We often come across ego-clashing in our lives; in the workplace, in our families, with peers or even passing strangers in the street!

Ego-clashes can be nasty and leave us feeling wounded or angry, and the atmosphere is made uncomfortable? even for the people who are not involved?

There are many reasons for ego-clashes, including conflicting personalities, jealousy or communication problems. Egos might also surface when fear, insecurity or lack of trust. Fundamentally, we are an animal species and conflict will occur. If our ego wins, we can enjoy feelings of euphoria and superiority. However, this is often at the expenses of others feeling demoralised, tense and stressed.

The bottom line is; our ego is our self-image, and also a great con artist. It knows us so well that it can use whatever tools it wishes to make us succumb to what it wants us to believe. This includes logic, false confidence and even sweet-talk to get us trapped.

The ego will never die, but we can teach ourselves to live in harmony with it.

Tips to Master Our Ego:

  1. Treat It As Another Person: give your ego an image and a personality and imagine this person when your ego arises ? this can help you to see your ego as separate from yourself and disagree with what it says. Maybe your ego is a six year old boy, or a teenage girl ? you decide!
  2. Reality vs Illusion: The ego thrives on illusion that we do not have enough good things. Focusing on what we do have can bring us back into reality and diminish ego-illusion!
  3. Learn to Love: The ego often lives off fear; fear is powerful and fear thrives off fear! Living our days with love and learning to see love helps us to see beauty rather than be frightened or feel threatened. Therefore we do not need our ego to protect us.
  4. We are far more powerful than our egos. We have less fear and more love than it tells us. When it comes to your ego, just tell it ?You Are Not The Boss of Me? and focus on what we have, in reality, rather than what we may think we lack.

Talking therapy: Frames of Reference

Linking in with yesterday?s post about ways of thinking, have you ever thought about what might shape our thoughts? Or at least contribute to them? In therapy, we often call this our Frame of Reference. What does this mean? Frames of Reference are about how our beliefs and values are shaped through our lived experiences. A snapshot of what might make up our unique Frame will include our experiences of childhood, work, gender, sexuality, culture, family situation, work experiences, relationships and much, much more. We formulate our thoughts based on this information, most of the time. A frame of reference is a complex set of assumptions and attitudes which we use to filter perceptions to create meaning.

Notably, much of life?s satisfaction comes from experiences which broaden our perspectives and give us new ?reference? points. This is just as relevant for us when working with mental health challenges. We might not always understand them, or be able to identify with them, as the experiences might not be within our Frame of Reference. However, this does not mean we cannot support others. The way we communicate is paramount.

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