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  • Pat­rina M. Clark, SPHR, HCS, RACC
    Speaker | Trainer | Con­sul­tant | Coach
19 Mar

Lights, Cam­era, Action!

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The Power of Projection

Almost every­one has had the expe­ri­ence of meet­ing some­one and either feel­ing an imme­di­ate attrac­tion to or strong lik­ing for the per­son. The oppo­site expe­ri­ence is also true, where we imme­di­ately decide we do not like someone.

The best – and most empow­er­ing – expla­na­tion I ever received for this hap­pened when I attended a Deb­bie Ford (www​.deb​bieford​.com) work­shop. Shortly after the ses­sion started, Deb­bie invited us to share our impres­sions of her.

Because we are gen­er­ally a polite soci­ety, the ini­tial com­ments ranged from very com­pli­men­tary to slightly reserved. After a few rounds of this, Deb­bie encour­aged us to really share what we were think­ing. A few com­ments were made about her phys­i­cal appear­ance, and then the group grew a bit bolder – describ­ing her as con­trol­ling, mean, dis­tant, and the like. This went on for about five min­utes, dur­ing which she con­tin­ued to smile and agree with everyone’s assess­ment of her by say­ing “Yes, I am.”

At the end of this, she made two points that made a last­ing impres­sion. The first and most impor­tant point was that we are ALL things. The sooner we embrace this fact and stop believ­ing exclu­sively in this men­tal pro­jec­tion of our­selves that we delude our­selves into think­ing is the “real us,” the sooner we will be free to live more authen­tic lives.

The sec­ond point, though, really hit home. She told the group that our strongest reac­tions to oth­ers are clues to those things that we feel most strongly about our­selves, con­sciously and sub­con­sciously, pos­i­tive and “neg­a­tive.” I enclosed neg­a­tive in quotes because the only real judg­ment is self-​imposed. It truly rarely mat­ters what oth­ers think of us – except to the extent we make it mean something.

So, in think­ing about all of the peo­ple to whom I had a very strong reac­tion – favor­able or unfa­vor­able, I began see­ing myself more clearly. Even before I attended Debbie’s work­shop, I had read in sev­eral self-​help and mar­riage coun­sel­ing books that we should pay atten­tion to the com­plaints we make about oth­ers. In those com­plaints were the keys to becom­ing a more peace­ful per­son and a more accept­ing person.

Self-​awareness can be very pow­er­ful – if we are will­ing to truly open our eyes and see. It frees us to get more and more com­fort­able in our skin and come to believe that we all are truly per­fect exactly the way we are for where we are in our lives right now. And, from this place, we can use each new day to become a more per­fect ver­sion of our already per­fect selves.

Wish­ing you joy in abundance!

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