Yeah. I’m a Trekkie from way back. Could not resist the Star Trek reference here. I don’t know what you’ve been through in life. You may have had a relatively easy life or you may have had horrific things happen to you.
Here’s what I do know. You can’t go through life with your shields up all the time. Even though you may feel like you’ve been taken advantage of, and most of us have been at one time or another, you have to figure out a way to be open and to trust.
I’m not saying it’s easy. It is necessary. The fact is you need other people to pursue anything meaningful in this world. Having sky-high barriers that are like those signs on a Disney ride – “Go back while you still can” – pushes people away.
Bonds, partnership, and collaboration are needed for you to push your goals and dreams to the limit.
“OK, Ray. I may agree with you, but people have been awful to me in the past. How do I open up without being harmed again?”
Power hack: There’s no fool-proof way to avoid harm. We live in a world filled with risk and reward and a lot of each in the other. Here are some practical steps you can take to drop your shields without leaving yourself vulnerable to attack.
- See each person and each situation as different. The fact that other people have hurt you doesn’t mean all people will hurt you. Give people a chance.
- Two strikes and you’re out. Assume the positive. Give people two chances to prove they want to have a positive relationship. One strike and you’re out is kind of harsh. People make honest mistakes. Give people a second chance. However, the third time shows a pattern. Better to move on.
- Expect respect. Respect other people, their rights, and their boundaries and require other people to do the same with you. You can’t expect respect if you don’t give it, but if you give it expect it back.
- You’re always in control. If someone just doesn’t give you a good vibe, you’re not required to engage them and take that energy into yourself. There are so many people walking around today looking for people who piss them off to do battle with them. Two negatives don’t make a positive. Not everyone has to be a friend or a colleague.
- Be authentic. Know thyself and work out from there. When you have a strong sense of who you are and you act on that, you’ll start to attract people and situations that align with that energy.
The bottom line is it’s not productive to cruise the galaxy of life with your shields constantly up. You’ll miss amazing opportunities and relationships. Just be true to who you are, give other people a fair chance, and cut your losses when that’s what needs to be done. Have boundaries not walls and you’ll do great.
I think each and every one of you is amazing and I thank you for stopping by and reading this today. If this struck a nerve, please leave a comment below. If you know someone who needs to hear this, please share it.