How to Tame the Ego

Success is like a drug, and like drugs it comes in many forms: a return on investment, a fulfilling experience, or even reaching a higher state of consciousness. And just like drugs, success can develop into an addiction, and the only way to sustain the addiction is to feed the ego. The ego is the only thing that can convince you that the success (the drug) is all you need to live for.

My ego has fought for dominion over my conscious experience my entire life, and with each success, my self-awareness weakens and becomes a window of opportunity for my ego to reign.

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This week has been a series of wins and with each ‘hit’, I could feel my identity escaping me. When you succeed, in the very traditional sense of the word, the world starts to take notice and sort of validates your self-worth with every like, comment, congratulatory call or text. Each validation enhances the ‘high’, and it’s a difficult feeling to escape. I mean, who doesn’t like being validated by someone else?

Over the past few years, I feel my biggest accomplishment has been developing my self-awareness, and when my behaviours started mimicking that of my ego, it was time to put it back in its place. I found myself constantly checking my phone for red notifications, replying “thank you”, to comments from people who don’t really give a sh*t, and allowing myself to believe that only I can do what I do, which I know for a fact isn’t true. That’s not the life I want to build, that’s not the life experience I want live, and nor is it the life I want to share.

Praise is like positive reinforcement, the behaviours (the successes) I was being rewarded for (praised for), we’re reinforcing the idea that if I repeat these same behaviours, I can expect to be rewarded again. Soon, my purpose is replaced with the desire for more praise and validation. This entices the ego to come out and play, and to take control over my life in order to sustain this rewards based system.

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If I let this happen I restrict my potential, because it’ll only motivate me to do enough to keep others happy and keep my ego satisfied. It also places an overwhelming expectation, an unnecessary pressure which’ll distract me from being able to just, be. It’s a difficult behaviour to undo, a difficult behaviour to defeat, when this is what we’re taught from a young age. That the only reason to do anything, is for the reward.

We rarely praise each other for feeling completely content with where we are in our lives. Rarely are we impressed with people who are just happy on their journey, wherever it’s headed. It’s always a sort of “that’s nice” or “good luck” or “you’ll go far”- a compliment that suggests we should be doing more for a reward/better reward. I remember these praises, because I got them a lot when I started blogging. It was only when success grows, do people feel compelled to reach out and say “well done” and “Congratulations!”

Where’s the appreciation for just existing and being you? Why does being you and doing what you do naturally, have to be worth something in terms of “success”, before you’re appreciated at all?

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This is what years of feeling insignificant does to us, when we grow up feeling insignificant any experience of validation becomes a high, just like a drug, because the experience is so surreal to us. We want more of this unreal experience. We’re rarely taught that who we are is enough, so a lot of us spend a lifetime chasing the high for no other reason than to just feel worth something. Forever trying to prove our worth, and less time developing and learning from it.

We all have a reason to exist, we all have worth from the moment we’re born, and I think the ego is tamed when we accept that. When we accept ourselves life becomes this wonderful journey of discovery, instead of a mission to know and have things just to justify what we think we know, which is often very far from the truth.

When we equate validation to acceptance, to love, and to appreciation, we lose sight of our own capacity to accept, love, appreciate, so we blindly validate ego.

Without the attachment to traditional affirmations of success: the nice house, the flashy cars, the perfect relationship and all the other trimmings sold to us on social media, who are we? I think it’s a reason why so many relationships tank, why so many great ideas fail, and so many of us give up on things we’re passionate about so quickly. It seems if we don’t get the validation it’s not worth the experience, so we give up or do the minimum to sustain whatever we’ve built.

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All I did was start expressing my truth and once I got comfortable with it, I navigated my truth to different experiences, and the experiences taught me how to share it. Living more authentically gave me the courage to explore the things that truly interested me, and the more I learned, the more I invested my life into it. I was developing my passion and as my passion grew I identified my purpose, all because it just felt right, natural even.

This is why I wrote this post today, to save me and the future me from my own ego. It may not be well written, nor will it ever be perfect, but it’s me, and so long as I continue to express myself honestly, I’ll continue to develop and grow me into the best version of me I can ever be.

I think if we all work hard to develop self-awareness and actively help each other keep our egos in check, relationships will inspire, passions will be pursued and life will become a freer experience to live.

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Are Your Motivations Man-made?

Thinker

Have you ever wondered how much of your life is man-made? Ever considered how much of your life is driven by man-made philosophies that guide your choices, mould your identity and overrun your emotions and natural desires?

Take the institution of marriage for example, it’s not necessarily an innate desire, we’re taught to long for this lawful union. Religion too, people submit lives, generations even, towards words written by man. Our careers maybe, are they driven by our thirst for power and purpose or do we slave away for the sake of climbing a social ladder?

I was on a date a few weeks ago and the girl I met was nice enough, she was pretty, very intelligent and I would say she was text-book perfect. Problem was, I found her very reserved, afraid to open up and let out what she truly wanted from life. It seemed she was conditioned to believe marriage was one of life’s natural wonders, so when I posed the question, “What if the entire concept of marriage didn’t exist, what would be your drive for companionship?” She stared at me with the blankest expression as if her mind had been formatted, I felt like I had insulted her.

It got me thinking about how many people in my life have very similar views, I don’t think a week goes by where a family member or a friend asks me about my marital status or how many digits occupy my bank account. Is it not enough to just accept that I’m happy, healthy and human, surrounded by a truck load of love and that I now live with a mountain sized passion for life? It’s like many cannot accept that I could arrive at this level of fulfillment without having followed certain ideologies.

Is it that difficult to comprehend, that we can drive ourselves simply by the honesty we carry in our emotions? That life is actually a lot simpler outside the flow of man-made principles.

I’m beginning to wonder if humanity has lost touch with the very things that make us human. How is anyone supposed to reach self-actualization and fulfilment, if we’re so conditioned to live life dictated by man-made values, popular movements and lean our desires towards marketable trends?

OK, maybe I’m heading off on a frustrated tangent here, but think about it, when was the last time you did something unstructured and genuinely honest? How much of your life is innately motivated?

Give yourself the opportunity to ponder this thought and tap into your true intent, before making your next life decision.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

The Importance of Finding Love, In Life.

Post by VanCityLifeCoach.com

LifeHad a conversation about love the other day. It got emotional for some, and I found myself connecting with the word in a different manner than usual.

The notion that science finds difficult to explain becomes a hot topic in relationships. How it’s an inexplicable feeling that many strive to find and experience. However the more I understood, falling in love was hardly limited to just relationships.

As the conversation unraveled, people spoke about love in many different ways. I discovered that love applies to many different facets of life.

I concluded, that love was a word used to describe a genuine connection to another energy. Be it a person or people, destiny and passions, past, present and even future. It’s that definite recognition of life and how we’re supposed to live it.

A Narcissistic Paradigm

As we all spoke about love, it was always about how it “made me feel” or how “I felt” being “in love.” Powerful, accepted, right, natural, excited, obsessed, nervous, anxious, fearful, happy, blissful, safe….the words people used went on and on.

Although linked to another energy, the conversation about love was always about how we felt about ourselves. I too was trending this same connotation; the recurring theme around love seemed to promote the elevation of self. I expect this is why love is so incredibly personal.

I sort of stepped out of the conversation for a moment and in my silence, I began thinking about love in everything else outside of relationships.

My mind hung on the words people used to define love, they were exactly how I felt about my passions and how I felt about where my life was headed. Every time I think about the path I’m on, I feel elevated. The same way I feel about those I love, is just the same as when I relive some of my most cherished memories. From travelling through to random life events that left an impression on my life, and even how I feel when working on my passions today. Love was and is clearly present.

I guess love is the realisation of fulfillment. The only way we’re going to discover it, is to get in touch with our emotions and evaluate how we feel. I suppose the only way to find love in anything we do is to truly focus on oneself; by being honest, open-minded and aware. Only when we understand ourselves can we begin to understand others and identify the life we should embark on.

The Application of Love to Life.

Love is dynamic and I left that night thinking how we shouldn’t just apply it to only a few features of life. We should strive to find love in all and everything that we do.

After all if love feels so good, then why limit ourselves to finding love in just relationships? We should aim to fall in love with all parts our lives and not quit the search until we find it universally.

I love what I do with my work; my blog and my book and all the other things I’m finding fulfillment in. I love helping and inspiring others, it’s probably why I invest so much time nurturing and protecting my work.

People go their entire lives focusing on finding love. However, they embark on a cryptic journey to find another person. Love comes in abundance, in many different forms, ready to be discovered everywhere, in all that we do. So why not apply the search for this powerful sensation onto everything we do?

We shouldn’t neglect other parts of our lives solely because society limits the concept of love to a Hollywood story. Let’s not let our lives be wasted on simply existing, let’s give our all to everything. Yes, find love in our relationships, but find it in our passions and find it in ourselves too.

Love is infinite, available anywhere and everywhere. It’s probably why we can always fall out and back into love. It’s probably why we can never really peak in life either, so long as you’ve found something, anything worth living for, you’ve found love.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach