry, or jealousy home with us. People can become consumed with other people. And for what purpose? Again, wasted energy. Say, who cares? And focus on yourself.
As a couple, Ryan and I stopped dissecting other people’s business many years ago. When he first started Good Karma Sportfishing, I realized he was bringing home thoughts regarding other captains’ businesses such as, “So and so got a new boat,” and, “So and so is booked every day.” “So and so keeps too many undersized fish.”
Say it with me, Who Cares?
When you break it down and think through those things, you can start to make it a rule to stop the conversation.
I finally had to have the confidence to start saying to Ryan, Who cares? All of a sudden one day I thought to say this, and it popped out of my mouth. Ever have those moments? The inside voice becomes your outside voice? And your eyes pop wide open with your own surprise. Like you threw up the words?
Ryan stopped in his tracks and looked at me. My comment, Who cares? stunned him silent. The good thing was that innately he understood the message. Ryan didn’t get defensive, which is something someone may do. He understood what I was driving towards.
I further added, Let’s think about ourselves. If you need to tell a story, that’s fine. But we definitely have enough to work on and talk about.
We started a practice of breaking this down into three bite-sized bits to diffuse our judgmental thoughts…..
- Be so busy that you don’t have time to care about what the other person is doing.
- Realize no one is you and you are not them.
- Do you really want their life? Really?
As an example, I know I don’t want their kids, their overhead, or their house. So, I am not jealous.
Done, moving on, who cares?
The Who Cares? Movement (Yes, I just made it a movement) can be helpful internally, as well. You may not need to speak it out loud if you are managing thoughts or triggers you have. Or, you can share this with your partner and they can manage their own practice managing their thoughts. Straight up, think to yourself, Who Cares? And move on. I have found it beneficial to start to practice it internally. Look around you, use social media as an example. There is a lot of content you can easily look at and practice with, let’s be honest. Start to look at someone’s post and say to yourself, “who cares?” If that person triggers you or has bad energy, this can diffuse it quickly. It takes the energy right out and releases it.
But often, as a good partner you need to listen. We have practiced shifting to saying first, “I need to vent.” Get it off your chest. If you can do this, talk about venting as I mention in Chapter 10, be upfront with expectations, and then roll on; that’s cool. It may help you mentally if you are good at or get good at releasing the story. Remember, it’s a story. However, the caveat is to not keep going on and on about it. Say it and move off the topic.
I debated also adding in what some other coaches recommend as a tip, and that is, “sitting in it.” But I don’t believe sitting in it does anyone any good. Hence why authentically, I cannot add that as one of my tips. Sitting in the venting, judging, and discomfort only extends the energy. And before you know it, both of you have the same negative energy. Therefore, both of you are off the positive railroad tracks.
Let’s get on the same railroad tracks…
You can take this to the same level with your children, too. Your daughter came home upset because Jodi next door has new designer jeans. This is definitely easier said than done. However, if you get her to realize her power and ability to diffuse the energy, she will get stronger and learn to focus on herself.
What’s the very popular quote?
“Where attention goes energy flows!”
I am sure you have heard that saying before. Many people have requoted the saying, tweaked it a bit, and attached their name.
Do you know what it means? Have you ever really sat with that and thought about the meaning and how that affects what you are trying to achieve from a universal standpoint? If you sit around focusing on someone else, which, by the way, has nothing to do with you, doesn’t affect you, and you can’t change it, the energy flows to that person. In addition, if you focus on competition, The Law of Attraction will bring more competition to you.
I am mentioning energy a lot in this chapter, but it’s important.
The energy, focus, and feeling all go hand in hand. And the feeling is what you want to get good at to manifest your dreams.
Another good saying that is as old as the hills is, “Worry about yourself.” I grew up with my mom saying it to me, time and time again.
But no one ever explained what it meant when you dug in. I’m not even sure if she understood or not herself, but it doesn’t matter. Focus on yourself, focus your energy on yourself, and watch your desires grow.
“Worrying is using your imagination to create what you don’t want.”- Abraham Hicks
We all know those worriers in our lives. Let’s all change worrier to warrior!