3 Lessons Learned from Reflection and Projection

In our last episode, we discussed how we should begin a Projecting Practice to accelerate our careers. Determining when we should reflect versus when we should project can be a bit tricky at times. Many of us are more adapt at reflection, but we often struggle with projection. While practicing both, I’ve learned a few valuable lessons along the way.


Lesson 1: Reflect when necessary. Projection is preferable.

There are periods when it’s crucial to pause for reflection, but there comes a time when those periods end. What do you do afterwards? Lingering in the reflection zone will not move you along the path to your next adventure. Though it may be relaxing to reflect, give yourself a swift kick in the seat of your pants before you turn lackadaisical.

Projection is preferable when no crises threaten your wellbeing or that of your family. When you have the opportunity to project, maximize it. If you have a bit of wiggle room to try something new, do it!


Lesson 2: Reflection is a salve. Projection is a stimulant.

When you are healing from a traumatic event, you don’t need a can of Red Bull. You need a salve, a soothing balm to heal your wounds. That’s exactly how reflection affects your psyche. Would you continue using that salve once you have healed? You’d be a bit crazy if you did.

On the other hand, how do you prepare for that early morning board meeting? You probably down a few (or several) cups of stiff coffee to get your mind into hyperdrive. Projection provides that same stimulation for your ambitions. Chug a few doses of projection, and you’re ready to dominate your career.


Lesson 3: Reflection refrains. Projection propels.

Reflection gives you the opportunity to refrain from dangerous endeavors. Caution is the name of the game when you need to reflect. Do not make any rash decisions that might endanger you emotionally, physically or psychologically. Allow reflection to restrain you from daredevil activity until you are ready for some projection.

Projection gives you an adrenaline rush at the prospect of charting new territories. Just as you are cleared for vigorous physical activity when you are healthy, you are primed for being propelled by projection when you are psychologically and emotionally fit. If you’re not quite to that point yet, don’t fret. Take the time you need in reflection before jumping into projection.


Note: It is common to oscillate between reflection and projection depending upon the events in your life. If you are in a reflection period, I recommend you read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron for further study.


Discussion Question: Now it’s your turn. On the spectrum of reflection to projection, where do you find yourself? Tell me why you feel it’s the optimal place for you at this stage in your life.