That word gets thrown around quite a bit, doesn't it?
This little three letter word carries a lot of weight and cannot be ignored.
I have actually been thinking on this subject for a while now, trying to make sure I have a solid handle on it and understand what is prompting me to write about ego.
To start with, I wanted to focus on what "ego" is from a psychological perspective. When we typically think of ego, we think of someone who is arrogant and full of themselves. From a psychological perspective, ego is just one part of our mind — there's the ego, the id, and the superego. The id is the one that runs around like a toddler on a sugar high, doing what ever it wants and the ego is the aspect that tries to be logical — tries, being the operative word– but when things don't work out the way the ego thinks they should, it can cause some problems. The superego tries to balance these two out...I am probably not doing a good job explaining all this, but I wanted to share it because I do wonder if there is some link to there being some issues in our mind that cause ego to run rampant in other areas. (This is a good website that has other info on this subject!)
For the purpose of this blog, we're going to look at ego as it affects your goals and how to avoid encountering ego in helping relationships, like coaching or any spiritual modality.
Ego & Your Goals
Many times, we encounter ego when we are dealing with our goals. We either make goals that are unattainable, leading us to disappointment and failure, which, in turns sets us up for anxiety. Or, we set goals that are not high enough or make us reach enough to keep us from growing — because we are scared of failure and disappointment.
OR — we worry so much about how the outer world sees us, that we establish goals that fit others and not us.
Typically, that is how ego interferes with our goals. We want to make changes to fit someone else's idea of what we need to be/do. NOT us.
Kind of messed up, isn't it?
When you are thinking of making any changes, ask yourself: If you find you are trying to please someone else, you may want to re-evaluate your reasons for making the changes.
- Who am I making these changes for?
- Why am I wanting to make these changes?
- What is the outcome I am wanting to have from these changes?
- What are my expectations with this?
- How will these changes help/benefit me? (What are the benefits?)
If you answer that these changes are to empower you, make your life better, move you forward towards the self-actualization you want and deserve, you are on the right path.
Your ego in the Freudian sense of "I" can help you here! Ego, in this regard, can be helpful. It helps us understand our motivations and make better choices. When we look at ego in the true sense of application, it is not necessarily bad. This is where you have to be careful...Oy.
Ego In Others
***This*** is what made me put this blog in the drafts for a few weeks.
But there's times you have to watch out for ego in others, in the sense of the arrogant, all-knowing stance that some people take.
Particularly when it comes to healing/spiritual modalities.
In medicine, it's been said that doctors can get a God-complex. In spiritual modalities, people can get a Spirit-complex and like to think that Spirit can only talk to them and give them special messages no one else can receive.
When I am coaching someone, I have to be mindful of boundaries — just because someone gets a message for someone, doesn't mean it has to be shared.
Just because I have a very close personal experience that aligns with what they are going through...doesn't mean it has to be shared. (I have really been working on this, as it is our nature to want to 'connect' and we often connect by sharing our personal experiences...as a coach, it's not always relevant and shifts the energy.)
What made me start thinking about this, is I have seen a lot of examples in various environments where someone may take a course to become a psychic or a medium or whatever area they desire, and suddenly — they are the expert.
They go off making claims they know everything and have all this wisdom they just have to share.
These are the folks who may take a course and then are suddenly the guru — they now know more than the teacher, who has years and years of practice, education and experience.
(This is not just in spiritual modalities but MANY modalities...)
Anyone can have a website, anyone can start a Facebook page, anyone can tell you they KNOW and have ALL the answers.
That doesn't make it so.
People that are new to these types of modalities may have completed coursework and done well, but being able to properly contact Spirit, channel, coach, etc. takes practice. And a discernment of what needs to be shared and in what spirit...
There's no room for boastfulness, arrogance, or ego in spiritually based work. When there is, the client is the one who loses.
How can you tell if someone is working from ego: These are a few of the things to think about when you feel like maybe you are dealing with an ego-based practitioner. Please make sure you are working with someone who has your best interests at heart. If you are looking for someone and need a recommendation, check out the preferred readers listed on here. (While I do also readings as well as coaching & Reiki, I also understand the relationship is most important and am glad to connect you with someone else you may 'click' with better!)
- Do they claim that their answer is definitive? It's set in stone because it came from **their** guides?
- Do you feel like they are preaching to you, instead of working with you?
- Do you feel like they are imposing their ideologies on you?
- Is the client/healer/reader relationship more about building them up instead of helping you grow and progress?
- Are they resistant to any possibilities other than their own dogma?
- Do you question their agenda or intentions at all?
- What do they have to gain from this? IS it to help their clients...or feed their own self-worth?
Ego, when it comes to helping yourself, is a great thing. In others, not so much.