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The Ego and how it stops you from changing

Over the past few years I’ve re-evaluated what the ego is and how it works. Most people would probably think of ego in the more traditional definition that looks something like this:

“Someone’s ego is their sense of their own worth. For example if someone has a large ego, they think they are very important and valuable.”

From what I’ve learned about human behaviour over the years, this is not the only way to think about ego! The ego hides behind the “I” and “me” in thoughts and statements about our identity – basically any sentence that starts with “I am….” or “I think/believe…”.

What does this have to do with big changes and transitions in your life? It’s fundamental, so keep reading!

The ego is difficult to define because it isn’t one specific thing.  It is actually made up of many different beliefs that each person learns and takes on board during their lifetime. Often those beliefs can be diverse and even contradictory to each other. It might be easier for you to think of you ego (yes you most definitely have an ego!) as a “mini me” that drives your life bus most oft the time. It’s right there in the control centre, keeping you safe, making sure you avoid big bumps and wants to keep you alive.

The problem is that it doesn’t always know the difference between a healthy transition and a life-threatening situation, so its got one simple policy that overrules everything else: it does not like change.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to unpack the 6 different needs of the ego and run through specific examples where it can get in the way for relocations, career transitions and pretty much anything else that would make you really happy in the long term.

But just so you don’t have to wait until next week, I’ll list the 6 different themes here so you can start thinking about them and if these have come up recently for you. These are not listed in any particular order as all of them will come up at different times. 

  • The need to know
  • The need to judge
  • The need to justify
  • The need to be right
  • The need to look good
  • The need to get even

I look forward to touch base with you and unpack the first one next week!

And before you ask, I can’t take credit for inventing these 6 needs of the ego, it’s simply something I’ve learned over the many years of working with people and from some of the amazing teachers I’ve had. I want to share them with you now because I’ve found that this thinking helps people understand the things that can really hold them back during times of change.