Stop right there. If you read the title for this post and you thought to yourself, “I already know about the ego,” or “This is beginner,” or something along those lines…say hi to your ego.
There’s something I want you to keep in mind: with personal development, if you can adopt an idea or a mindset of “Just when I think I know everything, I don’t,” you’ll go really far in life. I promise you will experience expansion in a way you never thought possible. There’s always something more to learn…even for me.
I’ve been examining my own ego for years, and I still believe I am barely scratching the surface, but there are a few things I know that I want to share today.
We’re going to talk about three things that you need to know about the ego. And I promise you, no matter what you think you already know, no matter what “level” you might be at, this is going to be different than anything you’ve heard before. Let’s talk about the truth of what the ego is.
First things first: the ego is not bad.
The ego is not bad. It’s not something to get rid of. And if you try to get rid of your ego, that is also your ego at work.
The ego is not a bad thing; it’s neutral. Within your ego lies your belief system. The ego is the reason that you know that you are different from someone else, or that you have likes and dislikes. It’s how you differentiate yourself from other people. It’s literally how you navigate the world. And if you get rid of that, you will lose all sense of self.
If you look at what the ego is and label it as “The Bad Thing,” you’re really viewing the ego in a one-dimensional light.
You know what that means? It means you’re actually viewing your ego through the eyes of your ego, because the ego is black and white. It’s this or that. It doesn’t leave room for in-betweens and shades of gray.
If you’re labeling the ego as “bad,” using that kind of language actually discounts all of the other parts of the ego that are actually supportive to you.
If you do this, you’re going to have a fighting relationship with your ego, and trust me, you do not want that.
The ego is an aspect of who you are. You don’t want to have a fighting relationship with an aspect of who you are, because that will get you confused about who you are, and then you’re going to start projecting it towards other people…or worse, you’re going to start denying aspects of who you are.
If you can take a look at the ego from a clean, neutral space as opposed to a place of negative energy, you’re in a really good position to view yourself and other people for who they really are and for who you really are.
My theory is that people decide that the ego is “bad” because there are parts of themselves they don’t want to take accountability for.
If you see yourself in a certain light—maybe you see yourself as somebody who’s always happy, as the “nice person”—and somebody pisses you off and you react and you get angry, you’ll end up feeling confused, because it doesn’t match up with the way you see yourself. You’ll tell yourself that’s not who you are; that was just your ego acting out.
If you tell yourself this, then you don’t have to take responsibility for what happened. Instead, you get to distance yourself from yourself. You get to create separation from aspects of who you are that you don’t identify with.
We think we know what the ego is, and we just don’t. This is why I’ve adopted a mindset of constant willingness to learn, no matter how much I think I know. I always know I’m only scratching the surface, because there are so many elements and layers to what the ego is.
When we say the ego is bad and we try to distance ourselves from it, we’re missing a huge opportunity to go deeper than deep into ourselves, into who we are, into next-level manifestation, and into shadow work. And that leads me to number two…
Number two is this: not everything involving the ego is something you’re conscious of.
Within your ego lies your belief system that you may or may not be consciously aware of. So you may think you know everything about yourself, but here’s the thing: the ego lies in the subconscious. So there are some things the ego will let you in on—quite a few things from your ego end up making it to your conscious awareness, actually—but they are only going to be things you find acceptable.
Some examples of things that lurk in your belief system that you’re very likely consciously aware of are what colors you like, what political beliefs you have, things like that. You can accept those things. Those are simple.
But there might be other things that don’t make it to your conscious awareness that you’re sort of aware of, but if somebody points them out, you’d deny them up and down. Why? Because you don’t find them acceptable.
For example, maybe you think that people who are in relationships are superior to you because they have somebody by their side. And I bet that if somebody asked you outright if you believed that, you’d tell them no, of course not. But maybe when you see couples walking down the street or at the store or something, you get green with envy because they have something you don’t have.
The ego is a whole damn trip. It really is, because there are things within your ego you are 100% aware of, and then there are things that you just don’t see, even though they’re there. They are absolutely there, but you don’t see them until you come across other people who reflect them back to you.
When you end up in that situation, that’s when you might get reactive, because there’s a part of you that does not want to see it. You don’t want to get aware of that, because then you have to take responsibility for it.
When you have moments where your belief system is reflected back to you through other people, usually you’ll end up getting triggered, and you’ll try to run from that feeling.
You might avoid that person, because they’re triggering you. Or you’ll avoid that situation because it’s triggering you. Or you have to unfollow that person because they’re triggering you. And in actuality, you’re just running from yourself, and that’s a shame, because it’s really a beautiful opportunity to see yourself more clearly and what obstacles are actually keeping you from getting where you want to be.
This is why, when it comes to manifestation or a lot of personal development work, people will look at the ego, because you actually can’t move forward if you don’t know what’s going on with you in the present moment. So if you try to obliterate the ego and get rid of it, you will miss what’s actually happening in your belief system, and you will continue to stay stuck.
That feeling is not something to avoid; it’s something to lean into.
I’m not someone who believes we should avoid or pander to our triggers. I don’t believe we should wrap ourselves in bubble wrap and walk through the world that way.
In fact, if I get triggered by something, I get excited. I get really excited because that means I’m meeting my edges. I’m seeing my limitations. I’m seeing what I don’t accept in myself, and I have a really beautiful opportunity for expansion and to enter my next level.
My third and final point: you actually cannot do shadow work unless you know how to partner with your ego.
A lot of people actually do not transcend their “out of character” behaviors because they don’t know how to partner with their egos.
This is why I call myself the Ego Whisperer, because I know how to speak to people’s egos. I know how to partner with them. Because here’s the thing: when you know how to speak to the ego, when you know how to partner with it, you lay your defenses down. And when you lay your defenses down, all you see is infinite possibility. All you experience is infinite expansion, because you get in touch with the real you.
Shadow work is unconscious work. It’s the deepest level of personal development work. And if you want to get to that level, it is so important that you do not discount the ego. Because if you can’t even stand to witness these aspects of you that contradict the identity you claim for yourself–without throwing yourself in a shame bucket and spiraling down into an identity crisis–you won’t be able to do shadow work. That’s even deeper than ego work.
You cannot experience behavior change—true, lasting behavior change—without doing shadow work. And without having a good relationship with your ego, you will never be able to witness your unconscious self the way shadow work requires.
So don’t let yourself write off the ego. Don’t try to bury it—instead, reach out a hand and partner with it. You’ll be amazed how much deeper you can go.
Be sure to connect with me more on Instagram @theselflovefix. I’d love to hear what you thought of this episode and what your major takeaways were.
Head over to my website to learn more about how we can work together to shift your energy & transform your life.
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