Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. -Carl Jung
Have you ever shared a plan or idea with a confidant and left the exchange feeling extremely discouraged about moving forward with your plan? Maybe this person expressed that they think your idea would not work or maybe you’re not ready – well hold up and stop! Before you make a final decision, ask yourself if this person is projecting their feelings onto you.
Projection is a psychological defense mechanism that we use to attribute our own “stuff” (unacceptable thoughts/feelings/motives) to others. We have all done this at some point, in fact, many of us do it consistently – leaving a destructive path and not even realizing it. Sadly, there is destruction on both ends. When you project your own issues, you are not dealing with yourself and conversely you may stunt another person’s growth. So what can you do to rectify this behavior?
For starters, one must recognize this trait in themselves in order to work on it. Finding out what issues are being projected and consciously taking responsibility for them is the next step. Once this takes place, it will be more difficult to throw your stuff at someone else because you will now be aware that you’re doing it. Realizing when someone is projecting onto you is also important. This can be difficult to realize, at times, due to the conviction that we project with. But deciphering whether someone truly has your best interest at heart and the latter can save you time on lost opportunities because you unnecessarily hesitated. So while you check your projections – heed your intuition as well.
P.S. – Make sure you check out the Challenge of the Week for this week’s Gem!