Ep #6: Egos & Making Wrong Decisions

Our ego minds run on a conveyer belt of fear and lies, yet the majority of us depend on this part of us to make our decisions. Today, I share the 5 common phrases to beware of that are sending you in the wrong direction. It’s when we learn to control our mind, versus allowing it to control us, that our entire life changes.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:

  • All about your ego mind and how it communicates with you
  • The 5 common phrases to BEWARE of! These will send you down the wrong path!
  • How to control your mind and not let it control you
  • Is there such a thing as a wrong decision?
  • Which areas of your life did you create from a place of fear versus love?

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TRANSCRIPT

Welcome back everybody. Thank you so much for being here as always.

Last week, I talked to you about our intuition– if you have not listened to that episode, I recommend that you do, seeing that following your internal compass is pretty much the general thesis of this show.

If you want to create an amazing life, you must connect to your essential self– the part of you that knows who you really are, what you really want and points you in the direction of fully expressing those things out in the world.

Now as important as it is to know how to navigate your life in the right direction, it’s equally as important to know how to stop navigating your life in the wrong direction. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today: egos and making wrong decisions.

Now I could do an entire series about our reptilian brain, however  I don’t feel like it. How about that for a response. I’ve already put together full lessons for you guys on this stuff, so if you’re interested in getting the full training, just head over to findyourpassionin13days.com

Today, I’m just going to share Shaina’s cliff notes. But please do not mistake my compression of these concepts as insignificant. As I tell my clients and students, understanding your ego mind is 80% of the “work.” So much so, that I’m confident this episode alone will generate some “aha moments” for you.

When I think back to my own awakening (I guess you could say), that lightbulb moment of like, “OMG, this is WHY I’m living a life that I’m not happy in,” that moment existed because I was made aware of what I’m going to teach you today.

I remember being in my first apartment here in LA and at that point, I had been knee deep in self-help and learning about how we as humans operate and the role that our minds play, when I was like…“Holy crap, why weren’t we ever taught about this voice inside of our head? Why wasn’t I ever taught that this voice isn’t actually me? Why weren’t we ever taught that this ongoing chatter is just a bunch of BS?

Like I was so confused about why we were never educated about our egoic minds, seeing that our minds control our trajectory.

Anyway, when I educated myself amidst my quarter life crisis, it literally changed my life. And it will literally change your life if you too learn to be conscious to the thoughts happening in your mind– the same thoughts that are driving your action.

OK? Let’s get started.

So what is our ego? I just gave you a quick glimpse, but…

Our ego is the voice inside of our head. The ongoing thoughts that don’t seem to have an “off switch.”

This chair is uncomfortable. I like her shoes. He was really nice. That was really rude. I’m bored. I need to cut my hair. My teeth look a little yellow.

…and the 50– 70,000 other thoughts a day.

Our ego speaks to us verbally through our minds and is always judging and making observations about our external reality.

Now unless you’re a spiritual wizard, it is impossible for you and me to turn these thoughts off completely. Of course, there are practices like meditation and yoga to quiet the mind, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about on an everyday basis, it is impossible to hit the off switch forever.

But guess what? That’s OK. Because the problem is never our steady flow of thoughts. The problem lies when we accept our thoughts as the truth, without ever questioning them.

Not only is this a problem, it’s a very big problem. And the reason being, is that our egos are severely misguided. They’re well-intentioned…they try to keep us from dying and instead stay “safe,” the same way they did when we were big hairy apes roaming the Earth–running from predators and hunting for food, but those primitive survival skills are no longer needed as we sit in our comfortable homes and order takeout on our iPhones.

But our brains don’t know the difference between then and now. So they still send out the same fearful messages they did a million years ago.

Our brains still communicate to us that we lack everything we need to survive and to watch out, because people are looking to attack us.

And the way these message translate in the 21st century is…I don’t have enough (or I’m not enough) and everybody is judging me. Lack and attack.

I don’t have enough money.

I don’t have enough resources.

I’m not smart enough.

I’m not worthy enough.

I’m not pretty enough.

Everybody will think I’m a fool.

Everybody will think I’m a failure.

Everybody will judge me if I do this, that or the other.

Right? Our minds want to shield us from potential “danger” and the way it does this is by convincing us to play it safe– and not do the things we really want to do and not break the rules so to speak.

It tells us that we’ll fail and then people will judge us and then stop loving us and then we’ll be isolated and then we’ll die alone.

Guys, our minds run on a conveyer belt of fear. Our minds spew out LIES about what we’re capable of and the dangers that await us if and when we were to disobey its commands.

Yet, the majority of us depend on our minds to make our decisions.

And this is where people get into trouble.

I want to share with you, some common phrases the ego uses in its decision making procease– phrases to be aware of (or I should I say beware of).

I have to

I should

I shouldn’t

I can’t

What will everybody think

 For example…

I have to work this job. I should go back to school. I shouldn’t go back to school. I can’t start my own business. What will everybody think if I leave my 6-figure job.

These phrases are weapons that the ego likes to use to win the battle between you (the real you) and IT. It likes to leave you feeling powerless. It’s job is to convince you to “fit in” and to conform. It’s job is to pull you further away from the life you desire…because it’s scared.

So you can imagine that if we aren’t paying attention to this information, never mind question it’s authority and truth, it has the power to lead us down a very unfulfilling road.

And again, the saddest part of all this, is that we were never taught this stuff growing up, so 99.9% of us are walking around this Earth, buying into our thoughts as if they were facts.

For example, the voice says: “Well you don’t have what it takes to open a restaurant. Or you’ll never succeed at that…you better stay put, where it’s secure.”

And then we’re like OH, OK…yea you’re right. And that’s it. The conversation ends. There’s no questioning it. We’re like OK, I’ll just continue doing work I don’t enjoy because this master voice says it’s not possible. Right? We have this deep desire to open a restaurant, but we choose not to take (even the first tiny step) because of this voice.

This voice becomes our personal God. And we’re like bowing down to it, and following it’s every command. Because we think that this voice is us, we believe that that voice is the real us.

But that’s not true. The real, authentic us, is buried much deeper…and that is our essential selves or intuition.

And a lot of us already know which direction our essential selves are pointing us in. I’ll ask people: If FEAR didn’t exist and you had all the confidence in the world, all the resources, you didn’t care about what people thought, what would you do?

I’d open a bakery, I’d start my own firm, I’d design t-shirts and sell them on Etsy (whatever).

The problem is not our deep desires. The problem lies in our minds. The biggest problem we face is managing our mind to support our desires.

Which is why, practicing awareness (and learning how to control your mind instead of allowing it to control you) is absolutely critical for creating an authentic, fulfilling life.

Guys, our egos have absolutely no clue what our ideal life looks like, never mind how to get us there. You will not find the answers and the map in your mind.

If you ask your ego, hey, what’s my purpose? It’ll probably respond, dude, who cares. Go back to what you were doing.

It doesn’t want us to grow and evolve. It wants to keep us in our cave. And it’ll do everything in its power to keep us there…even if that means calling us names, tearing us down, mocking us, laughing at our dreams, convincing us that people will attack us. It thinks it’s saving you. But it’s only keeping you trapped.

Our thoughts are like cars passing us on the street. They’re there, right? But, we don’t jump into every car that we observe, we just watch them pass by and it doesn’t affect us. We are indifferent to cars on the street.

I challenge you to do the same with your thinking. Just watch them. Pay attention to them. But, don’t let them affect you. Don’t cling onto a self-limiting thought. Be casual about it.

Oh, there’s that thought again, “I’m not good enough.” It’s just a thought. It doesn’t mean anything. In fact, I can name 3 reasons right now why I’m freaking awesome. Right? Like we get to choose what to believe, about ourselves and about the world on purpose….because we have that power.

So if my dream is to design t-shirts and sell them on Etsy, I gotta get my mind right to support this goal of mine. If I’m carrying around the thought, “I’m not talented enough,” well that’s not serving me in the direction I want to go, right? That’s not an empowering thought that’s going to drive me to designing t-shirts and setting up shop.

So first I gotta be conscious. Hey, what thought am I buying into that’s causing me to feel unmotivated and unworthy. And then once you have it (in this case: I’m not talented enough,” then you get to decide if you want to keep it…now knowing that our thoughts are not FACTS.

Your BIG goal here is to let your intuition get behind the wheel of your life, feeling your way toward JOY, while training your mind to sit in the passenger’s seat, cheering it on. Replacing those negative thoughts with positive, uplifting thoughts.

If you’re feeling unfulfilled somewhere in your life, you can be sure that you’ve allowed your ego to take the steering wheel while kicking your intuition to the back seat.

Take a look at your life for a second. I want you to identify which areas of your life YOU created from your intuition and which areas you created from your fearful ego mind.

And a simple way to do that, is by asking WHY!

WHY am I at this job? Or WHY did I accept this job?

WHY am I in this relationship?

WHY am I living in this city?

WHY am I running every morning?

WHY are you doing the things that you are doing? In other words, what is the reasoning behind your choices, both big and small.

If the answer is, I freaking love the work that I do, my partner lights up my soul, this city feels so exciting to me, running is my favorite activity in the world…then fantastic. Right? You’re doing things and building a life from a place of love…from your intuition.

However, if the answers sounds more like: I’m an accountant because my dad wanted me to take over the family business. I have to stay in this job because I have to pay the bills. I can’t leave this relationship, because I’m scared of being single. I run every morning because my trainer said that I should run.

Well alright then. And of course there may be a mish mash there. Some areas of your life may be ego-driven while others are from a more connected place.

And actually, I use the example of running because I had a client once who was running every morning at the track like she did for years and years. And when we started working together, she said, I realized that I don’t like running at all. It doesn’t bring me any joy. Her father was the swim coach at the high school and part of her training was to run. And she just continued doing it years later, without ever questioning why she was doing it.

So if you’re asking yourself WHY am I doing this, and the answer isn’t bursting from a place of excitement and passion, and instead there’s a lot of have to’s, should’s and cant’s, it’s something to pay attention to.

When I was at my second corporate job in radio sales, and I felt in my bones (about a month in) that it wasn’t right the job for me, I was paralyzed by indecision because I was buying into everything that my ego was saying to me. There was this tug of war between my essential self and my ego.

My ego said, “You can’t quit your job. You have to stay for at least another year. Imagine how it’ll look on your resume. And god, what will everybody think if you quit so soon? You’ll look like an idiot, moving back home. And besides, you’ll never find anything else anyway.”

Right? It’s the powerless, people pleasing, fear of failure state of mind that kept me in a situation that didn’t feel right to me. It was these RULES that I had adopted somewhere along my upbringing, that I was gripping onto. Instead of giving myself permission to change the rules.

I stayed in an 8-year relationship that again I knew was not right for me on a gut level. WHY did I stay?

Because I was afraid. And where does fear come from? Our egos. And what do our egos do? Keep us from the life we desire and the life we deserve.

My ego mind went on and on…you shouldn’t leave this relationship, it’s all you know. What if the grass isn’t greener on the other side? You can’t be single. You haven’t been single in 8 years. You don’t know what you’re doing! You’ll never find somebody better. You’ll end up alone.

Guys, our ego’s will use every justification (aka excuse) to keep us on the wrong path., that we know on that deeper, soul level is not right. We can feel it. We can feel that we’re wasting our potential. We can feel that we deserve way more, yet that voice in our heads is SO LOUD that it drowns our intuitions.

And that’s why it’s so crucial to practice awareness and continuously check in with yourself.

WHY do you do the things that you do?

WHY are you continuing to do the things you do?

WHY do you not do other things?

Is your reasoning from a place of love or fear?

Now, the title of this episode is “egos and making wrong decisions.” But is there such a thing as a wrong decision or a wrong turn in life?

You’ll hear people say all the time, “Well, I would never go back and change anything because it made me who I am today. I would never rewrite my wrongs, because it shaped me and I wouldn’t be here today without that experience.”

So what constitutes a wrong decision? Or are there just a bunch of “right” decisions that come with challenges to lead us down the path we’re meant to travel?

Here’s what I believe to be true.

I believe that life is our biggest and best classroom, 100%. So yes, we need to go through experiences (even difficult ones) to learn a lesson and come out the other side, wiser, stronger, a better version and more equipped for the next challenge. This is how we grow and how we evolve.

However, if we haven’t actually learned the lesson (and we’re still making the same mistakes over and over again), I think it’s a little naïve to say, I would never change anything because it made me who I am today…like we’re being interviewed on daytime TV and giving our most mature response. Ya know what I mean?

I think it’s an appropriate response if you actually grew from an experience.

For example, if you were in an unhealthy relationship, and you learned what you actually deserve in a partner and what you will never tolerate again, and then you go on to create a thriving, healthy relationship, fantastic. Right? But if you’re continuously choosing partners that treat you like crap, well the lesson hasn’t been learnt. And you haven’t actually grown. So I think it’s fair to say that when your intuition is telling you, this isn’t the guy, but you refuse to listen and instead continue to let your ego take the reins (choosing men from a place of fear– I don’t deserve any better), those are poor decisions. Right?

I also think it’s fair to categorize staying in our “comfort zones”, after having learned the lesson, as a wrong decision.

This is where a lot of people get tangled up.

Our intuitions don’t run on a timeline. They’re not like, OK, I’m going to steer you toward this job, because it holds a very important lesson, and you’re going to stay for a full year and then move on. NO! As soon as we learn the lesson, it’s time to move on. And that may take only a week at a job, or a month, or 2 months, or maybe a year…we don’t ever know. But that’s OK, our only job is to stay connected and pay attention to when our essential self is giving us the green light.

Guys, our intuitions will lead us toward a job that’s not forever, a relationship that’s merely a stepping stone, a friendship that comes and goes…there are lessons in those things. But what happens, is that most of us learn the lesson, yet we continue to stick around.

For example, going back to my radio sales job. Guys when I accepted that job offer, it was because my gut was screaming YES. That was absolutely an intuitive decision. It felt so right to accept that job. I remember walking out of interview and feeling so amazing.

And you might be thinking, “What? You always talk about how it was the worst 9 months of your life and yadadada. How could that’ve been an intuitive decision?”

Let me explain.

It was that job that was the catalyst for my transition…the event that kicked me into full fledge change in search of more meaning…which then led me to California, to picking up my first self- help book, to finding my passion for coaching.

However my intuition was ready to bounce way before the 9 month mark when I quit. So it didn’t have to become the worst 9 months of my life.

Where I went wrong, is once I had the realizations that this job was supposed to present me with, I stayed at the job. Instead of taking this information and running right away. And that’s when we literally waste our time. Because the lesson was already learned. There was nothing left to learn there. My intuition was like LET’S GO! You passed the test that I handed to you, onto the next. But again my ego mind got in the way, listing off all the reasons I had to stay…the biggest one being: if you quit now, it’ll look bad on your resume. 

Do you see how powerful our minds are? I stayed at a job that felt terrible in my body all because I chose to believe this rule. It was nothing but a rule. I stayed because I was too scared to break this rule and question my own thinking.

And we pay the price of that with time. It only delays our journey toward our best life.

Taking the job wasn’t the wrong decision. The wrong decision was remaining at that job far after, intuitively, I was ready to exit.

Does that make sense?

I think so many of us think that things have to get really really bad, before we can make a change–and that’s so not true.

And as we wrap up here, just remember that the only permission you ever need to make a change, to step outside your comfort, to question your thinking and the “rules” is your own. That is for today guys. Thank you so much for listening as always. I’ll see you next time. Bye!

 

Comments 1

  1. First of all, I want to thank you for all the work you’ve done while recording this podcast! I think the theme, you have talked about, is extremely important (especially for me). I am a very anxious person and it’s always been the biggest problem for me.
    I’m 17 and I’ve been dating a girl for like a year already. We had a lot of fights and I can’t say that I’m feeling absolutely great with her, but I also can’t understand whether it is an intuitive decision or not. The main reason, why I question this relationship, is the jealousy, that I constantly feel (to be honest, I found your channel, looking for some tips about being envious). So I can’t stop comparing myself. A couple of months ago my mom bought me a piano and I liked it so much. I felt like I wanted to devote my whole life to music. But the fact is that she has graduated from music school, where she’d been studying for like 7 years. And I just feel so shy about learning how to play because of her. I guess she doesn’t do it on purpose but she always acts and talks like she is the best at everything. And she never talks about the things that she doesn’t understand although there are many of them. That made me really shy. I can’t tell her about my failures, because she will look at me with those sad humiliating eyes. And then I get home and cry because I’m feeling so helpless. There are many things in my mind that I really want to do, but the feeling of social responsibility scares me so much. I mean last year I studied Spanish and although at first, I liked it, I realized, it was no longer making me happy. I felt like I had to stop because there wasn’t any reason to do this anymore but I couldn’t because then my father would judge me. But eventually I stopped learning it but the feeling of shame didn’t leave me. I can even say that it is still with me.
    I want to tell you something that I keep deep inside. On my last birthday, my parents gave me 2 books that I wanted to read. Normally I read books on my phone but I was just curious how that would feel to hold it in your hands. So we chose the books and ordered them. They weren’t really expensive. One of them even cost about 4 dollars. And then when I got them I was kind of disappointed because the plot wasn’t that interesting although I had expected it to be. And then I lost my motivation to read them at all. But I’ve always had this feeling that I have to read them because my father wouldn’t like it if I didn’t do it. When I am with him I can’t help thinking about it although he’s never ever mentioned it. And now my birthday is coming and my parents started talking about the present but I’m so afraid that they will remember about the books. It may have sounded a little bit odd, I know that I shouldn’t make such a drama of it but I can’t help it. Sorry for this rant. I hope you’re having a good day! XOXO, Ellen.

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