Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Keep an eye on your ego, understand fear, and breathe life into your dreams for a happier life

Keeping an eye on ego, understanding fear, and breathing life into your dreams are essential for developing wellbeing.

Do you find yourself regularly watching through those millions of videos on YouTube? In constant turmoil analyzing what others think about you? How to not give a….? Or searching through for motivational quotes by accomplished others? Or do you usually find yourself drenched in guilt at the end of what seemed like a happy moment? Or constantly at the mercy of your inner demon? If any of these ring close to you (the definitely do for me) your wellbeing is at stake, and you’re not alone.

We live in a society that dictates what is and isn’t acceptable for us, what we are good at, what’s beautiful, who to trust/love, how to dress, eat, behave etc. These rules often work against our wellbeing. The very few among us who seek to learn about and truly break free from these shackles are the ones who enjoy true wellbeing we so envy.

You’ll be surprised to hear that all you need is a real mind shift. My mindset on wellbeing is largely shaped by standing back from my experiences (especially those times I dared) to see the lessons hidden inside books, articles, blogs and videos as well as advices/opinions of people I encountered in my life. While I’m still work in progress, here are the lessons that have had a great impact on my wellbeing:

Ego and fear are double-edged swords. Many of the innovations and movements of our history have been fuelled by harnessing their better side. Not handled well however, they can destroy our wellbeing.

     Keep a constant eye on your ego. Ego can become your biggest roadblock to happiness. Your insatiable need to always be right, to not have the courage to profess that you got it wrong and are sorry, your need for the lives of your loved ones to revolve around you, not letting go when you ought to, to play the victim, to throw the blame onto her/him instead of checking back to face the truth, to look all puffed up will leave you constantly unhappy invisible and empty. Recently I decided to consciously spot my ego at work and stop it on its tracks. It was like facing demons because I saw my ego painted everywhere, I kept with it and my life was completely turned over. The less your need for happiness and fulfilment depend on outside factors the happier you become as the dark side of ego slowly fades away. 

     Understand your fears and don’t run away from criticism. Have you worried so much about how someone will react, or how something terrible is going to happen if you dared to do something just to realize in the end that your fear was so exaggerated? Most times fear only shows up to warn us of things to consider before taking an action.

We should be especially vigilant for fears stemming from childhood as they’re very powerful and difficult to spot. Were you treated like nobody when you were young? Were you taught that serving others needs was most important? Were you told to try and be more like your other sibling/cousin etc.? Were you always told to shut your mouth up? Or that you’ll never be able to do X? Is this why you avoid X like the plague or are trying too hard to…..?  They are not a true reflection of you but over-done coping mechanisms developed to deal with adversity.

Mistakes and criticism are essential for wellbeing. People (including you) will be inclined to throw the blame on you (others), receive their criticism with grace. Those eager to see you grow will criticize you but will do so in a non-judgmental and non-guilt making way.

     Breathe life into your dreams. Your ego and fears out of your way, this next step shows up automatically. You’ll start seeing strengths you never realized. Now you just identify a dream, goal, career, a skill and start hammering away at it every single day. Soon you’ll be soaring into the skies!

     Take care of your body! Having adequate sleep, maintaining healthy eating habits and exercising regularly will leave you feeling fresh and able to take on life. If you find yourself relying on drugs, doing insane things to hide from your reality instead of facing it, you’re digging a deeper wound. When those feelings resurface they’ll be harsher due to your neglect, so dare to face them.

It’s really not as hard as you might like to think. Don’t try to do it all in one go, focus on one aspect at a time. Once conquered, it becomes the staircase to climb onto the next stage. The moment you take control of your ego and fears everything else in your life will change forever, but you have to be courageous to face yourself first. These ideas have already helped me immensely, and I wish they do so for you too. The key is conscious practice.