Have you ever had something pop into your mind, and you were slightly shocked by it? You instantly knew that the thought was not you. That "the real you" would never think or feel something that horrendous, silly, or exaggerated. It brings up the worst case scenario to every decision you make, and it is dramatic about it. Like "end of the world" or "and then I die" dramatic. Then, you have just met the ego, or egoic mind.
The Egoic Mind
This is the part of you that has developed over time from watching society, your parents, media, entertainment, friends and teachers. The ego learns from those around us how to think and what to fear.
The egoic mind can make you feel deeply sad and fearful, or proudly better than those around you. And for most people, this mind has operated unchecked, unobserved and on full volume in your brain.
For many, they think this mind is who they are. Each thought must be part of the definition of ourselves. What makes us us.
The Inner Voice
But, have you noticed that there is also another voice. Another part of you that hears this part of your mind and rolls it's eyes. It the part that shocked by dramatic thoughts. The part of you that says quietly "I don’t think that you will end up homeless and die if you get a new job"
This is your inner being.
The inner being, also know as soul, universal intelligence, intuition or presence, knows that you are smart enough to figure things out. The inner being is cheering you on when you make a bold move, a daring change or when just stay still.
Where the ego mind finds problems, the inner being is the part of you that gives solutions. A certain path to happiness is to learning to pivot from the egoic mind to the inner being. Let the ego find the problem, but only take advice from your inner being.
So, how do we know when the ego is talking or when the inner being is talking. Well, here is Visual, we have a handy visual for you.
Fearful, anxious, end of the world thoughts
Proud, judgmental and comparing thoughts
Rattling tangents that never have a conclusion
Places times on outcomes [Example: I must lose weight in 30 days. I must have kids by 30.]
Feels contracting and small [Uses words like "just" - I just stay at this job, its fine.]
Moves back and away from your true desires.
Uses must, should, need
The Inner Being
Calm and quiet
Answers in short sentences or even just one word
How to Reshift Focus
Focus: Seeing your self as the bouncer of your internal night club would be the next activity. Once you learn which thoughts belong to who, you can let the inner being (good feeling thoughts) in the club, and keep the riff-raff out (bad feeling thoughts).
Soothe the Ego: If you find your self in a place where the loud ego keeps begging for attention, try soothing the ego. Tell this voice, “thank you for that”, “I know you are just trying to help” and “Thanks, but I’ve got this.”
We have a wonderful little walk-through on the Law of Attraction and Focus, that will make a great next read.
Worksheet: We recommend our “Finding Satisfaction in Any Moment” worksheet. This will help focus your thoughts away from negative to the good feeling thoughts.