Ego Wars: Dealing with fears, negative beliefs and self doubt

Fears, negative beliefs, self doubt…I experienced it all this week. What was my trigger? Six words. By the time the six word sentence was spoken my ego was humiliated and ready for war…six words!

Beginner Yogi article on the ego and self doubt

Picture from Buddha Doodle

In the last 12 months I have made leaps and bounds when it comes to trusting and believing in myself and the ability to have faith in the fact that if there is something I really want (I’m talking about big dreams and heart desires here) I follow the clues and invite any opportunities presented to me that will help make my dream a reality and then I step back and allow it to unfold how ever it needs to. My experience is that following this recipe has manifested a life beyond my wildest dreams!

Six words were all it took to shake me up

And that is all well and good, until someone catches you unexpected and gives you their well meant opinion or advice and BOOM! all of a sudden you find yourself back at “What was I thinking?” “I knew I wasn’t good enough to do this” “I’m going to fail“…all those fear based beliefs that you thought you had ‘released’, still there, not gone but merely swept under the rug waiting for the right trigger.

This happened to me this week and I wanted to share it with you because I think it’s important to know that when you are chasing dreams, bravely walking towards your life purpose, putting yourself out there, starting over, doing something that takes guts and courage…you will come across this…maybe a lot.

Six words were all it took to shake me up, they weren’t even said in a malicious tone and I doubt the person that said the words even realised that a: they had over stepped the line and presumed something about me that I took personally and b: I didn’t hear their words as an offer of support.

And I guess the key word here is personal. My ego heard the words spoken and saw them as an attack, of who I am and my ability to be successful. I gulped and smiled my way through the rest of the conversation and once alone sat silently for a long time…just observing what was happening..shame, self-doubt and anger were pretty quick to show up all guns blazing. The ego was spinning all sorts of stories, one minute telling me she was right; I wasn’t good enough, the next going through a word-for-word retaliation on how out of line the six word sentence was. Physically I felt this tight anxious space in my heart chakra, and my cheeks felt hot and were no doubt flushed bright red. Six words.

I began to feel a little more clear headed, and was able to come around to the idea that this wasn’t intended as a personal attack, but my ego had made it a personal one.

Knowing myself well enough I took myself home and went through the conversation with Matt (he’s my ‘lets break it down’ buddy – I recommend you find yourself one!). He didn’t talk much (there was a little bit of outrage!) while I explained what happened and how it made me feel, but mainly he just let me vent and then come to my own conclusions…

Once I had shared the story and what I was feeling emotionally and physically I began to feel a little more clear headed, and was able to come around to the idea that this wasn’t intended as a personal attack, but my ego had made it a personal one. And the only reason it was able to do this was because there was still a part of me that believed the fear that those six words had uncovered. Six words!

The funny thing is, there was a part of me that also agreed with her words. In fact I have been thinking about some making changes that would in effect make her right, so perhaps she was just a messenger?

So now I had something to work with, I know what my trigger was for that belief to rear its ugly head, and that is a blessing. From this point I can work with it, I can use Pranayama, Asana and Meditation. I can journal and write this blog. I can be ok with the fact that fears and negative beliefs are uncomfortable. 

The funny thing is, there was a part of me that also agreed with her words. In fact I have been thinking about some making changes that would in effect make her right, so perhaps she was just a messenger? In which case, got it, loud and clear!

I wanted to share this because this kind of thing happens every day, and it is so beneficial for your wellbeing and happiness to be aware of your fears, beliefs and what triggers them. Just because you’ve lived your life thus far with these ego based thoughts doesn’t mean you cant change or shift your perspective.

You are stronger and more wise than you know but the ego can be very persuasive when your guard is down.

Beginner Yogi article on the ego and self doubtNext time you find yourself triggered, remove yourself from the situation, sit down and observe whats coming up…where do you feel it? Listen to the chatterbox, getting defensive planning a war against the person or thing. What is the belief behind all that noise and anxiety? Write it down, all of it from start to finish, don’t filter it just get it out! If you have someone you can trust, ask if you can tell them the story. Choose wisely though, you’re not after another opinion, just a sounding board for you to get it out. If neither of these ideas appeal moving is a great way to release negative energy, yoga, walking, running or any form of exercise can help to at least get things moving, a much better option than pushing the fear down and pretending you’re not affected by it.

Lastly, I want you to know that most of the time your fears and negative beliefs are simply not true. They really aren’t. You are stronger and more wise than you know but the ego can be very persuasive when your guard is down. Refuse to believe anything unless you know for sure that it is so, and then take another look. Your dreams and a joy-filled life live on the other side of fear and its never too late.

I’ll leave you with Wayne Dyers favourite quote:

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. ~ Mark Twain

What do you guys do when someone or something triggers fear and negative beliefs? I’d love to know your tips and words of wisdom. Feel free to email (natasha@beginneryogi.com) your experiences and thoughts and I’ll pull them together for another blog post, let’s help each other out!