The Protection of Our Ego
It is in our makeup as Creatives that when inspiration strikes, we dive into action! But what happens to the outcome?
Show of hands — who’s had a grand creative spark and sees see all the benefits of bringing it into being for yourself, your creative career, and your livelihood? So, now fill in the blank: If this “thing” that inspires me in this moment could happen, I would be _________!
Isn’t it exciting when inspiration turns into thoughts and ideas motivating you into action and momentum, and then you never see your vision, dream, or goal come into fruition?
Yeah, not so exciting.
What happened to the motivation, the drive, the excitement!? Where was the disconnect!?
I know there is a learning-in-the-process phase with new thoughts and ideas, and that it sometimes moves you into another direction. I love when that snowball of creativity gets rolling and everything just keeps growing bigger and bigger, or you realize there is a better approach to your idea. You are still moving toward an outcome and making progress. Hopefully, you are patient while your snowball picks up momentum. But let’s save that for another discussion!
I am talking about when an inspired thought pushes you into action; like committed fully on forwarding movement action toward a goal, but the desired outcome doesn’t come fast enough. Patience wears thin, frustration sets in, and we feel deflated or at the point of exhaustion. But then, without even realizing what is happening, all the negative outcomes start to play out and suck all inspiration right out of the goal or dream!
It is soooo aggravating! (I should say it was!) But we will get to that in a second!
If you can hear the internal conflict as you are smack dab in the middle of creating, and those dreaded worst-case scenarios start playing in your head, it’s time for something different! Let me introduce you to your Ego.
Ego doesn’t only apply to cocky, self-centered bullies who find joy in putting others down so that they can mask their own insecurities. Ego is a part of all of us and is there to help us cope (whether that means putting on a mask or not) in different ways. Ego is really good at telling us to beware of the hurt and pain that “could happen.” In fact, I can bet your ego has thought of every possible pain and suffering you could experience by moving in the direction of your dream.
Your Ego is Not Shy
When it comes to the “thinking the worst” conversations, your ego is not shy. It has too many options and thoughts and is willing to express them all if you are willing to listen. And the way our ego comes out and plays in us depends on where our own insecurities and vulnerabilities reside. When the Ego is triggered, the superhero cape goes on, the power pose is established, and the “Oh no, that is way too dangerous for my comfort zone” conversation begins. (See? Ego is trying to protect you.)
I know it all too well! I also know some tricks to move through it and to keep that Ego in check. YAY!
But I have some crap news, too. Your Ego is not going anywhere. It’s a part of your makeup, so we need to learn how to have a sane, adult conversation with it so we can remain motivated, focused, and moving toward our goals.
Reteach the Ego to be Useful, Not Debilitating
Here’s the thing — your Ego doesn’t want the full story. It’s doesn’t take into consideration the positives going on when it reaches its outcomes. It’s been most likely trained and conditioned to think the worst. So much of how we are raised as children, taught as young adults, and experienced as adults have been geared toward keeping us cautious and to err on the side of “stability and security.” It’s just how it is. It’s up to us as Creatives wanting to crush the starving artist myth to move beyond the narrow-minded guidance of our past and reteach our Ego to be useful so it won’t cripple us!
What the Ego can’t focus on is the benefits of the desired outcome of our goal or dream:
- The joy and abundance
- The prosperity and gratitude
- The love and balance
- The stability and fulfillment
What you will feel by putting your dreams, ideas, and goals out there for others to receive.
The Ego, being trained to think the worst, will always pop up with what it calls “reasoning.” But giving it control of the conversation is where we fall back into the starving artist myth time and time again. Don’t do it; it’s a trap!
Here’s the thing, like I said, the Ego isn’t going anywhere. And I do honestly believe it’s there to protect us. I mean, who wouldn’t want to protect themselves instinctually from the “what-ifs?” So can we change the conversation? Absolutely!
Trick #1 – Creating New Conversations
If all the Ego can think about is the pain and suffering of moving out of our comfort zone, how can we keep for it being louder than our dreams and goals? For the bruised and scared creative ego, all it wants to do is protect at any cost. (Did you hear that?) AT ANY COST, including the cost of dreams and goals. It does this by:
- Spinning all the possible negative outcomes to “prepare yourself” for the worst
- Expressing a thought or feeling to mask or counteract being vulnerable
- Showing power or strength as a result of feeling insecure
Trick: Awareness is Clutch!
First, we have to realize when we are heading into these conversations with our Ego. Awareness is a clutch key throughout the goal-setting process, and when we are moving toward the “what-if” conversations we and our Egos love to have. When you find you’re having a conversation similar to this one:
You: Man, I am hyped about launching this new website and getting my creative work out there.
Ego: HOLD up! Have you thought about all the rejection you could feel if no one shows up to buy your work and read your story?
You: Damn, you are right. That happened to Sally. She created a website, spent all this money on it, and didn’t sell anything. All that time and money invested to just close it down in a six months.
Ego: You don’t want that to happen, so let’s just stay here in the safe comfort zone and let that inspiration go. That’s just too risky. Something else will come along.
You: Ok Good idea. **Sigh** Thanks!
*****Your Ego thinks to itself: Man, I am good. I just saved you from falling flat and wasting a bunch of time and money. And here we are all safe in our comfort zone. (Comfort Zone meaning what we know about being poor and deprived from creating more. Meanwhile you are longing for all the joy, satisfaction, and stability you would have received by creating content, sharing it with others, receiving the benefits of producing your ideas and dreams. Yes back in the starving artist myth.)
So, as I said, awareness is clutch. Understand (and forgive) when you are beginning to have a conversation with your Ego. When it’s pushing away from the desired outcome, change the conversation. SPEAK UP! Let your Ego hear all the benefits! Tell it how the benefits outweigh the what-ifs!
Here is a really great example of a conversation
from one of my favorite books, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
We’re about to go on a road trip together and I believe you’re going to be joining us, because you always do. I acknowledge that you have an important job to do and that you take your job seriously.
Apparently, your job is to induce complete panic, when I’m about to do something interesting, and may I say you’re superb at your job!
So by all means, keep doing your job if you feel you must.
But I’ll also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused. And creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There’s plenty of room for all of us so make yourself at home.
But understand this: Creativity and I are the ONLY ones who will be making any decisions.
I recognize and respect that you’re part of this family, so I will never exclude you from activities.
But your suggestions will never be followed.
You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you’re NOT allowed to have a vote.
You’re not allowed to touch the roadmap, you’re not allowed to suggest detours, you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature.
Dude you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old friend fear, you are absolutely FORBIDDEN to drive.
Trick #2: Give your Ego a Reason to Change its Mind
As you are taking actions to move through your vision and ideas with intentions of a certain outcome, it’s time to also FEEL how it would be once the outcome comes into fruition.
Let’s focus on knowing what to feel so those fears and negative outcomes don’t overtake the vision and creativity our souls long to create.
So for me, the idea of manifesting comes with a lot of frustration. I have written a list of desires, explained them, journaled them, burned them, and even buried them. I use my passwords as reminders to stay focused on the dreams I wish to see happening my life.
And day after day, I feel that somehow the universe forgot or skipped over manifesting my desires today.
So I try again. Rewriting them, this time with more detail and more concentrated thought on them, all to no (or little) avail.
While journaling my frustrations and rereading what I wrote (and rewrote for the tenth time) I realized my frustration from lack of desires being manifested were more valuable than what I was actually writing!
It clicked, like really clicked. I need to honestly and wholehearted feel as if it is already manifested. How many times have you heard that? And if this is your first time hearing it, I strongly urge you to reread it until it sinks in deep! It’s as important to manifesting your goals as it is to also take action and live your days moving toward them, doing the things it takes to bring them into fruition while feeling as if you have already achieved them. (Seriously, reread this last paragraph. It. Is. Clutch.)
I was so focused on what the actual manifestation was (not having it yet) that I couldn’t allow myself to feel the joy and abundance of receiving it. When I realized this is where the struggle was and decided to start doing exercises to help feel the benefits of satisfaction, AKA writing down the desires (even general descriptions) and then describing the feelings instead of details, I was completely lost. It was like I had writers block. I had completely blocked the feel part of manifesting out of my psyche and that is the number reason I wasn’t manifesting. And if I was manifesting, it was hard and long and took up so much effort!
Not Only Did I Start Over with a Blank Page, but also a Blank Thought
It was a eureka moment for sure to understand that not only was I an amazing manifester, but I was manifesting exactly what I was thinking: more frustration with not manifesting my desires. So when I wrote them down and my mind went blank, I knew exactly where my issue was in manifesting!
I SERIOUSLY could NOT articulate quality positive emotions around what it would feel like when what I wanted hadn’t manifested (soon enough).
I was so stuck! And in all honesty, it was more like I was invested in the “suck a$$” feelings. I wasn’t even able to write out my feelings, much less feel them.
So I searched the World Wide Web to get a list of feelings that I could use for inspiration to actually feel what feels good to me before it actually manifests. Yes, Y’all, I went back to basic basics!
NOTE: I didn’t go searching for quick fixes. And I didn’t click on articles. This is your Ego trying to distract you from moving out of your comfort zone.
I was searching for a list of words and stayed focused on finding them so I could begin writing them down and using them! I needed the inspiration to be able to know what to feel (what I wanted to feel) when I manifested my goals and dreams.
It was so surreal.
I was completely blocking the ability to feel the feelings of what I wanted. I knew what I wanted. It’s nothing HUGE or unreasonable! It’s a few simple desires and goals that most of us want and some have: a solid committed relationship, more money for stability and retirement, and to be able to help others be successful, too. These feelings were so obtainable, which is why I was so perplexed that it wasn’t happening. I have the talent and the creativity for it for sure!
Now as I journal and work through the suggestions and conversations my Ego is trying to express while protecting our comfort zone, I use this list:
It helps me “feel my feelings” which open me up to the divine universe and brings me what my heart truly longs to master. I take another step toward crushing the starving artist myth.
There’s also a great concept I will explain pertaining to how to feel when your visions and goals are at a distance vs a little closer to becoming reality, and also, how we could be pushing the good stuff away at either point.
I will be posting a video soon about this concept in our Free Facebook Group. Make sure you have joined so you don’t miss it.