Is Someone/Something Really a Pain in Your Life, or Are You Projecting?

‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Ever experience being intimidated or irritated by someone or something? Know that gnawing anxiety the moment that certain ‘someone’ walks in the room or you have to face a situation that causes you stress? Do you find yourself avoiding certain tasks, justify your inability or lack of courage?

Do you wonder why your self confidence takes a knock or seems to desert you at the worst times?

If you can identify with any of the above scenarios, congratulations are in order. You have uncovered deeply buried parts of you that need your help. A very progressive leg of your journey will unfold as you address and soothe your areas of discomfort.

Is it You? Or is it Them?

If it is NOT you, then there is no way out or through and you will remain a helpless, hopeless victim. The good news however is that you DO have control over those uncomfortable feelings and scenarios. You do not have to be a victim - unless you chose to remain one.

Understanding that the way you feel has less to do with another person or situation than it has to do with you, prevents you from giving away your power and returns it to you instead.

The Eleanor Roosevelt quote says it all. The question is why are you granting permission for your discomfort? Are you able to discern whether you’re projecting your fears, insecurities, and bad experiences? Are your responses defensive?

Projections are Triggered Defense Mechanisms

if we've touched a sore spot, don’t fret. All that’s happened in those areas of discomfort is that stuff buried in your subconscious has been triggered.

When your defense mechanisms have been sparked and it is not easy to manage the oftentimes illogical emotions and behaviours that seem to come out of nowhere.

However, help is at hand.

Reversing Defensive Projections and Return to Confidence

Mindfulness is going to have to be your new best friend - your tutor if you like. Your own self-awareness in the moment will grant you two gifts:

  1. The power to redirect your feeling of intimidation, inferiority, or whatever the discomfort
  2. The expansiveness of heart not to blame others or circumstances for the way you feel and behave.

Taking your power back is about taking responsibility for yourself, it’s about honing your self-mastery. Here’s how.

  • Remind yourself that it is your birthright to be treated properly.
  • Define your anxiety or discomfort by labeling it. 
  • Acknowledge the strengths of another or the authority or the value of a task you may be avoiding.
  • Express yourself using the personal pronoun e.g. ‘I start to feel anxious when you threaten to abandon our relationship every time we disagree.’ 
  • Repeat - repeat all the above and use the ‘broken record’ technique and restate the point as often as you need to till you are heard.
  • Humbly keep making sure your self-confidence is reflecting the real you.

The Other Side of the Projection Coin

If you are true to your inner ethic and live more often according to the best version of yourself, you are likely both inspiring others to do the same, or triggering defense projections from them.

In the first instance, congratulate yourself on inspiring the best in others. In the second instance, the tables have turned and the behaviour of others has everything to do with them and less to do with you.

It is just their subconscious, egoic reflection standing in the way of the issues yet to be sorted. Be patient, be kind. After all, they are simply where you were before you got a grip on your own triggers and responses. 

Just as you were on your journey to correct your unconscious triggers, and the negative attributes it brought out in you, so might they be. Remember, no one can have it altogether right all of the time and you're going to need someone's kindness when your triggers surface now and then.

If they take their stuff out on you, always remember it’s their story they’re mirroring, not yours. Access the best of yourself and afford them compassion and love because, well, they need it and so do you. 

Go get that coffee for the both of you!


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