If you have been a coaching client of mine, or listened to my podcast Sassy Spiritual Bitches for any length of time… then you know one of the topics that I am very passionate about is the EGO. There is sooo much to it! It's not just about vanity, but it's about how we work on a base level. Our ego wants to keep us “safe” and “comfortable” - but safe and comfortable 90% of the time doesn't keep us HAPPY. Happiness is what we strive for… not comfort and complacency.
Ego traps are those annoying little pitfalls that happen that keep us perpetuating the same mind state over and over. They are sneaky! They often happen without us even realizing it! So I have compiled 3 typical ego traps that are very common but very hurtful!
“NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME” Or “I AM ALONE”
Have you ever had this thought? This is your ego trying to keep you apart from others. It's also propping up the ego by making you appear that you are special… separate… that no one could possibly understand or help you. So on one hand, we are keeping ourselves hidden away believing that no one can help us- that we are FORCED to deal with things on our own when in reality- we are actually wanting/craving CONNECTION with others. To not feel alone. We want to hear that others have been through what we have and made it through to the other side.
So why do we do it? What do we GET out of it?
In that fucked up way- we feel SPECIAL. By making ourselves believe that no one could possibly get it that no one could ever understand what we are going through- we get to feel important. And feeling special makes us feel good.
See what I mean? It's fucked up.
NOT COMMUNICATING OUR NEEDS.
Ego trap number 2… coming at ya. How many of us put other's needs before our own? Hmmm… I'm guessing 99% of us. We are conditioned to put other's first. That we are to be an after thought. Why? Because if we put our needs first we're selfish. Or, if we ask for what we need we are labeled as needy. And no one likes a needy person! We are low key taught that being “selfish” makes you a bad person. Needy and Selfish = No one likes you! Which the ego turns into you will always be alone. No one will ever love you!
Let me bust this myth for you- communicating your needs is a way to make relationships stronger. It allows us to be vulnerable and share and be open- which are the foundations of strong relationships. It brings more intimacy and closeness. ALL GOOD THINGS!
So what does your ego get out of this trap? You get to be a martyr. It's that martyr syndrome. You get to put yourself on a pedestal and feel high and mighty because you deny yourself needs and pleasure to what? Again… Feel SPECIAL and superior to others…. thus propping up your ego and making the EGO happy whilst you in turn, ultimately suffer.
The ego prevents us from going for what we truly want all the time! How? By making us feel like we are unworthy. Have you ever said or thought- “Who am I to….” fill in the blank. In this instance, the ego makes us feel like we are NOT special in order to stop us from going forward. To keep us stuck. The ego makes us believe that we are not worthy of the success we want or that no one would want what we have to give - why? Out of a fear of failure. Or maybe even possibly, a fear of success! The ego gets fed more energy by feeling unworthy and unloved. It feels needed and fulfilled.
If we remember that the ego is driven by FEAR it becomes easier to see why it creates all these stories to keep us stuck. But what is fear? Say it with me kids- FALSE. EVIDENCE. APPEARING. REAL. So what drives our ego, isn't even real. So what can we do in this instance? We can flip its meaning: FIGHT. EGO. AND. RISE.
So when we feel triggered, or these annoying negative self talk scenarios creep up… I want you to ask yourself… what is the underlying fear here?
Let's break down the possible fears from the first 3 ego traps that I just shared with you, shall we?
Keeping you alone= Fear of Rejection. It's much easier to reject others before giving them the opportunity to reject us.
Not communicating needs= Fear of Abandonment/Unloved. If we are vulnerable then we might be viewed as needy and will be left alone and will never be loved.
Imposter Syndrome= Fear of Not Being Enough. This fear of not being good enough/worthy enough keeps us from actually stepping forth and proving to ourselves that we are worthy of our dreams and that we can actually get it. If we were to get it… then what?! Maybe people won't like us anymore! Successful people are Selfish people etc. etc. etc. There are a million and one ways the ego keeps this going depending on conditioning and childhood learnings etc.
I get it… we don't like to believe that we keep ourselves stuck in misfortune and unhappiness. But the truth is, that is exactly what we are going by giving into these ego traps. Look- there are two fundamental ways of looking at life- through the lens of FEAR or the Lens of LOVE. Take those two words and pay attention to what emotions they bring up and where you feel them in your body. The word Fear can make your body anticipate that something is wrong and immediately tense up- perhaps a tightening of the chest or a feeling of anxiety. Whereas the world LOVE makes your body relax, feel safe and perhaps even warm. So ask yourself, which of these two feelings do you want to be feeling? Tense and anxious? Or Warm and Relaxed? Now I realize there is of course WAAAAAAAY more to this than can just be thrown together in little blog post. However, awareness is the key to understanding ourselves! So I just wanted to bring a little attention to some common Ego Traps so we can recognize them and kick them to the curb! I know that throughout my life I have been caught in all of these ego traps REPEATEDLY! Once I realized the pattern, then I could work on shifting it! So bravo to you for taking the time to reading this! I hope that you take the information I have provided and process it in your own way. As always, I wish you all the best!