The Ego: The Quest For Identity, Authenticity, And Purpose

The Most Important Conversations | Ego

We tend to think of ego as a very particular manifestation characterized by a bombastic display of individual character. But ego comes in many different forms, some of which we may not even identify as ego at all. Join Chad Lefevre and September Dohrmann as they unravel the complexities of ego, dissecting how it can manifest in ways we might not readily recognize. Drawing from personal stories and insightful discussions, they uncover the impact of ego on our actions, relationships, and self-perception. From the people-pleasing personality to the boastful display of confidence, they navigate through the intricate layers of identity that ego can cloak itself in. Discover the profound connection between trauma and ego development, gaining insights into how early experiences shape the way we navigate the world. Tune in!

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The Ego: The Quest For Identity, Authenticity, And Purpose

I’m here with my co-host September. How are you doing?

I’m doing great, Chad. How are you?

I’m doing wonderful. It’s so great to see you again. I’m excited about our topic. It’s something that happened very organically in terms of our conversations and what had come up with our team on TMIC. Suddenly, we thought this would be a great episode. We’re talking about the ego and how the ego is a very subtle thing that creeps up on you even when you don’t think you’re in it. It’s often a misunderstood thing too. What we often think about ego is not what it is. September, why don’t you lead us into how we got to this point of conversation and what made you want to delve into it?

The awareness of the different ways that ego can show up had been opened in my mind this past week and various conversations that you and I have been having and you and I and the team have been having around ego. It was a humongous a-ha to know that ego wears different faces. It shows up and it’s very sneaky. It creeps up on you. It sneaks up on you. It’s so subtle that we don’t know that it’s there until we know that it’s there.

The Most Important Conversations | Ego

What was a big awareness for me around the ego is that ego doesn’t always have to be what we consider egotistical, cocky, arrogant, full of himself, and narcissistic. That’s what typically when I think of ego. That’s where I want to go and I think most people go there naturally but there’s another version of ego. The way that you explained it to me was that ego is just holding to an identity that I’m the GOAT. “I’m the Greatest Of All Time. I’m the best. I know what I’m doing. I’ve got it all.” That can be ego.

Ego can also be, “I don’t want to ask too much. I want to show up as understanding. I want to show up as caring. I want to show up as if I have empathy for where that person is. I don’t want to ask too much of people so I’m just going to be people-pleasing and trying to be liked by everybody.” That can also be ego in the way that it’s showing up.

As a leader, the tipping point for me was around the conversation of leadership that as a leader, it’s our job to hold the vision and as you said, to be a steward of that vision. Put the vision in front energetically and we’re behind it, pushing the vision forward and encouraging the team to push that vision forward as well. However, sometimes as leaders, we don’t want to ask too much of our team.

I know I’ve been in that place before. I’ve been called out by some of my team members. Not in the sense of, “Your ego is getting in the way,” but, “You’re not allowing us to do more.” It’s because I would take it all. I don’t want you to do more. You already do too much. I’ll just add it to my plate. That’s ego. When I had that awareness when we were talking about that and you said that it was such like, “Does that put leadership in the right perspective for me?” It was huge.

When you think about leaders, what happened was I had this moment when I realized I’d gone way to Hawaii for the little couple of weeks’ vacation. I was able to reflect on all of the work that we’re doing with TMIC and the different projects that we’re doing with our workshops. Also, the design summons and all of the things that we’re preparing for and excited about for 2024.

There were some things that we were working on that were taking longer than they needed to. A lot of that was falling on my shoulders because people were asking me to look at this or look at that. Also, to provide feedback. Not that that’s an issue but I was doing that while at the same time handling all of the other things that I’m doing for the different projects and initiatives. Instead of demanding more from the team, I took it all on and it became a situation where I was bogging and slowing things down.

It wasn’t until I stepped away and took a look back at it that I thought, “This is how the ego shows up. It showed up not wanting to be a demand on the people on the team inside of the TMIC team,” because I was always so grateful that everyone’s there. Also, we’re so aligned with the vision and the mission of what we’re doing. I thought I needed to carry the minority of the weight here in order to lead this forward. That’s the opposite of what strong leadership is.

A lot of people will say things like leadership is all about delegating and that’s the active part of what you need to do, but there’s something that comes before being able to delegate effectively. That is checking your ego at the door. It’s because the ego can show up as you were saying, September. The obvious way we’re used to thinking about it is that big, bombastic, and bloviating egotistical kind of person or personality, but that’s not the only way ego shows up.

As you said, it can show up when we’re not wanting to require things of people, we want to please people, or we want to make sure that we don’t offend people. That’s ego. Can you imagine? Not wanting to offend someone is actually in your ego? Why is this the case? The ego is only identity. Whenever we are putting our identity in who we think the mask that we wear, who we think we want to be, or what we think we want to project, whenever we’re putting that identity ahead of our calling or purpose, the thing that we are the steward of in our life.

In the case of TMIC, it is the result of not my idea but an idea looking for birth in the world. My job is to be the steward of that vision and the vision requires certain things to happen in order to fulfill it. Basic things sometimes like marketing, websites, social media, and things like that. Producing content so that we can reach and engage with people. There are things that need to be required

My identity got in the way of not wanting to be too much of a demand or ask too much of the team. I took that on because I had in my mind this identity of I have to do it all. That’s ego. Even though you could say you were trying to be respectful of people’s time and you were trying to be respectful of that level of effort and energy that they’re putting into something.

You’re wanting to not demand too much of them, but that’s where the ego got in the way because it’s not me that was demanding it. The vision demands that certain things happen at a certain time. If I’m being the gridlock, those things aren’t happening. Therefore, the ego is getting in the way. To frame it another way, if you find yourself people-pleasing and not wanting to offend people, one of the things we teach in TMIC is emotional sobriety.

None of us are responsible for someone else’s emotions. If we’re not speaking our truth or we’re not telling the truth as we see it because we’re afraid that someone else might be offended, what we’re doing is letting our ego get in the way because we’re not responsible for whether or not someone is offended. They are responsible for their emotions. We’re responsible for ours.

None of us are responsible for someone else’s emotion. We’re responsible for ours.

Again, you can see how it’s quite egotistical to think that I can control someone else’s emotions and that I could be so powerful and responsible for their emotional state that I’m going to angle, change, and not say what needs to be said. This is how ego can be the identity. When you think of ego, just think of identity.

You said something about my identity got in the way. I think the clarity around that is to say that my need to hold on to that identity got in the way. Going back to self-awareness, having that level of self-awareness to know that it is not who you are. That may be how you like to treat people. It may be a level of respect that you have for people. I think it gets convoluted and we get it all twisted up inside.

It’s just an awareness of, “I like to treat people with respect. I like to respect their time,” and not ask for things that are inappropriate or too demanding of what was agreed upon or something like that. To me, that’s respect, but then allowing yourself to make a decision from that space of, “I want to hold on to this way of being seen in my relationships. In order to do that, this is the action that I need to take. I’ll take it on myself,” and holding on to that identity.

I want to make a note here on the definition. I’m big on looking at words and understanding the little definitions. Typically, ego is a noun that is a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. That’s where the boasting of yourself comes into play. However, when we look at ego from a psychoanalysis definition, it says the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.

We were having this conversation about our education system, which is another conversation that we definitely need to have. We’re not taught the different ways that words can be used. We’re only taught this narrow-minded definition around a lot of words growing up and that’s the lens that we look through. That’s the judgment that we have of, “You’re being egotistical. That guy is so full of himself.”

Maybe, but what’s underneath that? Why is he behaving that way? What identity is he trying to hold on to? I don’t want people to see my flaws so therefore I’m going to show up as if I am the greatest of all time. Nobody is going to be able to see any of my flaws because I’m going to hold that identity that I am the best.

What’s under all of that is someone who hasn’t come to a place of total peace and acceptance with who they are so they’re trying to project something out into the world. I don’t believe in ego disillusion. You hear this often in a lot of spiritual communities and transformational or self-help communities. Ego disillusion is the idea that we can get rid of our ego and get rid of our identity. It is a thing that we can attain for any meaningful length of time.

It’s something to understand and have awareness around and develop some level of mastery around it. That’s what there is to do about it. Years ago, Ram Dass has given great talks on this. The way he used to phrase it was that we spend our whole lives and his analogy for our ego was spacesuits. He said that it’s like we’re wearing a spacesuit and we’re all wearing different spacesuits. We’re wearing these spacesuits because we want to be somebody so our spacesuits are supposed to be an outward exemplification of the somebody that we are and that we are committed to being.

He said that it’s so crazy when you think about it because it’s like we’re walking down the street and I’m in my space suit and you’re in your space suit. It’s not who we are. It’s the space suit and that’s what we’re seeing.” It’s like, “What a nice space suit you got.” “Yeah. Yours is pretty good too.” We’re not talking to each other. We’re talking between space suits. It’s that identity piece. He gave so many talks over the years about the power of becoming nobody because we’ve spent most of our lives trying to become somebody.

However, the true somebody that you are is your true authentic self and the only way to get to that is to first become a nobody. Also, to be able to create that somebody from your deepest understanding and alignment of your ultimate calling, purpose, or intention for who you are and to come from that place. Most of us never had the opportunity when we were 7, 8, 12, or whatever to tune into who that authentic person really was.

The only way to get to your true authentic self is to first become a nobody.

Most of us are trapped in the conditioning from our youth and what we’ve learned from our friends, family, and community. We learn how to let the ego drive and how to be “egotistical.” The important thing that we want to get across is that the ego is identity. It is the way to think about it and not everyone will have the identity of a bombastic, loud, rude, and arrogant personality. Not everyone has that.

That doesn’t mean that just because you’re not behaving that way you don’t have an ego. Every human being has an ego. The ego can show up in the most subtle ways to the point where someone can be completely self-deprecating and put other people first all the time. That can actually be one of the most egotistical people you’ve ever met and you’d be like, “What? They’re so kind. They’re so gentle. What do you mean egotistical?”

Someone can be completely self-deprecating and putting other people first all the time and be one of the most egotistical people you’ve ever met. It’s egotistical because they’re depriving and denying themselves and others from their true authentic self.

It’s egotistical because they’re depriving and denying themselves and others of their true authentic self. How do you know if it’s going on? Usually, you’ll have chatter going on in your mind. “Look how much I do for them. I’m always considerate. No one appreciates me.” What are you complaining about? I always talk about how complaint is such a powerful insight into what’s going on. If you have no complaints, you’re probably operating from a more pure place.

You could be effective at repressing the complaints in your mind so you have to look at that too. However, if you can truly get to a place where you’re at peace, you’re content, and there’s nothing going on in terms of that mind shatter or complaining, then in those moments, you’re probably being your authentic self. Look at where you’re complaining because if you’re complaining about stuff, there’s ego all around that. There’s identity all around that.

When you were saying this idea of being nothing on a spiritual soul level. If I separate myself from the physical part of myself and feel myself as a spirit and as a being, yes, it totally makes sense. The moment it hits the physical aspect of me, it feels like a total personal upfront to my existence. “What do you mean? I am nothing.”

However, going back into the ego conversation is about self-awareness and where you are coming from. We can also find complaints around it such as, “What do you mean I’m nothing? I do this. I do that,” listing out all the things that we do as humans. Something that you mentioned brought up a question for me and I’m curious to hear what you have to say. We were talking about that boastful and egotistical personality.

Typically, what’s underneath that, not in all cases but in a lot of cases, is that there’s a lack of peace with who they are. Let’s flip the coin and take a personality that’s the people-pleasing personality that lives in ego from the people-pleasing perspective. Are they also not at peace with who they are and they express that in a kinder, gentler, and people-pleasing way as we’re the other person is expressing it in more of an aggressive, boastful, and in-your-face kind of way?

Yeah because you need to go to the source of both of those. The source of both of those is going to be some version or variation of “I’m not good enough.” If you understand who you authentically are and you accept that you are perfect as you are. If there’s no more you need to do, then you would not have to show up as the boastful person putting on this performance because who you would be would be perfectly all that is required.

On the flip side, you wouldn’t have to be so invisible and self-deprecating to allow others to please themselves or to let them have their way and give them everything they want so that you’re invisible. You’re either in their face or you’re invisible but both have the source of “I’m not good enough.” They’re both a performance.

That middle lane, I immediately go to, “Okay, but if I’m a super nice person and that’s ego or I’m just a jerk and that’s ego, what’s the middle lane? Where do I rest in that?” I want to go back to the feeling of grace. When you give somebody grace, there’s such a neutral accepting non-attachment emotional sober feeling when you lend grace to somebody. When I think of emotional sobriety, I’m trying this word on for a while to see how I feel about it and apply it to different situations to say, “Does it apply here?” Emotional sobriety to me feels like grace. That’s what it feels like. Again, I’m trying it on in different situations to make sure that it does apply here.

You can see it in the language as well. When people talk about like, “I was being” or “I am being this” or “I am that.” One of the ways to think about it is to start to relate to yourself as I am versus I am being or I am that. I’m angry. I’m happy. I’m cold. Don’t say any of those other things. Just stay, “I am.” If you can wrap your head around this, it’s quite powerful because the metaphor that comes to my mind is I’ve been invited to a campfire with a bunch of people that I don’t know. However, I know that the people there are of various backgrounds and they’re all very accomplished and successful in this metaphor.

What is the chatter that’s going on in my mind about how I’m going to show up? I show up. I sit down. I’m late to the party. They’ve already been talking. I’m the new person who showed up. Do I just show up in that metaphor and simply rest in the moment and be who I am? I don’t have anything that I’m trying to angle. Are they thinking about how should I dress? What should I look like? What would people think if I looked like this? What car should I come up in?

All of this, we’re in that identity ego trap at that moment versus just being able to come up, sit down, and start a conversation from a place of real, raw, and authentic truth. It’s your truth and being who you are in the truest sense. You can see in that metaphor someone might show up very bombastic and put on the show. They are wanting to suck the oxygen out of the moment and have the light all on them. That would be an example of ego identity.

Another could show up wanting to almost not be there. “Is there a seat for me? I’ll just stand back here” They do not want to assert themselves because they need to remain hidden. Both come from that lack of self-acceptance. If someone is naturally an enthusiastic extroverted person, I don’t want to make the behavior wrong. I just want to be clear about that.

Some people, that’s who they are and that’s perfect. There’s nothing wrong with that but we often see way more people fronting or fake it until you make it. They are trying on behaviors to try to win at this game We’re in a place in human history right now with social media and the level of fakeness going on, that real authenticity stands out as refreshing. I think that some people are going to start cluing into this. Unfortunately, they may try to game it so there’s ego again showing up. It’s just so subtle. It’s always there but I think we’re in a new age of authenticity reigning in terms of standing out.

We’re in a new age of authenticity reigning in terms of standing out.

I hope so. I can see in society how women are morphing their bodies to these bizarre surgeries and adding this and taking it away. I believe there’s a time and a place for cosmetic surgery, but I don’t believe that you should be plastic from head to toe. To me, that’s a huge underlying issue. You are not comfortable in your own skin. That’s what this is to me. You’re looking for acceptance and you want to be attractive to men or whatever your flavor is. To women, if that’s your thing, but you want to be attracted to the people that you’re attracted to.

You think that adding cheeks, fixing your chin, adding some butt implants, and maybe some breast implants can cause that person to be attracted to you. They may find that to be physical. Maybe some people are into that. Don’t knock it until you try it, but once they start to get to know you pass all of that, what are they going to see? Are you showing that part? Are you revealing that part? If you don’t and you end up in a long-term relationship with that person, do you know who you’re with?

I can’t speak from that experience directly. I don’t know what that’s like to have that need to let me cosmetically change my body. I don’t have that feeling. I don’t know what that means. I’m saying that on this side of it, I can interpret it and say, “This is what it communicates to me.” As I said, there’s a time and place for cosmetic surgery. There are some things that if you were that insecure about a body part that can be corrected with plastic surgery, by all means, do so. However, if it becomes an addiction and you see these people, men and women, have these addictions where they’re constantly getting another plastic thing done. It’s concerning.

I don’t know if she’s still alive. She may still be alive. There was a woman who was born with a rare genetic disorder where her body didn’t build muscle properly. She weighed like 80 pounds or something like that. She just couldn’t build muscle in her body. It was a genetic thing. Her face was very deformed because the muscle wouldn’t build. There was no plastic surgery that was going to help her anyway.

She’s a very inspiring woman. She was on the Oprah Winfrey Show many years ago. She’s been known as the ugliest woman in the world and awful things like that. I watched the interview and it was one of the most profoundly powerful things. She did a TED Talk too. She had gotten to a place where she was able to stand in the world, speak her truth, and look at people head-on. She had the kindest heart. You could just feel it.

She was a walking, living, and breathing example of how to attain a state of egolessness. Her name is Lizzie Velasquez. When you see her picture, at first you’re startled because our brains are wired to look for human beings and faces that look a certain way. It’s jarring when you first see her but if you listen to her, you will realize what’s possible in terms of attaining a level of ego management. Let’s just call it that at the best.

I’m sure she even has ego stuff going on because her ego stuff would show up as “I’m ugly. I can’t be seen.” It would be that identity of taking on the identity of, “I’m not worthy. I’m not relevant. I shouldn’t have a voice.” That’s ego. It doesn’t seem like it is but she was able to tap into her authentic self and expression of herself. She said, “No, I need to be me. I need to show up in the world and speak my truth. I need to speak about what’s going on.”

It inspired so many people. You’re talking about people who get addicted to plastic surgery for little tiny things and then you look at a woman like this who there’s no plastic surgery that could help her and her ability to stand in that and be true to herself, confidently and honestly speak. Also, do not worry about whether people were offended. People were offended by the way she looked. That’s how ridiculous this is.

She’s like, “I’m not owning that.” She’s so she speaks from the heart and it’s a powerful talk. I encourage everyone to find her TED Talk or her Oprah Winfrey interview that was done. It’s a perfect example of like you’re saying September, the women or men who get attached to plastic surgery. What if you looked like her? Could you get to that level of authenticity and the nobody-ness state and be just true to yourself?

It’s an interesting thing. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t get plastic surgery or whatever, but where are you coming from in it? Is your identity so wrapped up in it that you can’t even stand to look at yourself in the mirror because you have a few extra wrinkles? Imagine if you were Lizzie. How does she get through the day? It’s a different level of power and she’s tapped into a very deep and profound level of power for her to be able to go out and be herself authentically despite how she looks.

There are stories coming out. There’s a botched show on Netflix or something about plastic surgeries that have gone wrong. In several of the stories that were in there, they had received these plastic surgeries very young like early twenties or late teens and having it. They regret it. There are certain things I don’t like about my body. That’s everybody but there’s a point where you just have to accept it. I’m human. This is what the human body does.

What’s interesting in those stories that I like hearing is I’ve learned to love myself. I’ve learned more about myself and I realized I didn’t need that. I was perfect the way that I was and now, I’ve messed up my body because I was holding on to something then. I have one last question for you about this ego. I’m curious to know what your thoughts are and how trauma relates to ego development.

We all have an ego. We always will. The ego is just identity. It’s the way our authentic self relates to the identified self in terms of how we get along in the world and what we do. We all have one and it needs to be managed in order for us to live a fully thriving life. As I said, even Lizzie has to manage her ego because her ego could show up as “I’m not good enough. I’m not worthy. I’m not going to go out into the world and speak my truth.”

The Most Important Conversations | Ego

It’s all related to trauma when it becomes dysfunctional. Trauma can show up as we know. Many great people are talking about it right now. Gabor Maté is probably one of the best known that’s been shining a light on trauma. Incidentally, we can over-talk about trauma and create a new trauma because we’re so obsessed with trauma just to put that out there too.

Everything is this fine balance. It’s like Jesus said, “The way is narrow.” The objective of emotional sobriety and everything that we teach in TMIC is to provide people with the tools and the framework to be able to walk that narrow path between the two paradigms of extremes. Yes, trauma is the reason that we develop an unhealthy ego, whether that’s the bombastic one, the hidden one, the people-pleaser one, or anything in between.

It is usually because something has happened to us. Sometimes it’s not even something that others would consider traumatic. Someone might have said something to us when we were a kid or insulted us. It doesn’t need to be trauma the way we often think of it. We determined, “I’m not going to let that happen to me ever again. Therefore, I need to change who I am.” There’s the beginning of the identity to hide your authentic self so that thing doesn’t happen to you again.

I think all egos that are unhealthy and that are running the show from a place of toxicity are the result of some trauma. No human being on planet Earth that has not had trauma of some sort. I tell this story all the time as an example of trauma. It’s a great example of the ego too. It’s a great example just to wrap up in terms of what happened and that I had to gain some awareness around.

When I was 7 or 8 years old, it was my birthday and I was having a birthday party with friends and everything like that. It was back when Star Wars was fresh and new. It was a big deal and everyone was getting Star Wars toys, bed sheets, and all the things. I had tons of it already. In this particular year, I was hopeful that I was going to get some more Star Wars toys or something. I can’t remember exactly what year it was. I think it was like early ‘80s, ‘81 or ’82.

We were at my friend’s house and he had got a ton of Star Wars stuff for his birthday, which was a little bit before mine. I was like, “I hope I get that stuff.” My mom doesn’t get me Star Wars stuff that year. She got me a board game called Sorry! which is quite a good board game. It’s ironic. It’s like, “Sorry. You’re not getting Star Wars toys.” She gets me this board game and she doesn’t even remember this story. I’ve told it to her since. She is like, “I don’t even remember that happening.”

This is my story of trauma. I was immediately traumatized because I had this attachment. Trauma and attachment is an interesting conversation we can get into. I had this attachment to how my birthday was going to go down and what I was going to get for a gift and I didn’t get it. I immediately had this traumatic experience as a child. What did I make it mean about me? I don’t remember but I made it mean that people don’t love me or people don’t listen to me. I’m invisible. They don’t hear what I want.

The mind of a child is bizarre and we were all children. We all got stuff here. I ran upstairs. I had a temper tantrum, the whole thing just like a child does, and then I was traumatized again by my own behavior because I was like, “What an awful way to be to your mother? You ungrateful little jerk.” I had this whole thing happening simultaneously to being pissed off that I didn’t get my Star Wars stuff.

I didn’t realize this until years later when I was doing my own inner work and I had this epiphany. This popped up one day. I was like, “Bang.” This whole scene flashed before my eyes because I was in the inquiry of the ego personality that was running my life. I was very much a people pleaser. It developed from this moment. From this moment, I became a people pleaser because I said at that moment that I felt so awful at how I had behaved with my mother. I embarrassed her in front of all of the parents, the friends that were there, and all that stuff and I determined I would never do that again ever to anyone.

Immediately, it became a people pleaser. Immediately it became, “Do whatever it takes to make people happy with you so that you don’t relive this experience where you made your mother so embarrassed in front of all these people.” It was for twenty-some years until I realized this. It’s many years ago now, but for twenty-some years, that ran my life. It was subconscious but everything I did was deferring to what other people wanted first. Because that was my programming for so many years, that’s what was starting to sneak into what we were doing here with TMIC.

Don’t ask too much of them and to people-please. Don’t be a demand on them. What hit me was that as a leader, I’m not a demand on them. The vision is a demand on them. The vision requires these things. Without these things, the vision cannot manifest. The role of any leader is simply to manage your ego as best you can. This was an example of ego management. I was able to get away for a while and reflect. Look at what was going on and see if the ego was popping up again. I course-corrected immediately as soon as I saw that and I got back.

It’s been great ever since we’ve course-corrected it because people are like, “Ah, okay,” but that’s how it can sneak up. My thing is my ego shows up as people-pleasing and not wanting to offend people. Not wanting to disappoint people was the exact phrase that hit me that day. “I will never disappoint someone again.” For me in my life, the more I try to not disappoint people historically, the more I’ve disappointed people. It’s a weird conundrum.

It’s ironic, isn’t it?

Yeah. It’s because the authentic me is not showing up so they’re disappointed because they see something in me that I am not letting out and they’re like, “This guy should be doing this and this. What’s going on here?” However, I’m not wanting to disappoint them so I’m keeping that hidden. I’m blocking it and I’m presenting an ego identity, which is not me. It’s fake. I don’t know what else I can say about it. It’s a big conversation and yes, it’s all tied back to some trauma. That was my trauma story.

We could talk about the ego for several more hours. Here’s the last question as we close. Having this conversation which is a new conversation for somebody and they want to take action or they want to change this in their life. What steps do they take?

A step that they could take just in their own life right now is to reflect on a time and you might have to sit for a minute and see if one pops up. However, to reflect on a time when you internally felt that you wanted to say or do something. You either held back or the way you did it was over the top. Think of a time when you authentically had a feeling of this is what I want to say or what I want to do and what came out was not congruent with that.

Also, just ask yourself, “What’s going on underneath the surface of all of that?” Look at your life and realize that everything in your life is a result of your choices and your decisions. Start to try to take responsibility for the fact that since those are all your decisions and your choices, if there’s anything that doesn’t align with you or if there’s anything that is not giving you life, if there’s anything that is detracting from you feeling fully alive that you have the power to do something about that.

However, in order to start to work at that you’re going to need to address this thing called ego because the identity that you’ve been putting out there is what has manifested and brought all of that into your existence. It starts with awareness. This little exercise of thinking of a time when you wanted to show up or say or do something, but either you didn’t feel worthy or overdid it. Try to tap into what was underneath all of that.

I would encourage everyone to look at what we were doing at TMIC with our different workshops, the Whole Life Architecture. We deal with these things over the course of the entire year of the Whole Life Architecture Program when people go through it so that the person you enter in as is not the person you leave as the person you leave as. The person you design and create for yourself. Most of us are living a life by default right now. It’s a life that we’ve inherited through the conditioning of our friends, family, and our communities. It’s by default.

Our subconscious mind was programmed as a young child to interpret life this way, to react to life this way, and to only see life this way. Yet you knew you were on track if you were totally at peace, joyful, and content with your life. If you’re not and some people try to convince themselves that they are, but you know you’re not because late at night it’s dogging at you. If you’re not, then that means you’re out of alignment with your life. You living a life by default. It is not who you authentically are. There’s no single practice that’s going to solve the ego problem. This is awareness and behavior correction and you have to rebuild yourself over time.

I think the ego is something that is a companion of ours while we’re here in this realm. It’s something to have a healthy relationship with.

Ego is a companion of ours while we’re here in this realm, and it’s something to have a healthy relationship with.

We should. It is our identity. The question is, “Is your identity authentic or is it manufactured and fabricated? Is it orientating itself so that you’re bending to the world?” Again, it comes back to that. Either we’re bending to the world or the world is bending to us. For most people, we’re bending to the world and we’re in ego whenever we’re bending to the world because we’re sacrificing our authentic expression of our self for some perceived thing outside of our self that we feel we need to bend and contort ourselves into to be accepted, to be seen, and to be loved.

That all starts with the inner chatter that we’re not acceptable, we shouldn’t be seen, and we’re unlovable. When we’re coming from those places, that’s when we allow the ego to run the show. You’re unlovable. You sit in the background. Let me show you how it’s done. It’s a mask. It’s like a costume. It’s like what Ram Dass said. It’s our spacesuit.

Thank you for the conversation, Chad. This was very insightful.

I feel like we’re just getting started with it. It’s one of these things that you can sit around and talk about for hours because it’s like a prism. There are so many ways to get at it, but once you start to get out enough ways, it starts to become clear. For all of our audience, I’d encourage you to try on that little practice. If you want help with it, that’s what we’re here to do. Check out the Whole Life Architecture program and see if it’s a fit for you. That will conclude this episode of the show on ego. September, it’s always great chatting with you. I look forward to having our next conversation very soon.

Likewise. Thank you.

Thanks. See you, everybody. Bye.

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