How do you over-protect yourself?
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Lately I am in a situation in which I feel the urge to overly protect myself. You may, if you are a highly sensitive person, feel the need to defend the notion of protection. It's a good
thing, after all, right?
Any good thing can be over done, if taken too far.
I have taken on a leadership role in one of the networks I belong to. This role requires that I hold the members accountable to a particular metric. The details aren't important.
What's important is my emotional reaction to some push back I've received while doing this task. Keep in mind that I've been respectful and kind as I do my outreach (at least I think I have been).
It's one of those "shoot the messenger" deals. My response is that I want to go into hiding and protect myself from these adverse reactions. MY EGO wants to say, "Screw it! This isn't
worth it!" I want to defend myself and say, "Don't take your anger out on me."
I'm going through this for a reason though. I need to build up my character and strength so that I don't take things so deeply personally into my heart and make them mean anything.
When we've grown up with some trauma and felt hurt and rejected because of loss, abuse, or whatever, we tend to take things very personally. Easier said than done NOT to.
If you add onto that being highly sensitive with a differently wired nervous system that is more susceptible to others' energies, you have the recipe to over-protect your vulnerable heart.
How is it OVER-protection? Because we can take it to the extreme.
When we begin to assume, in my example, that most of the group is thinking I'm a bad leader, that they are turning against me, that it's going to hurt my ability to be referred and create connection, this
becomes a story in my head that no longer serves me.
This is a story of fear of judgment, of fear of being targeted and persecuted.
What is healthy protection? It would look like me realizing that NO ONE can tell me how to believe. I would reassure myself that it's probably only one or two people feeling disgruntled and that there are ways to handle this, like attempting to honestly communicate.
I'm not in charge of how other people feel. That's THEIR responsibility. I choose not to hold myself back or not shine my light because of other people's fears.
It would look like maintaining solid self-care, acknowledging what I'm feeling, being gentle on myself, being aware, and not justifying my own behaviors if they are misguided.
How do I determine if my behaviors are misguided? I can use a filter of discernment: Am I being arrogant, flippant, disrespectful or motivated by fear?
If the answer is no, and I am living congruently within my own moral structure and values without self-deception, then I can be at peace. I can let others have their opinions and not take over-responsibility for their feelings, which leads to me needing to over-protect because I don't feel safe.
Let's do this together. I am no different from you. I've simply made studying myself a full-time job. I've learned some things that I would like to share with you. One is that our happiness is an inside job. Come tap with me at the next Frontier to Your Freedom class.