Category Archives: Change

Three Ways Ego Sabotages Your Growth

Are you where you want to be, doing what you want to do? In other words, are you content with your life? Do you feel fulfilled and fully present? Are you the hero of your own life?

Granted you may be tired, exhausted even, but when you go to sleep at night are you able to congratulate yourself on a day well spent, at least most of the time? Sometimes? Or do you fall asleep planning a new venture, or thinking about an ambiguous point in your future when you will…well, maybe you aren’t quite sure, but something will be different.

Or maybe you are sure. Maybe you know exactly what you want to do instead of what you are doing, and you fully plan to – someday. Or perhaps you feel that you are exactly where you are meant to be, moving along your path, but quaking in the boots you wear as you walk along.

The angels whisper to us, they provide us with inspiration, passion even, to help us find our path, and synchronicities to assist us with staying on it while we move forward in our lives. The ego, on the other hand fights for control. It prefers that we move away from the path that leads us back to ourselves and away from ego, away from its control.

Here are a few of the tactics that ego uses to control your process:

The ego preys on your sense of inadequacy and uses self-deprecation to further its agenda. It is masterful at knowing your weak points and using them as gaps to flow into your psyche in order to remind you that you are not smart enough to go back to school, or that you don’t have the financial wherewithal to start that business, or that public speaking is terrifying.

The ego voice engages you in self-talk that is typically negative in nature. It tells you that you don’t have a “math brain”, so there is no way you could master the accounting classes necessary to successfully run a small business; that in order to compete for that position you’d have to first lose thirty pounds, at least; that you’re not an artist, so taking a painting class it just too frightening. The ego-voice is commonly confused with that of your own voice.

Another way ego sabotages you is by using the S-word against you. SELFISH! That is, your ego voice will not only tell you that you are being selfish, but it will do its best to convince you. Most of us were taught as children that selfishness is not an admirable trait, which is true. But somewhere along the way the line between self-care and/or personal growth, and selfishness became blurred. Most of us (especially women) believe that self-focus and taking care of oneself is synonymous with “selfishness”. Your ego-voice will often be only the first of several voices to let you know that you are being selfish. This occurs in anticipation of being asked by those you are the closest to, “What about me?” “What about the kids, (your job,) (the mortgage)?” Because you know you will be, right? These are the questions you ask yourself before anyone else does. Only it’s not you asking, it’s ego.

Following the initial assault of the ego-voice, you have the terrain of the egos of others to navigate. The opinion of selfishness, born of the fear and insecurity of the other, is frequently posited without pretense and with much emotion as in, “You can’t be serious. You’re being so selfish!” Or, “You’re only thinking of yourself!” AND THEN, “What about…” Ego loves that. Now it can say, “Told you so.”

A third mechanism is guilt. Guilt has got to be one of the most motivating (read paralyzing) of all of the emotions we experience, and ego counts on that. Growth creates change. It’s inevitable. (Imagine a comic strip; one person speaking to another saying, “I just wish change didn’t have to be so different.” Not funny perhaps, but so true.) When your personal growth bumps into the life of another person something in that person’s life changes and when that change is met with resistance guilt is the outcome. Resistance can take many forms – anger, sadness, jealousy to name a few, but at its most basic level resistance is fear. And fear is the voice of ego. It’s a circle. It’s a trap, an ego trap.

So how do you find your path, or continue to move forward in your life? How do you avoid being sabotaged by that ever-ready ego? How do you know the ego voice from that of your own?

  • You take the time to practice quieting the chattering voice in your head in order to hear the softer, quieter voice of your heart. Your angels speak from your heart, not your head.
  • You take the time to feel your emotions. Ego-based emotions are fear-based and destructive. Angel whispers are compelling, inspiring, light-hearted. They lift you up and carry you forward.
  • You silence negative self-talk and walk away from negative input from others.
  • You listen for angel whispers and watch for the synchronicities that will lead you to, or propel you forward on your path.

How does your ego-voice influence your growth?

Risk

“You are creating yourself, your life, and the world around you in every moment. Thoughts are actions.” – Journey From Ego

Question #1: How many of you are happy with (the direction of) your life?

Question #2: How many of you wish to change your lives, but feel stuck?

Question #3: Are you aware of your passion, that which brings you joy?

Question #4: Are you willing to take a risk to follow your passion?

I ran across this quote from Henry Ford again recently: “If you think you can do a thing, or you think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” It got me thinking about the manner in which we create our lives. Do you engage in those activities that bring you joy, or that whisper to you, Come Play? I will admit that I let fear get in my way sometimes. There are things that whisper to me that I’m still resisting, to my own demise, I know. To my credit I will say that although I never had been inspired to participate in the Portland to Coast relay, (in truth I thought everyone who did it must be insane,) when the opportunity was presented to me, despite my reservations I did, and I had so much fun I did it three years in a row! I include this example here only to make the point that I believe we are better off in the long run when we follow the whispers and the synchronicities that appear and  which facilitate growth, rather that to allow fear (ego) to influence our decisions and to limit our lives.

Henry Ford, born in 1863, grew up the son of a farmer. He left his father’s farm, risking his security, at the age of 16 to pursue his fascination with machinery. He took a job as an apprentice at the Michigan Car Company, a manufacturer of railroad cars in Detroit. Over the next few years Henry moved between jobs when he thought he could learn more somewhere else. At the age of 28, now married to Clara Bryant, Ford moved to Detroit taking a job as a night engineer for the Edison Electric Illuminating Company. He knew little about electricity, but again perceived this as an opportunity learn.

Within five years Henry had risen to chief engineer of the Illuminating Company. But this was not his passion. His passion, the one that had drawn him from his home, was machinery. When he learned of people across the country working to build horseless carriages he became one of them. In 1896, with the help of a team of friends he completed the Quadricycle, his first self-propelled vehicle.

After completing his second car in 1898 he began to convince other people to sign on and help him achieve his vision. Knowing nothing about business, his first two companies failed. However, being no stranger to risk he took even greater ones building and even driving racing cars. The success of these cars attracted financial backing and in 1903 Henry incorporated Ford Motor Company.

Of course Henry’s story doesn’t end there, but if he hadn’t followed his passion, hadn’t been willing to take a risk, had worked in isolation, had been afraid of failure, Ford Motor Company wouldn’t exist today. And I don’t believe the world would have been a better place for its lack of existence and I don’t believe our climate would be any different than it is now, because someone else who had a similar fearless passion would have gone and done it anyway. It just wouldn’t have been Henry Ford. And I don’t believe Henry had Ford Motor Company as his goal at the age of 16, or even 25. I believe that following his passion, taking the risks he took, and trusting in his God allowed him to follow his path and in doing so to create the life he chose, despite the difficulties he encountered.

We can create our lives too. We do create our lives. It’s sometimes an uncomfortable truth to admit that we are responsible for being exactly where we are in our lives. If we don’t like it we can change it. The moment we decide what we want that change to look like, the universe begins to act upon that thought.

“I believe God is managing affairs and that [S]He doesn’t need        any advice from me. With God in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about?”

– Henry Ford

What passion is calling to you?

The Un-Resolution

Here it is, New Year’s Eve, eve. We’re standing on the threshold of yet another new year faced with the question many of us entertain each time this milestone bears down on us – what do I want to change in the coming year? But really the question that begs answering is how do I want to change in this New Year?

I gave up the practice of making New Year’s resolutions sometime ago. In the past they typically included eating less sugar, drinking more water, getting regular exercise, re-establishing a yoga practice and meditating every day, writing everyday and getting more sleep. The usual. Every year. I was never able to follow through with any of them for more than a few weeks, much less all of them. This inability inevitably felt like failure so I gave it all up. Publicly I gave it up. As in, “Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions?” “No,” I’d answer. “I gave up that practice years ago.”

But privately, of course, I still think about it. After all, edging up to a fresh year gives me the opportunity to make a fresh start. It seems a shame to look it in the eye and take a pass. Then I saw this on my Facebook page (Thank you Sundari):

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And it poses an even better question. How can I change the state of the Union? Heck, let’s go for broke. How can I, lil ol’ me, change the world? By changing my perspective. By changing my focus. By changing my intent. If I change my perspective from judgment of others to one of love and acceptance, the need for defensive posturing will abate. If I change my focus from one of fear of another to trust in the love and support of God, (you can substitute the word you use to name the Mystery here,) I will inform the Universal Consciousness with love rather than fear, which will in turn inform the perspective of each individual on earth. If I change my intent to one of compassion in each encounter I will take one step closer to a compassionate world in each of those encounters.

And just as importantly, if I listen to that voice, the one that says, Come play! (That little voice we discussed last time, remember?) – really listen – I will be entertaining angels! The angels are always with us, always guiding us, constantly providing us whispers that will set us on our path, or keep us there. That voice, I swear, is the one that says, “Drink more water.” “Go for a walk.” “Quiet your mind so you can hear us more clearly.” It doesn’t take resolutions. We just have to learn to listen, and then of course to follow through. That’s where ego gets in the way and trips us, on the follow through. But hey, we’re here to practice. And we have a whole new year available to us to do just that.

How do you deal with the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions?

 

More information on ego interference, Self-Sabotage, changing your perspective, hearing your angels, and so much more can be found in my book, Journey From Ego, The Path to Healing available at Amazon.com, Balboa Press.com and your favorite book dealer.