Navigating through the complexities of life can sometimes be tiring. However, ego work can help you shift your tired consciousness in a positive direction.
I teach a lot about ego work. I have found it to be one of the most powerful tools in my own healing journey. If you commit to this practice, you will have life-changing transformations.
Ego work is for you if:
- you feel emotionally depleted
- you’re “stuck”
- life doesn’t feel joyful
- you feel ready to let go of black and white thinking
- you find yourself in unfulfilling or toxic relationships
- you find connecting with other people difficult or like something is missing
- your beliefs are rigid and you’d like to grow
- you are ready to heal
Before I outline the practice, I want to remind you that it is just that: a practice. This is not something that has a “hack” or something that comes quickly.
Ego work is a shift in consciousness. Consciousness is only shifted via repetition.
Stay patient. Show up.
There will be a lot of resistance because your ego dreads one thing most: change. Allow the resistance to come up without judgment.
Resistance is growth.
What is the ego?
The ego is the “I.” It is how you see yourself. It is the part of your mind that identifies with traits, beliefs, and habits. Your ego is an unconscious part of your mind.
Where does the ego come from?
As a child, you came into this world with an intuitive nature. You instinctively understood the world even though you could not speak the language. Your level of consciousness was pure awareness.
As a child, you have no filter. You can play, imagine, and create. You are not yet tied to an identity of who you are. You are born unconditioned.
Simply being comes naturally to you.
During childhood, your ego is in an ego-centric state. It’s best described with the saying ‘the world revolves around you.’ In this state, everything is happening to you because of you.
Childhood wounds are particularly impactful because of this ego period. It is not until the teenage years that you develop abstract thinking, the ability to observe outside of your own perspective.
Your ego develops to protect you from your reality. It creates an identity for you to cope with any confusion, disconnection, and loss of love that you experienced. It strengthens an identity to ensure to the best of your ability that we can still receive whatever love is available.
As you aged, you were taught (typically unconscious) values around things like intelligence, achievement, preferred emotional states, relationships, and other people. Your greatest need is to receive love so you learn to identify with these values even if they are not positive.
Many adults have not evolved past the ego-centric state. They still believe things are happening to them. If you believe you have no control in your life, or that outside events are controlling your life ego work will be particularly beneficial.
The ego is the constructed self
Your ego is a very rigid identity. It has to be. It’s created a set of beliefs, patterns, and ideas, that most people label “personality.” Your ego is very defensive about your identity. Anything outside of confirmed thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors will be rejected.
If you’d like confirmation on this, watch a debate. Debaters do not change each other’s minds. They go back and forth affirming their own beliefs. The ‘winner’ of the debate is simply the person who confirms your bias. Their ego defends a belief, and yours defends that person as the winner because they confirm a concept you have tied to your identity.
The problem with this is conflicting opinion is what allows us to grow.
Conflicting opinions or concepts often bring people to a place of anger because the ego feels the most out of control when it’s challenged.
It feels like an attack on self.
Technically it is because the ego creates the illusion that our opinions and beliefs make you who we are.
This leads to a lot of insecurity and low self-worth. In a fragile state, the ego works overtime to ‘defend us.’