I don’t remember where I first heard this quote, but it turned on a lightbulb for me. You see, I jump to defensiveness immediately. It doesn’t matter if the statement is nothing is sarcasm, a compliment, or a deep conversation. Defensiveness is my first reaction.

Defense is the first act of war.

There are probably many different interpretations of this quote, but I’d like to share mine.

Every time I go on the defense, I am starting an act of war. I can look back at situations where I have been defensive and I can see how I interpret the situation after as a war. It usually goes like this: I feel attacked, get defensive, then it feels like war to prove something or assert my opinion. Usually prove something. I always feel like I have to prove something.

Because I feel like I have to prove something, almost anything, I get defensive. I have to prove something because of two reasons. First, my ego, or as Andrea Owen calls it, my inner critic. Second, I lack self-confidence.

I can start a camera reel of situations that I feel shitty about and see this same thing happening over and over again. I get defensive, the situation then feels like war.

How am I going to flip the switch?

I am going to do thought work. Every day. Especially after future situations happen.

I just learned methods for thought work this weekend. I haven’t done my first session of thought work yet, but I am going to dive in and work on all the thoughts and feelings that make me get defensive.

Why haven’t I started? Because I did the normal “I’ll start on Monday.” I don’t know why, but I did. And it’s Monday. So I’m starting tonight. Thought work starts tonight to end the camera reel of defensiveness causing war.

Can you think of a situation where you were defensive and it felt like war?

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