I've been working on my class and this is one thing that I've really been thinking about and thinking about shifting because I believe it gets in the way of happiness and yes, success! Projection, I do this all the time (although I suspect I'm not the only one) and sometimes it doesn't matter--sometimes it's the crux of my stumbling.
I project onto other people what I'm thinking and feeling. If that was only it, well, it'd be bad enough, and certainly common enough--but when I also project what I'm thinking about myself onto them, that's real bad. And real easy! It goes like this: a friend is staring in the direction of my pants and I think: "Ohmigosh! Aaah! She knows that I ate three candy bars for dessert for lunch! She's thinking that I shouldn't be an exercise instructor because I ate three candy bars for dessert! AARGH!"
And the truth is my friend isn't even seeing my pants or the inexistent guilty bulge of three candy bars, she just staring in a direction because she's realized she forgot to pay the electric bill and that's why the lights didn't turn on this morning. Or something else that has nothing to do with me!
So that's one form of me projecting--here's another: I haven't heard from a publisher or an agent about my submission what I think is way too long--so they must be rejecting me, right? Yes, yes, I know everybody (including me) is overwhelmed these days and that it takes time for people to respond, even in the age of e-mail...but...but...but sometimes all my projecting is completely wrong. Sometimes it's a long-awaited yes--and sometimes a rejection comes very quickly. So all that agony was for nothing.
When I catch myself "projecting" now, I tell myself "stop, you don't know--why waste energy thinking/feeling like you do?" And it always helps.
And I can ask my friend: "Are you looking at my big behind?" To which, and yes, I may be projecting, the answer might be: "Your big behind? I should have such a 'big behind' you crazy woman you."