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Hilary G. Shaw knows firsthand how holding limiting beliefs can affect our mental attitude. After years of fearing criticism and taking other people’s actions personally, which usually put her in a funk, Shaw reached out to the Option Institute and learned skills that helped her change the way she reacted to others.

At Shaw’s upcoming workshop, Want to Stop Taking Things Personally? she provides take-home tools she learned through the Option Institute to help people get started on feeling comfortable, regardless of the actions of others. The free interactive workshops take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on consecutive Wednesdays, April 17 and 24, at Unity Church of Greenville. Each night, Shaw will present new information. The workshop is limited to 10 participants.

Shaw had worked in the mental health field for many years and holds master’s degrees in social work and education. Her own self-growth and happiness developed over the last 13 years has motivated her to share what she has and continues to learn.

“About 90 percent of people do not know how to get out of their own way,” Shaw says. “I consider these workshops a gift to men and women who really want to change how they react to situations. We tend to take things personally because of the beliefs we have about ourselves. The good news is that you own your beliefs, so you can change them. Self-understanding and knowledge are byproducts of this work.”

Shaw notes that beliefs like, “I’m not good enough,” or, “There is something wrong with me,” are all common self-esteem beliefs. These are the beliefs that often get activated when someone either criticizes us or behaves in a way that we interpret as rude or uncaring. “Many times we feel hurt, angry or afraid. Our feelings seem so automatic and we believe they are the result of the other person’s actions,” she says. The cost of taking things personally can ultimately make people feel depressed, ashamed or angry, which can rupture family relationships or make work situations feel awkward.

“It may take lots of time and energy to get over taking things personally, but the tools I present are designed to help you help yourself to progress toward an enduring solution to taking things personally,” advises Shaw. “Imagine yourself not taking things personally, but moving through your day with ease and comfort, regardless of what others say and do.”

In addition to the upcoming April workshop, Shaw will be leading future workshops in Dallas. She offers individual sessions using a dialogue method designed to find hidden beliefs and plans to build a network of people to support, study and apply Option Institute principles to their daily lives.

Admission to the evens is free, donations to Unity Church on Greenville are appreciated. Location: 3425 Greenville Ave., Dallas. For more information, email or visit For additional information about the Option Institute, visit

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.



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