It turns that if you would like to raise your level of conscious awareness, so you can be a greater participant in co-creating your destiny, then it pays to have a better understanding of consciousnesses disruptive cousin (who is also a bit of a pain in the butt) – EGO.
So let’s just jump straight in, shall we?
Number 1 Way Our Ego Holds Us Back: Hoodwinking
Our ego actually hoodwinks us into thinking that it is actually important, useful or necessary to see how we measure up against our peers, colleagues, and even those modern day constructs called ‘celebrities’.
There is a primitive part of our brain that thinks we are still in the mammal kingdom and places a very high value on whether we appear to be bonkable, and therefore going to pass on our genes, and ensure the survival of our species.
Actually this likely goes back much further in our evolutionary history than mammals, and more likely relates to microorganisms bumping up against each other.
There is a subconscious part of us (that is besties with the ego), that sends little messages to the back our brain when we look on social media and see a peer or colleague doing “better than us” (aka: they’ve got shinier looking stuff or are better at ‘faking it until they make it’), that makes us FEEL that we need to be doing more or being more.
In other words, right now, we are ‘not enough’.
Which as you know, is just not true.
Don’t buy into the ego’s small stories designed to hoodwink you from living out your very own, individual and personal, soul journey and destiny.
- Know that social comparisons, in most cases (99%), are unlikely to bring your joy, ascension or fulfillment.
- Don’t look at social media when you are emotionally vulnerable, too tired (to be discerning), or too close to bed time (so you don’t plant unhealthy seeds in your subconscious mind to grow while you sleep).
- Accept the fact that even though people look like their life is wonderful, “Looks can be deceiving”. In my 14 years of coaching and 52 on the planet, I am yet to meet anyone who has their sh#t fully together. Myself included.
- The antidote I most commonly use, is I spend almost no time on social media (and if I do I don’t scroll through that ‘feed’ thing). Also not having a Facebook or Instagram account certainly helps too. 😉
Number 2 Way Our Ego Holds Us Back: Catastrophizing
I find that catastrophizing is such a great word. The word comes from the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy field (CBT). The word in itself does not sound like something that would be fun…and that is because it is not (even though it’s use is a regular pass-time of many).
The ego (that primitive part of our being and brain) likes to make a big song and dance out of the most teeny weeny stuff. It also uses the excuse “But I am only doing it to keep you safe”.
Will the world really end if you have to wear a dress to a function which some people may have already seen you wearing previously?
Will the world really end if you have to live in a small (slightly crappy) apartment for a couple of years while you clear your current debt?
Will the world really end if you finally realise your ‘good looking’ partner is a total narcissist and you might need to divorce them (ASAP!!!)?
Your ego DOES think the world might end in each of those three scenarios.
Here is an example of a catastrophizing script which might play in your mind (if you let it or worse feed it). Also note that since it is actually in your mind, it is not actually “REAL”.
You wear the same dress you wore a couple of months ago to a function. Someone who you don’t like remembers you wore it recently and makes fun of you for being a pauper. You get upset. Because you are upset, you don’t get to meet your soul mate, who happened to be at the party. You miss out on having the life of your dreams, and die an unhappy old woman. THE END.
Now I could have made the story more elaborate, but I am sure you get the idea. The EGO LOVES a good DRAMA. The ego is un-evolved and thinks all attention (even drama) equals being seen, heard and somehow ‘connected’.
The ego thinks having a great drama story, is a great way to be liked, noticed and appreciated. Need I mention ‘media’ and those ‘celebrities’ to highlight the fact…
- Know that your brain / mind (encouraged by your I-am-feeling-unnoticed ego) loves to make sh#t up. Stuff that is not true. Unlikely to ever be true and which ultimately makes you feel like crap.
- Life is not an inevitable series of linear steps where every step has a worse consequence than the last. That is a less-than-useful thought pattern, and not the nature of the universe or reality.
- Ask yourself this question often: What is the Reality? Stick within the most tangible expression of the reality, not in the catasphrophere (I am not sure if that is in the CBT handbook or I just made that word up).
Number 3 Way Our Ego Holds Us Back: It’s Lazy and a Chicken
Our ego is not big on deep research, reflection, critical thinking, self evidence, periphery awareness, exploring the unknown, curiosity, debate, or admitting it was wrong or doesn’t know something.
The ego loves dogma, one-size-fits-all, shiny things, a fixed mindset, and the idea that the more times you say something at a high enough volume makes it true and indisputable.
The ego thinks it is BAD to not know something. The ego has a belief that if it does not know something then people will think it (and the body it inhabits) is stupid and not worthy of love. The ego is also inflexible, and loves to hang out in the past.
New is not so cool for the ego. And the unknown scares the living bejeezus out of the ego. The ego feels safest in the known and the fixed. It does not make much of an effort to learn new things; to challenge old ideas; or to evolve by stepping into the unknown.
The ego has a tendency to want to do what it has always done, under the guise of ‘keeping you safe’. Let’s not take that new job. Let’s not try the new project. Let’s not step into the new relationship. Let’s not leave the current unhealthy relationship. Let’s not start our own business. It is much SAFER (according to the ego) to do what we have always done.
I am sorry to say this, but the ego is not a great travel companion on the path of evolution, to the fullest expression of yourself.
- The good news is, you already have a great companion to take on your life journey. It is called COURAGE and the more courage you use and show up with, the smaller and smaller ego’s influence becomes.
- Never stop learning. Read books. Listen to long (intelligent) conversations. Challenge your own thinking. See if you are regurgitating dogma or are coming from a deep place of knowing. Feel free to debate your own thoughting.
- Stay CURIOUS. The opposite is ‘judgement’, which is a regular tool used by the ego.
My Final Ponderings
The ego is great for base-level survival, but don’t let it steer your ship to your chosen destiny. Don’t bring ego into an intelligent conversation, as it stops you from truly learning and growing.
If you truly want to evolve, and experience self-actualisation (sort of like you being a mini supernova), you can’t take ego on the journey. At some point you need to leave it behind.
And when you do…WOWZERS!!!!
Life just got a whole lot more meaningful, fulfilling, enriching, harmonious, peaceful, non-hectic, spacious, adventurous, colourful, creative and connected to something beyond the five senses and our 3D reality.
Have an super fabulous day you supernova!
Take care and keep shining.
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