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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Why are you afraid?

Imitation = Fear

Imitation is an expression of fear, because we imitate to blend in, to be accepted by society, and for others to notice that we fit in and that we belong. We imitate because we’re afraid of being rejected should we ever reveal our truest selves.

Many of us, predominately in the West I feel, are searching for that sense of belonging from a very early age. Think about how a toddler behaves, they walk around confidently, wearing the rawest version of themselves. Forever curious, they’re always in search of answers. Although it may not last too long, toddlers are also very compassionate, incredibly loving and confidently expressive.

I think as conscious awareness develops, there comes a time when we become curious about ourselves and our place in this world, and I think it’s at this crucial point when fear of expression starts to develop. It’s like we spend most of our lives slowly breaking free from a cocoon and once free, we’re very quickly misguided.

As we develop some independence we turn to the world around us for guidance on this human experience. However, the world is still very much an unequal place and as we receive its messages, predominantly through mass media, the majority of us feel underrepresented. When we do not see ourselves being represented, we quickly learn to feel that this is a world in which we do not belong, so what do we do? We imitate.

We buy into popular trends, we follow false idols, and we mimic those who are presented as most-self-actualized. We often do this so blindly that it becomes normal, until the distance between who we really are and who we’ve presented ourselves to be is so wide, that we become afraid to face the truth, and/or unsure of it.

It develops an anxiety of sorts, an uncertainty about the future and thus the quest for happiness continues to be a trivial pursuit. We feed fear each time we deny ourselves the opportunity to be liberated.

What are you afraid of?

I suppose we can measure fear by how much of our lives we spend imitating others. The world accepting us for how well we imitate it, is not the world accepting us. We’re merely helping the powers at be, reinforce their egos. If we want to be represented then we must show the world who it is that needs representation. However, chances are we’re all one of a kind and when we accept this we probably won’t care for representation, because instead we’ll be seeking only inspiration.

Remember the key to fulfillment, in any aspect of life, is a strong and affirmed identity.

Be you. Be inspired. Be Inspiring.

Read the full post here.

The Courage Found in Creativity

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Our imagination can take our minds to places we never thought possible. We all have this beautifully engineered component which gives us the capability to, safely and securely, explore alternate realities and ideate to our hearts content.

It’s through exercising this ability we’ve been able to progress and evolve as a civilization. Many of the things we take for granted today, are the result of someone courageous enough to pluck an idea from an obscure reality and make it real.

One of my favorite pieces of advice to share with people who lack courage – is to create. Creativity is the key to unlocking our minds and understanding our own identities. It’s the opportunity and freedom to be ourselves as we explore the world within.

Being creative; that first brush stroke or note, that first idea or theory,  that first movement or moment…it’s like switching on an engine, shifting into first gear and beginning that journey towards courage.

Engaging in our creative abilities allows us to confidently explore the truth within and explore the depth of our potential. As we shift into higher gears and really begin to indulge our identities, as we navigate through the limitless multiverse that is our imagination, we’ll begin to see sense in our creations and stimulate a unique purpose for our own lives.

We all start our lives living on instinct and raw emotion. As children we have that confidence and courage to explore and be open and expressive. As children we yearn to be understood and accepted, yet as we grow older, the paradigm shifts as we climb into a box and try to fit in; in fear of being different.

As we nestle into these boxes, a dilemma soon arises when we become increasingly aware, of how lonely it is living life boxed in by perception and the classification of normality. They limit creativity and curb our opportunities to innovate and express ourselves, because we continue to play within a space which we naively consider to be harmless. Yet it weakens courage and dwindles confidence.

They also limit our connection to others. They restrict how much we are willing to share and how much others have available to explore. Eventually, stepping outside of our proverbial boxes becomes a nonsensical notion, as we deem those living blissfully free from these restraints: brave, inspiring and/or foolish.

So if you’re sitting there reading this with hopeful desires, wishing and waiting for that one day, that one opportunity to lead your life into greatness. Then let your imagination soar and express your creativity and as you continue to create, you’ll find the courage to step outside of your box and showcase your identity.

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What We All Want.

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Today, I led a discussion and met with people living very different lives, about life and relationships. Although there were so many differences, we stripped back experiences until we hit raw, genuine, emotion. Some cried, some got angry, but we all laughed, and as we explored everyone’s identities, we discovered what we all truly wanted from our lives, from others and within ourselves.

Since, coaching and connecting with people from all around the world, it’s never been more evident that we all strive for the same thing. To just live our lives, as ourselves without compromises.

I’ll admit, people’s perception about what I do got to me. Even I began to think this whole coaching gig was going to be about helping people set a few of goals and motivate them to achieve it. However, today I was reminded of why I got into this in the first place and I can’t even put into words, how it feels to see someone leave a session, with more confidence and excitement about their own lives moving forward.

Over the last few weeks, a mother understood the influence she has on her child, a son understood the pedestal he was placed upon and someone who had lost their identity to their career, learned that they had much more to offer than what was expected in exchange for a paycheck. Someone dealing with loss faced their guilt and finally felt ready to accept what they could not change. Another was awoken to the negative influences impacting his life…

After achieving what I had today and over the last few weeks, I’m more than happy and confident to end this note with:

Kind regards,

Terry Sidhu – Relationship and Life Coach.

Why You Should Always Challenge Yourself

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When was the last time your identity was pushed to its limits? When did you last overcome an intimidating challenge?

How you deal with and overcome challenges is a skill you develop. If you’re pretty good at it, chances are you’ve come across many challenges in your life. You’ve probably developed your skill well enough to withstand an array of pressures that life can throw at you.

One thing I advise people who pursue their own success, is to avoid complacency. The world and how it operates continues to evolve and change and our nature is to adapt to these changes. If you’re not nurturing your ability to overcome challenges, the more difficult it’ll be to adapt, more so when challenges are unavoidably presented.

As you become adapted to a life you’ve built, you may have learnt to avoid challenges as you nestle into comfort and ease. If you’re settled into routine and are comfortable in the everyday motions of life, it’s important to set yourself and see through goals/challenges regularly. They help you to strengthen your mindset, thus allowing you to tap into your identity; the stronger your will, the more confident and determined you’ll be to succeed in the passions YOU want to pursue.

Challenges present several learning opportunities that teach you more about yourself than you once thought. Challenges are a constant reminder, proof even, that personal potential is truly uncapped. If you’re constantly nurturing this mindset, you build up a tolerance against negative infiltrations like procrastination, doubt, insecurity and anything else that keeps you from reaching your self-actualized state.

Your mind as well as your body can be pushed to surprising limits and in order for you to continue your journey towards self-actualization, you should seek to challenge yourself whenever an opportunity arises.  You should always keep your mind and your body engaged in a constant state of improvement and progression.

Regularly engaging in challenges also helps you build up a tolerance of what you can handle at any given time. Remember, the more success you accumulate in your life, the more challenges you’ll come across to maintain and grow it.

Always continue to push yourself further today, so that you’ll sail through the challenges of tomorrow.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

10 Ways to Feel Better About Yourself and Into a Positive Mind-Set

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Whenever you’re having a bad day or just need to clear your thoughts, try adopting some of the following principles to uplift your spirit, so that you can continue to deal with whatever life decides to throw your way.

#1 Liberation

Be honest and confess your heart out. We all have secrets that weigh us down, things that we continue to push back into the deep, dark corners of our minds. These repressions only add insult to an already difficult time in life, free yourself from the burden of locking up this stress and liberate yourself today. There’s an emotional freedom and strength you develop when you unlock both your heart and your mind.

#2 Withdrawal

There are certain things in life that occur outside the bounds of your control. You can either let this negative impact consume your spirit or, do what I prefer to do: plaster on a smile and say (aloud) “Fu*k it!” It’s my way of remaining in the present, not fearing what the past has to torment me, nor what the future has waiting for me (#fuckcancer).

#3 Bliss

Take a drive, book a weekend away, go out…do something for yourself that allows you to comfortably express yourself. Always take time for moments of bliss, to feel comfortable in your own skin; free to just be yourself. Personally, I book a trip away every quarter just to break away from the insanity that we refer to as the “real” world.

#4 Serenity

Go on a communications hiatus. Turn off the phone, close the laptop and pick up a book or engage in an activity that gives you time to relax and recover. Take time out to listen to your thoughts and be at peace with time. You can become so reliant on staying connected, that you can end up losing touch with yourself.

#5 Gratitude

Remind yourself of everything in your life that you’re thankful for and show appreciation towards it/them. Whether you’re grateful for the roof over your head or the people in your life, spend time protecting and showing appreciation to your most cherished assets. Oh, and don’t forget about your health; look after your mind and body.

#6 Community

Nothing eases the pressures of life than supporting others that could benefit from your help. Humbling, freeing and incredibly rewarding, helping others can really snap you out of negative thought processes. It can remind you that you’re worth something to someone, even if you believe the world and everyone in it is against you.

#7 Amnesty

Forgive. Forget. Move on. Let go of grudges; let go of the energy it takes to hate someone. Holding onto hate will only prevent you from moving forward. Understand that time gives you the opportunity to heal, but you must let go if you want to facilitate this process. Trust me, I held on to hate as if it were the life that ran through my veins, and it led my identity astray.

Also, fess up and seek redemption if you need to. We’re all human, we’re all learning, we’re all connected and we feel the same emotions. Make your mistakes but own up to them, if you let them fester and do nothing, they’ll develop into regrets you’ll later live with.

#8 Confidence

Say yes more! Just do it, if you’re hesitant then that’s your indication that there’s a part of you that wants to experience and explore your curiosity – this is life! However, if you’re completely certain and very confident that you don’t want to do something, then don’t do it, listen to your intuition and your gut instincts.

#9 Passion

Indulge in your hobbies and unleash your inner expert. Do things that make you feel proud of yourself; do things that make you feel accomplished. Explore those things that interest you, especially if others do not understand why. Your hobbies and your passions make you unique and they’ll keep your identity intact. Never lose sight of who you are.

#10 Mindfulness

Often associated to meditation, but I’ve learned that mindfulness is just about being completely present without judgment. I liken it to the freedom you experience behind closed doors. Tap into your creative spirit, express yourself and feel good! Get yourself into a flow state and reclaim your life; sing, dance, paint, write…you have endless ways to be mindful in your very own, individual way.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Why Holding on to a Fantasy isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing

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My journey from living with insecurities to living with confidence and esteem has been long. It’s taken leaps and bounds overcoming challenges and threats to my identity but I made it through, partly because I held on to what once seemed like a fantasy.

7 years ago, if anyone had told me that I’d be living the life that I am today, and that I’d be living it happily, I’d liken such wisdom to fantasy. Although I yearned for it, no part of my being believed it. However entertaining the idea of how life could be offered me moments of escape where I could live out my ultimate dreams. The mere thought would stimulate emotion, enough emotion to encourage the spirit to act.

We grow up to be adults with plans and realistic tendencies that repress any thought deemed too fantastical. When living inside the ideologies of society we fail to see sense in exercising this natural ability.

The way I see it, what we have as human beings is meant to be embraced. Our imagination has no bounds, has no limits and has no restrictions. Our minds have the ability to give us whatever we want. Whether it’s that great love we desire to experience someday or the success we wish to encounter, we all have it in us to live it in the form of fantasy.

So what good is this fantasy? It’s not real, what use do we have for it? My answer is hope, and not that hope associated with religion. It’s the hope that inspires courage and determination and gives us the right to our identities free. It gives us the ability to dream and inspires us to locate opportunities to pull that dream into the realm of reality.

Life is fu*king tough, it’s not easy, but we do have something to turn to if we do need some comfort to cope. Our fantasies can be something we fuel our minds with to move forward and push through our struggles.

One thing about fantasy, and it’s sort of warping my mind even thinking about it, is that the imagination; the idea; this omnipresent force that exists within our minds allows us to feel. Feelings we cannot and must not deny.

The empathy we experience as we read a book or watch a movie. The connection we make with others that cannot be explained, and the raw expression of our own identities when there is no fear nor judgment to face. Our fantasies contribute so much to who we are and they give us so much to live for, yet we dismiss them because we’re taught to be realistic.

Today, I want to advise you that it’s OK to let your mind travel, it’s OK to enjoy the bliss and comfort that comes with being free to think and feel without the burden of reality. Hold on to your fantasies, let them fill your spirit with all the goodness that empowers you to become the best that you can be in your reality.

You have to be so much already; you may have so many hats to wear and roles to play in your everyday life. So long as you’re not harming anyone, explore your fantasy. Be free, be happy and don’t let the struggles of reality bring you down. This life I’m living now was once deemed a fantasy. Generations once enslaved also had a fantasy; lovers once deemed mentally ill also had a fantasy, and although there may be quite a bit of distance between the two realms, never let go of the possibility that one day that distance will decrease.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach