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Recently I have been thinking about the theory of projection, developed by Freud. I liken it to a movie projector. As the projectionist you are sitting in a little box at the back of the cinema. The film is projected from here some metres away on to others. After the film has been threaded on to the projector it is no longer the projectionist’s. What happens in psychological projection is that we deny our own qualities and emotions and attribute them to others.
For example, we may blame others when we fail at something. We may become aware of this where the responses from a variety of people have been similar, and we need to ask the question, ‘What’s the common factor here?’ Is it possible that the message was not being truly conveyed because of the way we are communicating it?
It is helpful to honestly and openly attempt a realistic, relative view of how we fit into the world and affect others. By taking a step back and observing ourselves and how we interact with others, a bit like an unbiased third party, we may throw some light on our outward messaging such as body language. (I like to imagine myself sitting on my own shoulder observing my behaviour.)
An effective way of doing this is to make a distinction between self-perception and self-definition. Self-perception is based more on an idea and can be impacted or defeated by habit, self-doubt or old negative messages. Self-definition, on the other hand, is a specific, definitive state of being in thought, feeling, action and reaction that draws from our true, unique inner-self.
We may start by taking a realistic personal inventory of your assets, whatever they may be, and honestly and openly asking those close to us for help. Once done, we can define and combine all these factors and create a visualization of this new person and the future we desire. It also often helps to create positive affirmations, and read them daily!
Next, we may choose a day and time when we will stand up and make a definitive conscious decision to just "be" who we really are. Then we simply start thinking, feeling, acting and reacting in line with this persona. This power of perspective and appreciation for life can literally make all the difference between living and existing, happiness and despair or success and failure.