I recently attended a training course on making decisions based on what you love rather than from ego and fear. What struck me most was how much my understanding of Ego has changed over the years.
Ego, in this context, is the part of the mind that needs to be safe, secure and certain. It’s the part we refer to when we talk about “self sabotage”. It’s the part that stops us from living powerfully because it’s afraid of failure, judgement and rejection. In short, the ego is afraid of death – physical, psychological or social death.
Saying this part was the cause of self sabotage made sense to me before, but on Saturday it felt wrong. I realised that I used to see the ego or the inner critic as this big, scary part of the mind that dominates us, that we have to fight in order to overcome fear, procrastination and uncertainty.
BUT when I’ve spoken to my ego mind and when I guide people through the process of talking to their inner critic, this voice never comes across as big and scary. On the contrary, this part is more like the scared child in the corner, crying, afraid, trying to protect us, desperate to be heard.
From this perspective, there’s a new way to communicate with the inner critic. Rather than going into battle with the resistant parts, we can talk to the inner critic as we would talk to a child. By listening to and understanding what the inner critic wants, needs, fears and protects, we can befriend and comfort the ego. We can embrace it and welcome it on our journey rather than holding it at bay.
Instead of seeing it as our enemy whose aim is only to sabotage our plans and our confidence, we can offer it a specific role. Safety inspector. Protector. Mission control. Problem spotter. In this way, it becomes a companion, supporting our journey rather than hindering it.
Because as irritating as that friend is, the one who worries about everything and is scared to try anything new, ultimately, you know that they worry because they care… and if your car falls in the river, they’re the only one who considered bringing the razor to cut the seatbelt off! 😄
If anything in this post has resonated, touched you or triggered something for you in any way, please feel free to get in touch and share you experience by contacting me here.
Also published on Medium.