Fear, The Ego, & Changing Your Mind
Fear is the mother of all emotions. It is the root. The source.
All other emotions, if you go deep enough, are typically rooted in fear. Fear of failure; fear of judgment; fear of abandonment, success, what have you. And all emotions are triggered or rooted in our beliefs, which are, more often than not, extremely limiting and quite untrue.
When leaving the safety of your comfort zone, it is your ego's job to keep you safe. Egos are actually quite inventive and imaginative when it comes to reminding us of our insecurities, perceived faults, and ultimate fears. The ego uses these to throw salt in the wounds in hopes of getting you to give up on the risky endeavor to head back to the squishy perceived safety of your comfort zone. It makes sense when you consider is meant to be your overprotective body guard. That is its job and it is intensely worried about your safety and your 'image,' and it likes to use fear and doubt to water down your enthusiasm.
When you practice self awareness, you become more aware of the fearful and limiting dialogue happening inside your head. This dialogue is ultimately and unconsciously in the driver's seat of your actions and decisions. When you become aware of this, then you can see it for what it truly is--a scared ego just making sure it has your back. It's like an overprotective helicopter parent, really. When you realize this, you can pause, breathe, calm, and soothe your ego. Then proceed to uncover the real root of the fear—which feels very real, but is often blown out of proportion or completely made up. When you uncover the root, you can question the belief, which will open up your mind to your habit of believing this. This awareness will give you the power to choose to wake up to the mental programming that is not serving you.
Understanding the workings of my ego has been instrumental in nipping emotional freak-outs in the butt before I get swept off on an emotional rollercoaster. If you often (or permanently) find yourself frozen in fear paralysis, going through the robotic motions of life, or riding the emotional rollercoaster, then you’ll want to keep reading.
Over the course of the past almost two years, I have dove into self-publishing children’s books, which brought with it a level of vulnerability that I had not traveled to before. Vulnerability holds a powerful transformational potential, but it can be a tricky one to navigate with a scared ego…because if you’re not paying attention, the ego can be very convincing, and before you know it, you’re completely derailed. Well, I’ve been derailed a few times by fear. It’s absolutely true. However, each time, I used the experience to get to know myself better to shed a light on the workings of my ego, false beliefs, and deep-seated fears, in order to understand that my emotional derailments are ALWAYS 100% ego-based. Makes sense, right? That might not be earth-shattering for you, but it sure will be for some.
Think about it: every single time you overreact and/or get emotional, your ego is in the driver’s seat. Yep, every time it’s being triggered. Perhaps your beliefs are being challenged. Maybe you’re being reminded of the grossly exaggerated fears that live deep in your subconscious mind. Perhaps you’ve had a memory triggered that you’d rather keep stuffed away as far down as possible. Maybe your expectations of how life ‘should’ work are not lining up with your experience of life. Or maybe you’re completely unaware of all of it and this is a brand-new wake up call. Whatever the case, if you can catch the underlying belief, expectation or fear, and question it, then the emotional rollercoaster can come to a halt and you can choose to get off the ride.
Easier said than done, I know. But in practicing self awareness, it has greatly reduced the amount of mind-induced pain and suffering I experience, while also balancing my emotional health.
None of what I am saying is to discount your emotions. Nope. Feel them, express them, but then make the space to investigate them… because our emotional triggers are always, always, always derived from our split-mind thinking and false beliefs. This means that if you investigate the emotion to find the belief, and you know that belief is false (unless it can be true 100% of the time no matter what), then you can see it all for what it really is.
Side note: emotions are different than feelings. Basically, emotions are always triggered by a false belief, which means they have a mental source, while feelings are often more subtle, have an intuitive source, and do not have an explanation. (“I just have this weird feeling about it and I don’t know why.”)
Here’s how I process through:
I gave myself a deadline to finish illustration descriptions for my third children’s book because I was hella dragging my heels… not because I was forcing something that wasn’t aligned, but rather because it is going to be amazing and my ego was pumping the procrastination brakes, HARD. How did I know the difference between procrastination due to lack of soul alignment versus procrastination due to fear? Well, here’s how I knew for sure it was fear: I’m wildly excited about this book. When someone asks me about it, my face lights up, motor mouth ensues, and I’m emanating enthusiasm in every cell of my body = alignment.
So, I had to commit to myself in order to get my ego out of the way. I gave myself a deadline. I broke my final goal down into bite-sized, manageable steps, planned out my week, and carved out time to prioritize to make it happen. This also meant minimizing distractions, setting boundaries for myself and communicating them to my team. Most importantly, it meant paying attention to my limiting self-talk and recognizing it as fear as to not buy into it and fuel the fear fire. Every time I caught myself hesitating, getting stuck, frustrated, or avoiding, I called myself out on it—not in a harsh way, just in a self awareness way. I would ask myself what I needed. Sometimes that meant, get outside your box, go do some mind wandering through a place that inspires you, or do some journaling. I hit roadblocks, of course, but I always investigate them, because they are a mirror to show me my beliefs. (Cool, right?) And at the end of the week, I reached my completion goal. While, there are still layers of fear that I am working through—I am really proud that I was easier on myself this round, did not have an emotional faceplant, and feel that I created a better and gentler method for envisioning my next book.
Now, this may not seem like an earth-shattering accomplishment to all, but trust me, there can be a lot of ego flares when creating something full of heart, learning, and mind-expanding truth (“Are you sure that’s the truth?” -Ego. You see what I mean?)
More dreams have died because of fear than any other reason--but they don’t have to die. Actually, I feel that bringing dreams to life is one of the best parts of living because you have to challenge a lot of beliefs along the way, which is a pretty amazing feat.
Living with self awareness due to MindScape and BodyTalk has been my key to breaking down fears rooted in ridiculous beliefs. MindScape has been the greatest tool I’ve ever learned, and after almost 10 years since first taking the course, I have no idea who, what, or where I would be without it. If you’d like to find out about MindScape, me, or what it is that I do, you can learn more here: www.InnerCompassAcademy.com or sign up for my Inspire Newsletter.
Here’s an idea to start practicing self awareness:
The next time you catch yourself saying something limiting (“I can’t because… I should do this because… I’m not smart enough for that… I don’t have time for this…) I challenge you to pause, reflect, and question said belief.
Is that really true? (It can only be true if it’s 100% true, 100% of the time. If it’s not true 100% of the time, then you just blew some holes in the logic.)
Why am I telling myself that?
What emotion is being triggered?
What am I scared of? (Because fear is the mother of all emotions, I ask myself this one A LOT.)
As you begin to catch yourself and see how many of the things we tell ourselves and abide by on a daily basis are completely ridiculous beliefs, you will give yourself permission to make different choices, get outside your box, and live life more fully.
Drop me a comment and let me know how it goes.
I believe in you.
About the Author:
Kristin Pierce loves chai lattes, inspirational quotes, writing in coffee shops, and questioning beliefs. She is a self-awareness educator whose mission is to empower others to deconstruct the limiting beliefs that are keeping them small and stuck in order to rise to their potential, come alive, and impact the world. Kristin is the Founder of Inner Compass Academy and Inner Compass Books. She is a MindScape Instructor, Advanced BodyTalk Practitioner, Registered Massage Therapist, & Children's Book Author.
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