Ego, The Mind, and Anxiety

I recently found myself deep in thought as I often do, trying to make sense of what my mind was currently brewing up.

Unfortunately, my mind is rarely kind and will sentence me to hours of deep thought and reflection on all the intricacies associated with anxiety on whatever topic it decides to fire my way.

Take the other day for example. Typical morning, singing along to Ed Sheeran in the shower when all of a sudden, the subject of ‘ego’ pops into my head. Moment ruined as I run from the shower and start typing incessantly while trying to figure out what it is exactly, and what good can come from it.

EGO UNCOVERED:

It didn’t take me long to reach the conclusion — ego is a motherfucker. By association, anything in this world I can relate in some form to panic is a motherfucker. The incinerator from which the seven deadly sins emerge and a force that can invoke more negative emotions than the NRA — maybe a slight exaggeration — it’s safe to say, your ego is not your friend.

When we think of someone as egotistical, words such as narcissistic, self-centred, or quite simply, a prick spring to mind. Being called a prick can certainly be endearing but in the instance of ego, all descriptive words are slathered with negative connotations.

Once ignited, it can go undetected as it spreads like wildfire throughout our system making it almost impossible to extinguish. Why, you ask? Pride is now at stake and due to faulty wiring in a world where we thrive on trying to outdo one another—few have the awareness to show the required humility to admit they might be wrong. In essence, bowing down to their pride.

When has a government ever apologized for all their wrong doings? They don’t, because their precious little ego would never allow it. Instead, they spoon feed us crap and up the ante on the dickometer!

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Wars, envy, jealousy, greed, the list goes on. You can be sure that with pretty much everything wrong in the world, at the very core of it, you’ll find an ego. And ‘ego’ in essence is just ‘me.’ It’s simply the belief we hold within us that makes us more special than others. We all have an ego — the problem arises when we can’t recognize it, and therefore, control it.

UPON CLOSER INSPECTION:

That’s all on a macro level — it gets worse when we put it under a microscope. It’s the reason many — not all — so-called friends and associates are hesitant to truly root for each other and in many instances, are quick to dismantle another’s success or discourage them from pursuing their dreams for fear their own ego will whip up a serving of envy.

We live in a copycat society fuelled by ego, oblivious to the fact that it’s been meticulously calculated by world leaders for centuries to ensure we all conform so they can keep their reign of power at the top. The majority will go through life in debt while becoming fixated on trying to outdo one another with better cars, trophy kids, bigger houses, etc. All the while, accumulating substantial debt resulting in increased stress and an unhappy existence while continuously adapting the mindset……..WHEN!

When I get this promotion, I’ll be happy. When I pay off my mortgage, I’ll be happy. When I fall in love, I’ll be happy. When the kids piss off to college, I’ll be happy. When I retire, I’ll be happy.
It’s a very dangerous game to play…
When you’re dead. You’ll be happy.

SHIFTING FOCUS:

We should be focusing on the stuff that does matter — Vegas and hookers! Just kidding. I don’t like writing the word love because I don’t want to come across all sappy and shit, but, love, compassion, connections —with a pulse—and everything that’s fun or provokes laughter.

Only you can decide not to play this game anymore. We are all society — you can’t wait for society to change if you are unwilling to give it a go yourself.

Living in Asia has been extremely liberating. Without a doubt, one of the better moves I’ve made in life because it’s really opened my eyes to how much drama and bullshit we both create, and put up with in the West. And the weather is nice.

I struggle to see any good to come from our egos. They don’t protect us. There’s an argument to be made that adrenaline does, and you know how I feel about that hormone but with ego, it’s all a front. A front which inhibits one from truly enjoying life because we’re more concerned with others’ success or how to portray ourselves in the best light possible so people will perceive us as somebody to be envious of.

I saw an article recently on how to live a life that will make 99% of people envious of you. Really? It received a standing ovation. That’s fucked up!

SOCIAL EGOS:

Social media perpetuates all the negatives associated with ‘ego’ as it has evolved into a platform for hate to thrive with so many extremists venting their anger and frustrations on how others choose to live their life.

It would appear that everything in the media is created to invoke a reaction that brings two groups with alternative views together to brawl. And the war rages on …

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I’m right. You’re wrong. Fuck you!

DEALING WITH THE EGO:

Why does it matter what anyone around you is doing? You choose to support them or ignore them. If they’re successful—celebrate with them. If you’re successful—allow them to celebrate with you. If they listen to their ego and try to diminish your accomplishments in any way—show them where the door is.

If they can’t stop telling you how great they have it and it’s making you feel bad, that’s two egos colliding — your insecurities as you struggle to celebrate their victories, and their insecurities as they feel the need to brag or seek validation for all their accomplishments.

We’re all different — egos can compliment each other or collide like tectonic plates. How you react is up to you. There’s no law to say you have a duty to keep this person in your life the same way they have no obligation to keep you in theirs.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret — my ego is a bastard also. Allow me to elaborate: when I started this writing stuff I asked the majority of my ‘Facebook friends’ to like my page in an effort to gain “social proof” and you know, make me feel popular. The majority chose not to oblige.

My response was an automatic stimulus — frustration as the bastards momentarily damaged my ego. In my mind, it was a simple favour that would have helped me to ultimately reach the people my words will resonate most with: those struggling with life as a direct result of anxiety, panic attacks, and the associated depression who are sick of all the bullshit surrounding it.

I had to block out the inner dialogue proclaiming that all these people who I was once so happy to cross paths with or that I’ve built up lasting friendships with are not, in fact, dicks. It didn’t occur to me that they might have zero interest in the subject, and they don’t want their newsfeed contaminated with elaborate messages on how incompetent the world is when it comes to dealing with mental health issues (I don’t actually do this. Far too lazy).

The decision is theirs if they want to throw a fuck my way or not. Although I don’t see most on a regular basis and will never see the majority again, when I do bump into them, not a word is exchanged on the subject (ish). We embrace each others company, shoot the shit, reminisce, and share some laughs. Is that not what life is about? Relationships.

For a moment, I was prepared to allow my ego get the better of me and quite possibly jeopardize friendships I’ve held so dear in the past over something so trivial. It’s so easy to zone in on this and forget all those who have shown incredible support, the legends, for which I will never forget. All this highlights the force behind our egos as we become fixated on what we deem to be negative.

A MASTER MANIPULATOR OF THE ANXIOUS MIND:

Time to perk up. Ego plays a massive role in the anxious mind and can be detrimental in one’s quest for freedom. I can attribute many horrific decisions throughout my 13-year reign riddled by anxiety which stemmed from listening to my ego. The bastard. We lose all rationale while protecting our ego in an effort to keep our pride intact, but Murphy’s law won’t allow it, ensuring the results are the polar opposite. More of that in the book.

For now, I want to address how debilitating the role your ego can play in dealing with your anxiety. For all those anxious souls out there plagued with panic and fear on a daily basis, my guess would be that you’ve had your confidence crushed, causing you to become increasingly cynical towards all humanity while losing hope for a better future. Here’s the kicker and here’s why we spend far too much time stuck in purgatory as we slowly begin to accept a life in hell—we convince ourselves the world is against us, and this is a battle we can’t win.

My life is worthless, nobody cares, nobody understands, fuck the world, and all the people in it.

These are just some of the destructive thought patterns and tricks our minds play on us.

As we know, our egos — the pricks — don’t like to be proven wrong. It’s bad for their ego. More often than not, in spite of the rational mind knowing a few decisions could play a major role in alleviating anxiety and creating a pathway for a better, more prosperous future—your ego will always be there operating as an obstacle between you and your freedom. And you know this, but it can be a difficult thing to face up to, and therefore, easy to procrastinate on.

It’s not that you can’t, you absolutely can. Anxiety — for the most part — is a learnt behaviour arising from a sudden traumatic event or a series of them over a prolonged period. Therefore, you can do something about it.

Right now, one of the major obstacles that may be preventing you from taking control of your anxiety is your ego. A master manipulator that can rage war on your mind preventing you from taking the right steps to recovery for fear that you just might prove your ego wrong.

WHY SHOULD WE LISTEN TO OUR EGOS?

For the most part, we shouldn’t as they mostly hinder, and rarely help. Your ego will ensure you remain in the confinements of the most uncomfortable place on Earth for anyone suffering from anxiety — your comfort zone. How much time and energy do you consume beating yourself up for retreating to the safety of your perceived comfort zone? Too much as everything you want, and everything you need exists in a world beyond your comfort zone—including peace of mind. To say the correlation between the words ‘comfort’ and ‘zone’ is misleading weighs in at a massive understatement. Bow down to it and you’ll remain trapped in misery as your belief that the world is against will perpetuate.

Sometimes ego can be beneficial — it reminds you of your self-worth and advocates for self-respect to avoid situations in which you could be taken advantage of.

It’s not you against the world — it’s your ego against the world. Learn to separate your ego from yourself through acute awareness and you might just find the world is far more accommodating.

LET’S TRY A LITTLE EXERCISE:

Draw two imaginary lines with only you inside them. Now take your ego, and dropkick the prick out the park. Nobody else exists here so it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing with their life. With your ego in a ditch, the only person that matters in this moment is you. The more you embrace your uniqueness, the more your self-respect will skyrocket, and the more irrelevant others opinions become as you create your own path through life. It’s just you in this bubble so you know, lying to yourself is pretty much going to ruin the game.

Don’t fuck with the rules!

Now ask yourself these four questions:

1. Am I going to let my ego win out and prevent me from taking the necessary steps to get my life back on track?

2. What do I need to do differently with my life?

3. Will this enable me to enjoy my life unapologetically?*

4. What are the steps I need to take to get there?

If you answered ‘NO’ to question three, you missed the point. Go back and do it again.

I’m done here. You’ve work to do.

Thanks for reading!


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