If you’re new here, you’re likely a fellow Projector (I’m a 4/6 Splenic Projector, more about me at the very bottom of this article) and perhaps you’ve had the same experience I’ve had trying to understand what being a Projector really means and more importantly, how to use it in life and business. If so, you’re not alone, and welcome to Projectors Thriving!
*This article is part of a limited blog series to help other Projector entrepreneurs connect to resources and information to help them grow their businesses in a way that works for them.
Yes! You’ve received an invitation and it feels soooooo good, right?
As a Projector in Human Design, when you’re invited, there is the flattery of the invitation but is it a genuine invitation? Is it the kind of invitation that will energize you and where you’ll be fully received?
Let’s explore what makes a genuine invitation…
*I briefly talk about genuine invitations for Projectors in this blog post, too: 6 Tips to Integrate Your Projector Human Design into Your Business (Scroll down to tip #5)
What Makes a Genuine Invitation?
This is my personal list that helps me to know what to say yes to because not all invitations are meant for me. Just as all invitations you receive aren’t meant for you. Discernment is key to making sure we put our energy where it’s truly acknowledged so it’s not depleting.
Does the person truly see me or do they just want something from me?
Is someone trying to extract value from you?
What is extraction in this context? We see extraction happen a lot with people who hold marginalized identities. A person with a lived experience of being BIPOC or queer, for example, can be treated as the monolith of the group of people they are a part of. When others want to understand that marginalized group, the individual with the marginalized identity can be approached to educate the group about it.
For example, when a lot of White folx were starting their antiracism work in 2020, a lot of Black women were extracted from to educate said White folx. Women are often extracted from to manage all of the details of a household, plus be the chauffeur for the children, plus contribute to the household financially through their job or business. Women’s value is extracted from their ability to produce.
Now, let’s add a layer of context as it relates to being a Projector. As a Projector, you may or may not hold marginalized identities that contribute to this topic in your life so please take that into consideration. Being a Projector is just part of your beautifully layered identity as a whole person.
The phrase I use is this, “Is this person here to co-create something with me or get something (extract value) from me?” When you ask yourself this question, you will be able to notice the difference.
Use your Authority:
Splenic Projectors: You’ll typically notice the energy right away, even if it’s subtle. How does that question feel in your body? Notice what you try to talk yourself into and out of. Don’t override your awareness. For Splenic Projectors, you know what you know. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if it appears illogical. You know. Trust what you know.
Self-projected Projector: You can hear your truth when you hear yourself talk things out. So don’t feel pressure to say yes or no right on the spot and give yourself the space and time to hear your own thoughts about it. This is when you call a friend who can just witness you talking about the invitation. As you talk about it, you’ll hear the resonance (or not) within your own voice. A lot of the self-projected Projectors I’ve talked to tell me that when they hear themselves talk about it, they feel a resonance in their body that is warm and supportive and that’s how they know it’s a yes for me. If they notice they are trying to talk themselves into things through logic or they think they’ll be a “good” person if they say yes, they don’t feel the resonance and that means it’s a no.
Emotional Projector: You make the best decisions when you ride the high and low of your emotions. When in doubt, sleep on it. Don’t put pressure on yourself to decide on something right away.
Ego Projector: Do you have the desire to see it through? After the initial flattery of being invited, tune into seeing the project/invitation all the way through. If you feel bored, tired, or resentful, then that’s a sign that this invitation either isn’t meant for you OR, sometimes you require more information. Perhaps it’s an aligned and genuine invitation as long as you have an assistant who can do the doing part of the project and you can be the guide.
Mental Projector: You need to talk it out and have someone mirror it back to you so you can hear and see it differently. The difference between a Mental Projector and a Self-Projected Projector is a Mental Projector needs someone to mirror back to them what they share and a Self-Projected Projector needs to hear themselves. If you are a Mental Projector, it’s important to talk with someone who doesn’t have an agenda about what they think you should do and they can be a clear space to simply mirror things back to you.
Is it genuine or is it out of obligation?
One thing I despise is when things are done out of obligation. Example: I was having lunch with two colleagues and I was mentioning how I’m looking for a peer-led mastermind to brainstorm ideas with and get feedback. The two colleagues mentioned they were in a mastermind together and they really enjoyed it. Then it got awkward and one of them mentioned, “Well, maybe you could join us sometime for our mastermind.”
That “invitation” felt like a clunk in my body. This was not a genuine invitation, this was the “nice” or “polite” thing to do, but an unkind invitation because it wasn’t honest.
Notice where you’re doing things or inviting out of obligation, too. It’s a two-way street. Only consider genuine invitations. You’ll be happier and the genuine invitations will be much more reciprocal, which means they won’t deplete your energy.
Do I have the capacity?
It’s time to get honest with yourself. Do you have the capacity to follow through with the invitation? One pitfall I see with a lot of Projectors, and I know this because I’ve been there, too, is we are great at saying yes to things because we see how things can be done to be the most efficient way possible. If the invitation requires a lot of DOing vs GUIDING, then it’s probably a no.
Plus if you tend to be a people pleaser, it may feel really hard for you to say no. I’ve met Projectors who spend their entire day at their job DOING things. Then they get home and DO more. It’s no surprise they are exhausted. So when they receive genuine invitations, it feels depleting because their energy is overspent in all of the DOING in other areas of their life. If you can relate to this, it’s okay. I have yet to meet a Projector who hasn’t found themselves in situations like this.
The key is to make adjustments as you can so you have the capacity to say yes to the invitations that light you up.
Is it my authentic wisdom and gifts or is it something I’ve been conditioned to know?
If you’ve not read the book, “The Big Leap,” by Gay Hendricks, that’s a really great book for Projectors. It’s a great book for everyone, but especially for us. It talks about your “Zone of Genius,” which are the things you can do, and time flies. You do them and you are energized. As a Projector, this is your innate wisdom, gifts, and expertise vs the things you’ve been conditioned to do because you “should” do them in order to be successful.
For example, when I paint, time flies. When I’m creating products with my art (journals, cards, etc.) I forget to eat, I don’t check my phone, I’m not thinking about my to-do list, and I’m in the zone. I’m in the flow.
When I’m teaching my group programs and coaching clients, time flies. I leave the calls energized and fulfilled. That’s how I know I’m in my Zone of Genius. BUT, I feel this way when I’m teaching in my zones of genius: marketing, messaging, and transformation.
While I CAN coach entrepreneurs about what technology to use for their business, those conversations are draining. I don’t like to use my 1-on-1 time with someone answering questions about WordPress vs Wix, for example, or what WordPress theme or shopping cart to use. Do I know it? Yes? Is it fulfilling and joyful? No.
Focusing on your zone of genius – your authentic wisdom, gifts, and expertise will be much more fulfilling for you. When you’re more fulfilled vs depleted, it will be easier for people to recognize you and invite you to more opportunities that are a genuine match for you.
What is the exchange?
As a business owner who has gotten burnt out more than once, I am very conscientious about reciprocity. A few boundaries I’ve put in place are things like:
I don’t speak for free when the event is a paid event.
I won’t create a custom workshop for a group unless there are more than 15 people in attendance.
In my friendships, if I’m always reaching out or inviting someone to go to lunch, it’s not a friendship I have the capacity to keep investing in without reciprocity.
As you explore various invitations, and not just in your business, consider what is the exchange and if that is supportive for you. Does it sustain or give your energy – or does it deplete your energy?
Am I saying yes to be a people pleaser?
Depending on how you were raised and what your role has been in your family and community, this can be a layered challenge. If you tend to be a people-pleaser, are you saying yes to be nice and so you’re perceived as a “good person?”
What would happen if you said no? Does the very thought of that make you feel super uncomfortable?
As a Projector, if the people-pleasing tendancy is leading your responses to invitations, chances are you’re saying yes to things that aren’t a great match for you.
Learning to have boundaries is a great skill and I really like what Nedra Tawwab says about boundaries: https://www.instagram.com/nedratawwab/ Her book, “Set Boundaries Find Peace,” is one I’m digging into right now so if you would like more support around boundaries, check out her book. Nedra also has an interview on the “We Can Do Hard Things Podcast,” by Glennon Doyle. You can find her episode here on Spotify:
The Bottom Line:
YOU get to choose what invitations you say yes to. Just because there is an official invitation, doesn’t mean you have to say yes to it.
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