Last week I wrote to you about how mean people aren’t as bad as you think. I talked about how all of us have defense mechanisms that kick in when we are feeling ashamed, unworthy, anxious, afraid, etc. These defense mechanisms protect our ego from being hurt, and it often happens automatically.
This week, I thought we could explore our own defense mechanisms, rather than talk about others.
To illustrate my point, I am going to introduce you to my three defense mechanisms:
So, you may be wondering why my defense mechanisms have names?
This is an exercise that I did with my own Life Coach before I became a coach, but have since learned about it’s importance.
When we can name, or give a personality, to parts of ourselves that may not always be in our best interest, we can set them apart from our whole self. They cease to be who we are, but more of a small character that lives within us and sometimes comes forth.
When we can name our defense mechanisms, we can better recognize them when they kick in, and we can better reign them in. “Name it to tame it.” Remember, your defense mechanisms come forth when your ego needs protecting, but your ego isn’t you.
When these mechanisms kick in, they disconnect us from others, and cause us to act in a way that may not align with our core values or our commitments.
Last week I talked about how Brené Brown qualifies these defense mechanisms in three ways:
So, let’s try this with you. Use these questions to start thinking about your defense mechanisms.
Now that you have some images in your mind, what defense mechanisms come out to play when? Or better yet, what circumstances trigger which defense mechanisms?
What could you name your defense mechanisms? What personalities do they have?
I like to play around with words and use alliteration, so if that works for you, great. The key is to make them memorable. I had their names on post-it notes around my bedroom and office for awhile, until I could relate to them, but also see them from a macro-view.
They are a small part of me, but not me.
It's Your Life. Live It Boldly.