This is it! Your big chance to seize a moment you have been waiting for! Suddenly in your head you hear a faint voice saying your going to fail, is it worth the exposure? Is it worth the embarrassment you will surely suffer? Your stomach begins to twist, you can feel the blood rushing from your face or to your face depending on the situation at hand. You back away and minutes to days later you become very angry with yourself that you didn’t take the opportunity.
Some schools of thought believe this is your ego at work. Ego in the sense of that protective instinct. Like when you are leaning over a railing on a high building and suddenly you are sure you will fall, so you right yourself. That instinct. It is really only meant for the most basic survival, like not falling off the side of a high building, but as humans we have many emotional experiences that feel like danger. When you are in a situation where you are exposed and afraid, like public speaking, asking for a raise, or talking to someone you have a crush on, that vulnerable feeling can trigger your ego to action.
If you have had a previous bad experience in a situation like this, maybe while you were speaking you made a mistake and people laughed at you for it, The boss told you you weren’t good enough for a raise or your crush was not interested, it made you feel embarrassed, vulnerable and other negative emotions. The ego can then take this as a sign of you being in danger and the next time you try to enter a similar situation, it tries to stop you, thinking you are in danger again.
You can repair this by trying to see the positive, even in situations as bad as those. I have another trick though that can help you redraw your ego boundaries. If you are about to take a big exciting leap toward something that won’t physically hurt you and those naysaying voices start chiming in say this outloud if you can, or in your head. “Ego I am so grateful for your protection and that you keep me safe but you are not needed in this situation so please go.” I have found that it you do this as consistently as you can it can retrain your ego, but don’t stop there.
If the result of the chance you have taken isn’t what you wanted, it’s okay to feel badly about it but take the time afterward to really discover why it didn’t go that way. Allow the emotions but also try to gain acceptance and learn from it. If you can ultimately turn it into a positive that will also help keep your ego from stopping your progress to going after what you want in the future. Remind your ego, with gratitude, where the boundaries are and learn from those negative experiences. This will enable you to conquer future situations without the naysaying and stomach twisting.
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