What is a projection? It is an energy you send out and place upon any
person or situation that is based on your thoughts. Your thoughts could
be negative or positive. There are good projections as well as bad
ones. Watch out, your positive projections could get you into a love
lationship that is hard to get out of! This happened to me once. After
all, your projections are not reality. However, your projections do
affect reality. Isn’t psychology interesting?
When I first read about projections in Freud’s books, in high school,
I got hooked into becoming a psychologist. Over the last forty years,
I have learned a great deal about energy and how it moves in, out and
between us. As a scientist, I love using energy instead of psychobabble
to help people achieve better mental health. When you learn to read
energy, you move beyond theory into a higher degree of certainty.
Consider the reality that psychological dynamics occur in the
physical world, not just in your head. You can learn to recognize
projections by paying attention to the energy inside of you, around
you and outside of you. How these realities interact with each other
inside of you and then are expressed outwardly determines the results
you get. The more you know what is happening in your mind, body and
energy field, the more you can be in the driver’s seat. Otherwise,
your ego, which is your conditioning, is in charge.
Effective therapists have always helped their clients discover when
they are projecting so they can stop projecting. When you bring back
your projections you dramatically improve your mental health and
interpersonal relationships. Convincing someone with talk therapy
that they are projecting is not as easy as showing them they are
projecting by teaching them to feel the energy difference between
reality and a mental projection of their own making.
When I first started supervising young therapists, my star student
disappointed me. The night before one of my early workshops in nature
my co- therapist said she could not show up for the workshop. I was
not only disappointed, but left holding the bag without the
assistance I needed. Hours of supervision and creative work was
worthless. Angry and confused, I wondered what happened. By this
time, I had learned that being a victim was not helpful.
Processing my feelings and judgment about how “irresponsible” my
best student was, lead me to discover that I had high expectations for
her performance. I expected her to be stellar. Disappointment was the
result. A light bulb went off! I was trying to be the perfect teacher and
expecting my intern to be the perfect student. I was projecting my high
standards, as expectations, onto my intern.
Amazingly, I discovered the energy of disappointment was quite
different from the energy of genuine emotions. Disappointment is the
result of a projection. My ego was trying to control the outcome so
it projected my expectations onto my student. Wow, disappointment is
a let down caused by a hyped up expectation. Expectations are created
by the ego to try to control the outcome. This means the energy of a
projection, expectation and disappointment can be recognized for what
they are— weak, controlling, mental energy.
The next time you feel disappointment, examine your expectations and
projections. Own your projections and stop them. If you bring back
your projected thoughts you can sense and feel reality as it is. The
real world will be quite different from your thoughts about reality.
Reality will not be perfect and you will not feel disappointment.
Feel how the energy of your true self is dramatically different.
Projections are false and feel false. Your true feelings and emotions
are strong and sturdy and produce radiant energy that matches that
You will feel better as soon as you stop criticizing yourself for
trying to control outcomes. Accept that you are human and make
mistakes. Without your projections, you feel emotions appropriate for
the situation. Feeling your sincere emotions makes you stronger,
smarter and happier. No matter what variety of emotions you feel,
they are real. Reality is more powerful than your thoughts.
Next month will address how your projections interact with reality
in ways that hurt you.
LEARN TO READ ENERGY: Discover the difference between your
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Doris Jeanette, Psy.D.
Author of Opening the Heart and 14 other self care products