Self protection, sensitivity, and guardedness are common themes for cycle breakers that often blend into one another. I'm hoping this may resonate and be helpful for you, I know this resonates for myself and I am ready to call myself out with this one, so here we go... Seven tips on how to feel less guarded for cycle breakers.  

Be Compassionate

It won't happen overnight but over time with gentle perspective shifts and a little action, you can gradually learn to choose when you want to come out of your shell, feel less guarded overall & more connected.

Give Others Credit

Notice vulnerability, authenticity, & care from others around you- either in your own life or online. It is difficult to be vulnerable but others are doing it. You are capable of doing it.

Identify with who & where you already feel secure enough

Literally list the people & places, name them, that there has been a decent span of time with & you have been able to collect data over that span of time.

Examine the Evidence

For example: length of time & point of interactions with= data/ evidence. Ex: 6 months, countless text messages, hung out five times... what has that experience been like? Examine the evidence. What does the data tell you?

Remember What You Value

Ironically, cycle breaking, sensitive & guarded folks I work with (myself included) actually highly value family, friends, intimacy, connection, community & social justice. Consider these values and how the shell/ self protection/ preservation/ guardedness helps vs. hinders these values.

Take cues from Nature

My only comfort sometimes, the more I get in touch with my grief, loss, & abandonment wounds... is that humans are animals and no animal, nothing in nature, is exempt from loss, even unjustly so. It does not make it right. Hiding in my shell everyday does nothing.

Conclusion: You don't have to get rid of the shell

Just be mindful of when and how often to use it. Learn what works for you while also considering your values.

I hope this was helpful! You can also see this post posted on @theprotagonistheart on Instagram.

Wishing you well & resourced on your journey!- Lindsay