I left off last week on the concept of ego, and how it is as much a part of us, as our liver (in Sarah’s words!) They both serve purposes, they’re both related to our survival. And they both need to be handled with care. If we accept that the ego’s not going away, it may die many deaths in various forms, but it exists for a reason. Then the key is not to get all obsessive about trying to kill it off, but rather to recognize that it’s a quirk of your biology.
And here is where it’s so important to listen in on Sarah’s journey.
When I started moving into offering courses, I’d been coaching for a long time, and I had really good content, and I was excited to do it, but because I hadn’t done it before I don’t have a reference file for it. So the nervous system gets triggered, we’re stepping outside the parameters of the known right now. That sets the ego off. Sometimes I just refer to it as the tape recorder, because its information never really updates.
So I’m sitting there writing course content, workbooks, and I’m super pleased about it. And in the background, there is Captain Douche Bag (my very loud inner voice) saying hey, this is never going to sell. This content isn’t very good. Everybody teaches it better than you. Nobody likes you. We're probably going to die.
And what I’ve learned is that, like fear, the ego is not armed. It’s not a physical barrier. It’s very annoying, and if you listen to it primarily, if you prioritize it, it is loud, and it will be right in the front, and it will be right here in the front of your brain and be very defensive and very insistent and very dramatic. But when you start to step away from it and say listen, I know why you’re there, I know what you’re trying to do, and I understand why this particular action has set you off, then you can just let it be there like an unfortunate sibling.
And so I”m typing out this workbook and my ego will be saying this is never going to sell. And I’ll respond, cool, maybe it won’t. And it’ll say we’re probably going to die. And I say cool. Eventually, yeah. I don’t think it’ll be because of this particular workbook but thank you for your input. I appreciate your time. And my ego will continue to say things like well; other people teach this better. And I’ll say yep, they probably do. But for the audience that buys with their communication style, the people that like mine will like this.
So I think that we give it more attention and more drama than it deserves. I think once we realize that it serves a purpose, but you don’t have to pretend like it’s the be all and end all and you certainly should not take business advice from it, you can move through it a lot quicker.
Sarah’s points are interesting, and I know they’re framed in the context of business. But I think for other people out there, this could be showing up in relationships, about why they’re not worthy of love or why nobody’s trustworthy. It could be showing up in terms of getting out of financial debt. This is just a pervasive construct that will show up in every area of our lives.
In our conversation, Sarah and I considered the common belief that so many people have is if I change the environment all this will be better. If I get the divorce, if I leave the relationship, if I leave the soul sucking corporate job, everything is all better. But if you haven’t addressed at that inner layer, at the level of belief, it’s very tough.
I’ll give you an example of somebody who I was working with who came to me; she’s working two different jobs and working herself into the ground and not making the level of income she wants and not using her creativity the way she wants. And the story she had on repeat is I’m such a loser I’m not maximizing my potential. She finally worked up the nerve to quit the soul sucking job, and she’s just working a part-time retail job while she is studying and preparing to move into a new career lane. You would think that that’s the answer. But now the story is you’re such a loser. You’re only working part-time, and now you’re making less money.
I illustrate that because that’s something that we’re working through at the level of belief. But how does somebody get out of the pattern of thinking I’ll be happy when I’m in a new location when I have a fresh start? Is it because its easier to focus on the external that we use it to avoid doing the hard work internally?
Sarah’s perspective is interesting, as she continues…
I mean changing the environment has some benefits. But if you think changing everything at level five is going to miraculously fix level one, you have absolutely missed the point. The key is not “well, I’ll just get a different job.” It’s like what’s the fundamental model of reality behind you getting a job that isn’t your purpose to start with? Because if you haven’t addressed the misperception that you can only get money by working at a job that you don’t particularly enjoy, you’re just going to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.
You’re just going to get another job and recreate the pattern. Humans deliberately, and subconsciously but intentionally, create environments that they know how to navigate. This is why we see our parents' relationship played out again in our marriage as adults because you may not enjoy it, but you’re not wired for happiness. You’re wired for survival; you’re going to set up a game that you know how to play.
You may not enjoy this play, but you know the script. You’re going to set it up in such a way that you recognize because that way you can create safety and certainty for your nervous system. The system isn’t interested in whether or not you like it. In fact, extended periods of happiness are typically perceived as vulnerability. The system is not trying to create something good; it’s trying to create something it understands.
And this is where bravery for change comes into play.
The deep work is critical because I’m less interested in why your job sucks and more interested in why you would still be at a job that sucks. If you’re not being driven by some really out of date data, you would be like I don’t want to be here, I’m going to leave. And then I ask you why you haven’t left, and then you rattle off a bunch of stories. And I’m like okay, these are very strange stories and I would like to know where they came from. Because if we don’t exorcise the roots, the engine behind what created these stories, then we’re not going to do any damage.
Let’s sit with this for a bit, and while you do, think about the stories you tell yourself to justify staying where you are, even when you’re unhappy. This can be any part of your life, not necessarily your career, but think about something in your life that you may be afraid to change, and why you’re still there. Next week we’re going to start diving into manifestation.