3 Common Shields We Use to Try and Protect Ourselves

In this episode I delve further into Brene Brown's work on Vulnerability and some of the shields that we put up in order to try and protect ourselves. The big three are: 1. Foreboding Joy 2. Perfectionism 3. Numbing

What we don't realise is that these shields stop us from living and loving wholeheartedly. While we have these up, we cannot live to our fullest. I know this more than anyone after living for 3 years and never allowing myself to watch a TV show, or a movie, because I was scared I was missing out.

And although those 3 years provided a lot of learning, they came with a fair share of heart-ache. But what is done is done, and now it's time to move on.

I encourage you to watch this video if you are currently struggling and think that you are shutting people off with the big three.

In this video I share with you some strategies to start embracing your heart and living congruently.

Enjoy and to learn more: http://haydenwilson.com.au


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Full Transcription Below

Ladies and Gentlemen, Hayden Wilson here for Learn Share Grow live. I’ve got an awesome video here for you today in Vulnerability Week. This is all about the common shields that we put up – there’s a lot of research here, again done by Brene Brown – and this is a video that you’re going to resonate with and enjoy. I will ask you, if it does resonate, please share it with someone that you think is using some of these common shields to block things out in an attempt to make sure that nothing will hurt you or hurt them. Once I take you through this data and this knowledge and these strategies, you can learn to open up a little bit more and become the person that you want to be and start enjoying your life more because you’re not holding onto things and putting up that wall. A wall can stop you from being hurt but it also stops good things from coming in. This is what we’re going to be going through today.

The first shield that people put up is foreboding joy. They have the expectation or the view that they can start to enjoy something after this is complete. I’m telling you from personal experience that this is not a good place to come from because there’s always something more to do, there’s always something else that you want to do before you can start to enjoy it. From the data that Brene has gone over during the last 13 years, she has found that if there are 100 people in a room one in three or 33% of those people will receive a serious call where something really serious has happened, a trauma situation, like someone has died or someone they know has been in an accident or raped, or horrible situations. So one in three people watching this has had that phone call and they will tell you that nothing can prepare you for what that person is going to say, or how you can react to that phone call. Nothing can prepare you. What we do know is, if that’s the reality and you can’t prepare, why do we go over these stories in our head, why do we try to prepare for what might happen because that’s uncertain. The only certainty we have, and I know this sounds a bit out there, but the only certainty we have is right now. What’s happening now, let’s enjoy it right now, in the moment for what it is. Rather than hoping for something like ‘I’ll be successful when . . . ‘ how many times have you heard that? or told yourself that – I know I did ‘I’ll be successful when I have X amount of dollars in the bank’ or ‘I’ll be successful when I’ve travelled to these different countries’ or ‘I’ll be successful when I have this many friends, or this many appointments in my diary, or this many clients, or this many websites’, or whatever it is for you. Please understand that you don’t need to wait til a certain point, we can enjoy things now.

The second thing that a lot of people struggle with and they put up that shield, is with perfectionism. Always wanting, and sitting on things for days or weeks, months or years, because we’re too afraid of what people might think. The biggest thing here is, you can try to be as perfect as possible, but I guarantee you that nothing in the entire world is going to stop you from being judged. That is what happens. People judge when they feel deficient in a certain area themselves. They judge and place those judgements on you. I guarantee you, even if you are perfect, you’re striving for perfection, you believe you fit it, other people out there will be saying ‘they’re too perfect’. It doesn’t matter. There is always going to be someone else out there who is jealous of what you are achieving. So even if you are perfect you can’t stop judgement. The only way to stop judgement is to be nothing, do nothing, say nothing, in general, don’t put yourself out there, don’t be anything. But I’m telling you, that’s not going to be an enjoyable way to live. So don’t strive for perfection, just strive for healthy growth. Strive to be better than you were the day before, the week before because if you’re going for perfection, I can guarantee you’re not going to hit it because it’s this impossible ladder and even if we do get to a point of ‘I’ll be happy . . . ‘, back to the first foreboding joy, ‘I’ll be happy when I get here’, ‘I’ll be happy when things are perfect’, something else will come up and then something else will come up, so we’ll never really hit this pot of gold that we seem to call perfection.

The third shield that we put up is numbing. We go from one thing to the next, this is what numbing is, it’s taking something from your life, this is an addiction, where you have something in your life and that may go askew, so then you replace that with something else. So if you are working 60-70 hours a week and that drops off, quite often we have the tendency to, because we can’t sit still, over achievers, over thinkers, people who want to strive for the best, can’t just sit still and be creative and think because they feel they always have to be doing something and they get stuck in this place of numbing. You know, they need to be eating this type of food and they need to be exercising and we see this a lot, chronic over exercisers because they don’t know how to fill their time, they’ve never had this time space to be creative or do things that they actually want to do because they don’t feel worthy of it. But I’m here to tell you that you are worthy of doing whatever you want, in any aspect of your life. You just need to work out the strategies to put that into place - what do you actually want to do, what do you enjoy doing? Instead of trying to numb that activity out and trying to replace all this beautiful white space where you can do things that you actually want to do, you can put things in there that you really want to do, rather than trying to numb it out and trying to work more, or do negative activities rather than achieving what you actually want to achieve. So I would say to you, instead of going from a place of numbing, try to find that place of comfort.

So if you’re looking through TV stations, looking for something to watch, you need to ask yourself ‘am numbing or is this comforting?’ There are a couple of TV shows that I really enjoy and I blocked them out of my life for three years. For three years I wouldn’t allow myself to go to the movies, I wouldn’t allow myself to watch TV shows that I loved, but I wouldn’t allow myself because if I did that then I wouldn’t get the work done, and that’s lazy. But what I’ve learned to do in the last 3 – 6 months is open myself up because that person can wait, or that situation can wait because there’s always more to do, there’s always going to be another blog to put up, another facebook post to put up, there’s more graphic designing, more websites to build, there’s always more to do. So why don’t I enjoy myself along the way. This is a great tip and a strategy for you – we can enjoy life along the way. Back in the day, when you’d hear ‘When I retire I’m going to go live on a beach . . . ‘

I have this great story about a man who comes to a village, and I’ll try to make this quick. A man, aa business man comes to this village and he sees a young fisherman sitting there in a boat, coming back in, and he’s got a couple of fish. The business man says ‘wow, you just caught six fish, how long were you out for?’ The young fisherman says ‘I was out for the morning, I love it, it’s relaxing on the water, and I caught a couple of fish, it’s a great adventure’. The business man says ‘wow, if you could catch six fish in two hours, imagine what would happen if you had two boats. Would you like that life where you could go out and strive for this greatness and have more and more and more, and get more boats and an enterprise?’ The fisherman said ‘why is that important?’ and eventually as the story goes, the business man said ‘you could have more boats’. The fisherman said ‘why is that important?’ ‘Well’ said the business man, ‘if you had more boats you could catch more fish and you could have more money’. The fisherman said ‘why do I need more money because I have enough fish, I have enough of what I need’. The business man said ‘well if you had all this, what would it mean to you?’ to which the fisherman replied ‘well it would mean I’d get to retire in a nice village and go fishing every morning and actually do what I want to do’. This is a great story because this young business man who was looking for entrepreneurial adventures everywhere, wakes up and he sees that this fisherman is doing what he actually wants to do.

So sometimes it’s not this large goal that we actually want to achieve. It’s the smaller things that we actually enjoy doing and I’m going to be talking about this more later in the week.

I want you to look into what shields you’re putting up, what are you blocking out and restricting from going out and getting in, are you foreboding joy, are you trying to stop that feeling or that expectation is the thief of opportunity, and you’re thinking ‘I can’t be happy with that because what if this happens, or what if that happens?’

So allow yourself, open yourself up and recognise that you can be happy and you can enjoy this moment. The second thing I want you do is let go of perfection because I can guarantee you, and I know this from experience, there is no perfection. Just start that business, think it through of course, start that business and take those risks, talk to that girl or that boy in the coffee shop - there is no perfect time, there is no perfect anything, we need action and to put these things into place. The third thing is, stop numbing. If you’re watching TV and you’re scrolling through endlessly and trying to find something to watch and you’re just numbing out – you know when that time is, you know when you’ve wasted time scrolling and you’re on facebook, because you’re numbing out. Whereas, if you actually allocate that time and say ‘well yes I really love that TV show, or I really love watching Hayden’s video shows’ allow yourself time, don’t feel guilty about watching my videos or watching something on YouTube or watching something on TV. There’s this whole culture right now around hustle and every single second you need to be doing something and big guys, I’m not going to name names, but big guys are saying this is the only way you’re going to be successful, do this, work hard, never stop, never give up, you need to be on all the time, work from 12am to 5am – and this used to be me, trust me, this used to be me all over, you’ve probably seen stuff on my facebook saying you need to get up at 5am and do this and do that – well I think it’s great, it agrees with me, but if that doesn’t float your boat then try something else. You don’t need to be involved, you don’t need to be hustling down in every single second of the day. Start to enjoy yourself and get healthy enjoyment out of different activities.

This video has gone much too long. Thank you for watching. If you have any questions, jump over to haydenwilson.com.au. I’m really enjoying Vulnerability Week so far – this is a big step for me, being vulnerable and opening up about a lot of these topics. I hope you’re enjoying. I’ll catch you next time.