Get pushed right up against that hard edge – the rock, the hard-place. You have a decision to make. When someone calls you out, do you get defensive or do you absorb it and keep moving forward?
Here’s the thing. When you begin to pay attention to being defensive, you’ll get the rare opporunity to see something in yourself you don’t get to see all the time. I get defensive when I feel people are calling my integrity into question. I get defensive when people doubt me – warrented or not. I get defensive when my purpose or ability is called into question.
And you know why? And pay attention now because this is the really hard part.. The reason I get defensive is because the story I tell myself about myself just matched what they said about me! When someone calls me a liar, or a weakling, or a sand-bagger, or a coward, or a lazy bum – I get pissed off because that is the same fucking story I tell myself.
So we get the walls up, the guns come out, and we’re ready for battle when someone says something that pushes up against our ego. You’re in it. Right now, in that moment, it’s on. What do you do? What will you do with this teachable moment? This moment is hard and it hurts a little but it won’t show up when you’re ready for it and it won’t manifest when you don’t have the corresponding thought and self-judgement.. it just won’t be there unless you’re there too. So what can you do?
You can recognize that this little failure.. this little falling short is one instance and not the whole. You can accept that when someone is calling you out on it, they just might be doing it because they have your best interest at heart. You can see the thought in yourself and forgive yourself for having it, and you can take it and make it better.
Being defensive is an opportunity to improve yourself in the actions you take, the thoughts you have about yourself, and the humility you have toward others.