Your ego holds very tightly to this version of "you" and how it relates to the people and world around you. It will reject anything that does not fit into the rigidly held beliefs. Other perspectives and versions of reality feel unsafe and threatening.
Keep in mind that the ego is part of your subconscious mind and largely out of your conscious awareness. It is this part of you that reacts emotionally in situations that challenge your tightly held view of the world. It is very much entrenched in black-or-white and right-or-wrong, with very little room to allow for new insights and perspectives.
Change is not something the ego is even remotely comfortable with – it thrives in predictability and familiarity, even if things are not particularly positive or constructive. And it will use all kinds of strategies to keep you there, to keep you “safe”. These include using defense mechanisms, making comparisons to others, and ramping up your critical inner dialogue in order to maintain status quo.
Becoming conscious means, first and foremost, acknowledging that we all have an ego-self, as well as an unconditioned core-self. With that awareness, we can challenge our deeply embedded, programmed ways of thinking, believing, and being. We can move toward emotional healing, where choice becomes possible.
Some ways to do this include:
You’ll notice that I’ve used the word “practice” because that is exactly what it takes to heal and change aspects of our ego-self – to change the stories you have told yourself for so long that they became your reality.
Be patient with yourself, keep an open mind, and commit to digging deep to uncover the beliefs that keep you stuck in a story that was never truly of your choosing. In this way, you can make the shift from reacting (from an unconscious, conditioned frame of mind that is rooted in the past) to responding (from a centered, self-aware frame of mind that is rooted in the present moment).
Remember to practice self-compassion along the way - the process of emotional healing can be challenging and requires self-love and patience, but the end result will be a deep sense of empowerment where you can create your own reality.
If this is a topic you would like to explore more fully, check out reasons why people participate in coaching to do just that!
Bobbi Beuree, Certified CAN Coach + Facilitator is located in Halifax, NS, and provides interactive 1:1 coaching services, as well as corporate workshops.