Imagine that your mind was a house where you and a lodger lived. Every time you tried to leave the house to do something good the lodger got wind of it and confronted you in the hall. He or she rolled out every reason they could think of why you shouldn't do this good thing, and if that didn't work they threatened and intimidated you.
Sometimes you managed to steal yourself enough to just get out the house and do the thing; many other times you just went back upstairs to your room.
But it is a mirror of the very process that occurs when your EGO convinces you not to act on something you know would contribute to your success.
In this article I'm going to unmask the EGO for what it truly is, and in doing so help you to free yourself from the story-prison it has generated for you.
What is the ego?
Ego comes from the Latin for 1st person singular "˜I' but I contend it is not the "˜I', not the real essential you. I say this because when the EGO turns up using its most easily identifiable tool – the critical inner voice "“ you have an option to listen to the voice or not.
As Steve Chandler says in The Story of You: and how to write a new one "“ if you hear a voice singing down the hall you know it is not your voice! So this is the first freedom "“ to realise that the voice of the EGO is not actually the essential core "“ or Meta "“ you that exists beyond the reach of that voice.
So if this voice is not YOU "“ then what is it for? Well, let's start by considering what it does and where it gets its information from.
Andy Shaw, author of Creating (and Using) a Bug-Free mind says the ego's only purpose is to keep you down, to keep you from taking risks. Other writers agree with this and name it the Protector1 or the Guardian2.
In Discover your Hidden Memory and find the Real You Dr. Yousry Menis says that the ego also functions to protect you from painful unresolved memories, which explains those outbursts seemingly triggered by nothing.
Basically, the EGO has no new information. It bases all its conclusions on what you have done in the past and hates the idea of you doing anything new or risky especially, as Chandler says, that anything new risks a wound to the self-esteem (of an adult).
The EGO will use fear, intimidation and LIES to keep you from doing anything new. Yes, LIES. It will use the stories you tell yourself like "˜I'm not good at math' or "˜I can't do business' and then convince you that they are real through your negative feelings. You then come to believe that your EGO-generated story is you because it feels real, normal, natural.
But these are LIES. If you believe them YOU are a LIAR. (oh yes I did!) Why? Because you have not exhausted every possible way of learning math or business studies, have you? Have you tried the Trachenburg system of mathematics? I have, and now I can multiply 12 digit numbers by 11 and 12 as easy as pi (grin). Have you read Rich Dad, Poor Dad to truly understand what assets are? No?
Then you are believing a illusory story and as Andy Shaw says, the problem is belief itself. The thing you have convinced yourself is true is not part of you. It's a belief, a mini story you have made real. But beyond that story is a you with the ability to do these things. There always was and is.
Van Gough famously said: "˜If you hear a voice telling you, you can't paint then by all means paint and the voice will go away.'
This is Chandler's solution to the EGO's ranting as I understand it – take massive action ala Anthony Robbins – and TRAMPLE the ego on the way out the door as you rush to do the thing it said you can't do! As Star Trek's Patrick Stuart said: "˜Those who are saying it's impossible are usually being passed by those doing it'! Be the one passing the ego!
But the EGO doesn't want to give up and uses every trick in the book to convince you that your, "˜I can't do it' story is true.
"Your ego is trying to fool you", says Shaw, "It does not "˜want' you to pause to reflect and look at yourself. It wants you to feel guilty. It wants you to blame yourself for all of your less than perfect actions (helped along by it of course). It is a spiralling disaster which you will have to break free from and regain control of your mind"¦ without doing so you will never have the life you desire."
So we let day by day pass believing our story and not taking seriously the idea that our minds are there to serve us, not us to serve them!
What's worse is that we KNOW we are doing it? As Chandler says:
Sometimes while watching a movie I will cry when something great happens. When someone overcomes an obstacle and wins big against all odds. Why am I crying'? Does it make any sense? But maybe I'm crying tears of joy and sorrow simultaneously. Tears of joy because I am inspired. (I'm similar to all people in that I love to be inspired. I hate to be corrected, but I love to be inspired.) Tears of sadness because I know that I, myself, am not overcoming the way the person on the screen is. I myself am nurturing my obstacles. Gaining sympathy from them. I am crying because I am grieving for my lost life. A life lost to self-pity that could have been a life of joyful action.
Steve Chandler. The Story of You: And How to Create a New One (p. 58). Kindle Edition.
Not the triumphant life you intend to live. So what can you do about am over-active EGO?
Name the EGO
When you feel feelings of fear or negativity about doing something new, unmask the workings of the EGO – by naming it.
- "˜Ah, that's just the EGO speaking'
- "˜Hello EGO dragon (thanks to Michael Hall who has written a whole book called Dragon Slaying)'
- "˜You're not going to defeat me, Gremlin!' (another name for the EGO)
- "˜It's the nutter again!' (Shaw)
This sounds trite, but naming something has sound psychological (and some say) spiritual backing. When you name something you frame it, you imprison it and go to a mental position (meta) to it which automatically puts you in a position of power. Read Meta-States or Frame Games by Michael Hall if you want to know more about how this works.
Dismiss the story itself
So what is your story? This can refer to your life story but also to the stories you tell yourself on a day to day and even moment to moment basis. Are you disempowering yourself with the "˜I can't do it' story?
I was, until recently, having essentially adopted three more children taking our total to six. I would have moments, thinking about the finances, when I wanted to run away, literally, take the cash and move to another country to hide.
But realising that "˜I can't do it' is a story I was telling myself and it was a LIE (or at least calling it a lie frees me to actually make it a lie).
Could it be that simple? Could simply realising that all stories are essentially lies and therefore you can tell yourself a new one that enables you to do more of what you need too?
I told myself that I could manage my energy carefully by making better decisions and therefore by making fewer, better decisions I would have more energy. I could also change my eating and exercise habits.
And it is working"¦ because I have realised that I only live my stories if I live unconsciously "“ that is, without realising they are stories.
Learn to take back control for 15 seconds"¦
Can you bring to mind and hold onto a happy feeling for 15 seconds? Easy? Go on, try it. Remember a time when something made you really happy and as you feel this, hold it steady for 15 seconds. No distractions. If your mind goes elsewhere, you have to start again"¦.
Hard, isn't it? But as Shaw says, if you can't do this how do you expect to be able to control your mind to create great wealth.
Shaw, a multi-millionaire himself, says that holding a good feeling for 15 seconds "“ and then later holding no-mind: a mind cleared of thoughts is THE foundational skill for creating the life you desire.
I have practiced this for weeks and week and there is a feeling of peace and self control that comes along with it. Worth a repeat effort, that one.
Shatter old beliefs and install new ones
In some cases observing our "˜nutter' and its workings can be enough to get us to realise we don't need that kind of thinking, and it just dissipates by itself like a cloud blowing apart. At other times, you may need something stronger "“ like the Meta-Yes, Meta-No Belief Change pattern, one of the most innovative belief change patterns on the market. Whichever method you use to destroy the engrained rantings of your mind this one is like sending a lighting bolt onto a sugar cube and beliefs can be blasted away permanently.
There is so much more than can be said but the bottom line is that you need to recognise that your EGO is not you "“ and learn to outwit, out skip or just step over the lies it tells you. You can do it.
Either EGO – or you go. Make your choice.