I thought this would be a good time to talk about this topic, as we are in the season of contemplating the New Year and perhaps making “resolutions.”
Firstly, I don’t know if it’s just me noticing this but I feel that people are gravitating away from making New Year’s Resolutions. Is this true? Why?
Is it because there is/was SO much pressure on us to look a certain way, or be a certain level of smart, or be a certain level of successful?
Is it because we make the goals year in and year out, yet at some point through the year they kind of dissipate as LIFE takes over?
OR lastly, is it that we KNOW we WANT to change/evolve so much but that takes a lot of work, and well… maybe you’ll just get lucky and find a shortcut… or maybe life right now isn’t so bad?
If any of that speaks to you, join the club. As I was driving today, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts – Oprah Super Soul Conversations Episode: False Power of Ego.
The Oprah Winfrey show was how I first got introduced to the idea of our “ego” back in 2007 when Eckhart Tolle was a guest on her show.
If you have delved into your ego self, you know that ego is not the cocky, flaunting trait that boasts about how good you are, but rather it is the dark, shadow part inside that acts out based on our childhood wounds.
The challenge is, many of us don’t even know we have wounds so when I say take “the Ego out of your Goals…” people be like… I’m not egotistical. Not in that sense.
The ego-self is one that acts out and takes over much of our actions and behavior, UNLESS you are aware that it’s there.
Childhood wounds such as abusive parents, neglect, to feeling love only under conditions, to not feeling safe, or cared for are some, more obvious examples.
The less obvious is for example – perhaps you had a sibling that was always put on a pedestal, or perhaps you were the one that was always EXPECTED TO BE PERFECT – perfect grades, perfect child, perfect hair, perfect manners, religious, helpful… and now overdo all those things because that’s when you feel validated.
While in my head these don’t seem like “wounds,” what I’ve learned is that various experiences as children shape our adult behaviour and the way we perceive ourself.
For example, in an Oprah podcast episode, she talks about being SO attached to the idea of losing weight (highly recommend the episode BTW).
She was SO determined to lose weight because she realized, in hindsight she felt she would THEN be enough, GOOD ENOUGH! Yay! I’m skinny. I’m now good enough to be on TV, good enough to be with Stedmen, good enough for other women to look up to, Yada, yada, yada.
This was fuelled by childhood experiences that led her to feel unlovable, and useless. There were factors involving trauma. She soon became aware of how her childhood wounds made her SO attached to the concept of her losing weight as an adult.
Well, she also learned HOW the trauma made her “overweight” in the first place.
HOW TO TAKE THE EGO OUT??
It’s quite surprising how when you are open to peeling back the layers of the onion to self-discovery, what you learn.
Fast forward to now, 2020 when we are just trying to live our best and most fulfilled life… which we generally are, but…we know there is a “but.” But if I lost the weight, but if I made more money, but if my relationship was happier, but if I didn’t have all these obligations, etc.
What I encourage over this new season, new year, is YES definitely you can adopt the mantra new year, new you… but please try not to ADD to your list of physical things to accomplish or acquire… sometimes these “wants” or desires can be fuelled by the ego.
Sometimes they are escapism (from self)
Sometimes they are validators… which all FUEL “THE EGO-SELF.”
Now, what I’m saying here is not to NOT make goals for yourself… rather, detach from the END GOAL.
Is your goal to:
- Exercise more
- Lose weight
- Make more money
- Save more money
- Get a new job
- Quit smoking
- Eat better
As much as you want to make an action plan to help you get to these goals, my suggestion is to work backwards.
If you want to lose weight – how did you become overweight?
If you want to make more money? Why? and when is it ever enough?
Do you want to quit smoking? Why do you smoke in the first place?
Just like in our practice we work backwards with injuries.
How and when did the injury ACTUALLY start?
What are the contributors in life NOW that are preventing recovery?
What is it worth spending time on way away from the injury to help us achieve health and healing at the actual injury site.
This philosophy is what allows us BEST to help people get over and rehabilitate their injuries.
It is the same for reaching out goals.
Figure out WHY, why, why
So hopefully, the same goals won’t be on your list year in, and year out.
Here is a little starter list of Ego-based thoughts
Sense of inferiority
Impulsiveness/instant gratification (this goes deeper)
Fear (of loss)
Fear being judged
The list goes on…
I will end here for now.
Good luck with peeling back the layers. It takes time; don’t be too hard on yourself now.
This is the first of many writings I will be releasing as part of my health coaching offering. If you want to read more articles like this, sign up on the link below if you’re not already part of my “New Stuff” mailing list. All articles will be written in efforts to align your mind with your body, and get closer to your optimal health.
I wish you all a year filled with growth, love, and new experiences.