Today’s post is about the silly, subtle tricks of the ego that keep us from moving beyond our fear. As we awaken, we start feeling like we have it more together, yet many times, we find ourselves still avoiding our aliveness. I have lived in this mode for many years—I am an expert in self-sabotage—maybe my experience with this can help you.

I call these “tricks of the lesser self to stay safe and stuck.” Remember, most of us will choose safe, stuck, and unhappy over wonderful, new, and happy. It’s what we’ve practiced well, and it’s what many others are doing. It’s hard to face our own fears, much less the scrutiny of “everyone” who will surely mention your newfound boldness. Below are the 3 biggies that I still must be aware of on a daily basis.

If you see any of these habits in yourself, you may be actively playing it safe from some unacknowledged fear or simple inertia. Or you may just be prudent. You will know. Whatever you witness becomes your new meditation, your new awareness. Remember, when we see a problem or notice discomfort, the healing begins, and answers will come. We do not need to fix anything or be upset. Remember the goals of self-awareness: I witness my behavior until the answers show up from within. The practice is the cure. There is no self-loathing from noticing! Okay, here they are:

  • You talk a lot about trying new things and have real desires to do them. However, you immediately “can’t” because you have something else more important. I get up daily and hear myself chatter about all the great things I am doing or going to do. It’s a trick that actually makes me think I am doing something. Then something “more important” comes up. To be fair, sometimes this is truth. When we see ourselves doing this, give yourself some slack, but move into the doing, too. Do not put it off. If you get stuck here, then get help! Ask a friend to do it with you. It is normal to feel terrified on the frontier, even when you are doing things you want to do.
  • You only engage in friendships where everyone agrees with you because you’ve trained them well and/or control the conversations. As we become enlightened, we understand the world again and feel more comfortable out in it, yet we may be practicing the same controlled conversations. Ask yourself, are your conversations more like monologues? When we talk too much, there is a reason, and it’s usually about control and insecurity. We work here. Truthfully, there are places we don’t want our friends to go—discussions we are not ready to have. Remember, you get to choose what you ultimately want to share. You need to share the hard stuff with people who’ve earned the right to hear it. It’s okay to tell awesome people that you may not know well yet that you can’t talk about something right now. Not ready. We also like to control because, if people talk, they can trigger discomfort with their beliefs. However, that is a gift too. The best gift we give ourselves is to have friends that don’t always agree with us—this is how we grow. We can work on understanding how they arrive at their conclusions. If we witness discomfort from the ideas of people, this is the gift/place we work on ourselves. They have a right to believe in whatever they want as long as they are not infringing on our rights. Right?
  • You are filling every moment of silence with a screen or sleep. You cannot stand silence on any level. You become nervous without some input to process. If you need a TV on, some headphones in, you may be having silence anxiety. This is the anxiety provoked by just sitting alone with nothing to do to mentally preoccupy you. It’s small at first and then gets worse. Whatever comes up in silence is to be handled with the same witnessing practice. Remember, we don’t have to agree with it! Many people I speak with have fears about the future. Our fears about the future are simply thoughts. The future has not happened!! Our thoughts can terrify us if we believe them to be true. We can witness them without reacting to them, and answers will emerge. If not, then get help! You deserve a peaceful mind/body.

Know this, I’m practicing too! Good luck and let me know how it goes!!

Have a super Tuesday, everyone… pun intended.