One of my favorite words is “unassailable.” When you’re unassailable, you can’t be attacked or defeated. This word resonates with me because during various times in my life I, like most people, have been on the receiving end of blame and judgment. Early on my reaction to it was guilt. In my Middle Eastern family, guilt was a commonplace emotion. In my adult life, those feelings of guilt led to shame.
Many of you reading this can relate. You may have noticed, as I have, that blame and judgment surge in times when you are striving to be your best; when you’re working toward a goal and making strides. Often, people share their opinions, make snide remarks, or are lurking in the wings to undercut your enthusiasm or somehow undermine your achievements.
My solution when I was younger was to try to create perfection in every aspect of my life. If something is perfect, it is by definition unassailable. There is no way to criticize perfection, because, well…it’s perfect. I dedicated myself to building protective walls by pursuing perfection. Clearly, this is not achievable and striving for perfection creates its own type of stress.
The feelings that arise when people attack your character, bring you down, or judge you can be overwhelming, especially when we are doing something we love or are passionate about.
I have news for you. The opposing force of those that judge and criticize you is actually a force that can quicken the very success that you are seeking.
When Rav & Karen Berg opened the teachings of Kabbalah to anyone who wanted to learn, they were shunned, slandered, and reviled by their neighbors, friends, and community. People threw actual stones. As the years went by, the opposition lessened. A typical reaction to less opposition would be joy and relief. But not so for the Rav. He was concerned by the lack of opposition. He knew that if you want to make a big change in the world there has to be opposition.
This lesson created a big shift for me. I used to seek perfection to protect myself from scrutiny but now I work to have an unassailable consciousness. This meant I could maintain my consciousness, even in times where I felt judged and under attack. I’ve realized that anytime someone has opposed me it has brought me nothing but more opportunity. As a result, I’m less affected by harsh words, criticism, or negative reactions.
Which brings me to the final point. When you strive to have an unassailable consciousness, you view your opposing forces with a new perspective. You can even feel empathy towards the person trying to mar your image, judge you, or tear you down.
When it comes to creating this unassailable consciousness, there is a quote from Frank Outlaw that I feel outlines the steps almost perfectly:
“Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
THOUGHT INTO ACTION
Remember that when someone hurts you, it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their pain. You just happened to be in their proximity. When you practice this consciousness, you can have empathy even for your most vocal opponents.