This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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Are you letting your Ego get in the way of your success? Do you fear leaving your comfort zone?
Breaking away from your Ego’s fear-based beliefs is like quitting smoking or taking drugs—you’ll have to detox and go through withdrawals. Stay the course because creating your own reality is worth it.
Keep reading to learn how you can break free of your Ego and live a more fulfilling life.
Your Ego Is Holding You Back
When you try to break out of your comfort zone and live the life of your dreams, your own internal Ego may try to stop you with emotional and physical roadblocks. Your Ego refers to your “shadow self,” the part of you that, deep down, feels unworthy of love and success. Your Ego seeks outside validation to placate your insecurities, assuring you that you’re good enough.
The author Jen Sincero refers to your Ego as the “Big Snooze,” or BS. The BS is driven from our limiting false beliefs — the ones ingrained into our subconscious as a child. The BS gets validation from outside sources, not trusting its own opinions. (“I don’t know, what do you think I should do?”) It is fear-based, aiming to keep you safely within the confines of your comfort zone.
In contrast to the Ego is your True Self, or higher self. Your true self lives in the present and operates according to your connection to Source Energy. It gets validation from within, not outside. (“My decision feels right to me and I love and trust myself.”)
We all live life to varying degrees from both perspectives — the Ego and the True Self. But when we skew toward the Ego, we end up with a reality that’s way beneath what we’re capable of and what’s available to us.
Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone Is Hard
The Ego has set up comfort zones for us, and it’s hard to break out of them due to external and internal factors.
Externally, breaking out of your comfort zone means you risk the derision of others. Taking a leap of faith can be branded irresponsible, unselfish, even insane. Others are upset by watching someone else go for their dreams because they’re firmly entrenched in the idea that they can’t. People express their disapproval and displeasure with anger, hurt feelings, criticism, worrying, teasing, or simply telling you it can’t or shouldn’t be done.
While some people may be doing this out of love and concern, this fear and worry is the last thing you need when trying to take risks. You have enough to deal when facing your own fears, let alone dealing with the negativity of others. To counter this, it’s vital to surround yourself with others who are also trying to take risks, people who you know will be supportive.
When you try to break out of your comfort zone, you also face internal obstacles created by your own Ego (BS). The author likens the BS to an “overprotective Italian mother” who wants you to live at home forever. There may be good intentions, but it’s completely fear-based.
Detox From Your Ego
Breaking away from your Ego’s fear-based beliefs is like quitting smoking or taking drugs — you’ll have to detox and go through withdrawals — and ridding yourself of limiting subconscious beliefs means facing a detox of huge proportions.
This “detox” can manifest in both internal and external factors as the BS creates chaos to self-sabotage and keep everything status quo.
In other words, since we create our own reality, when we try to break free it can feel like The Universe is conspiring against us — computers crashing, trees falling on cars, getting the flu, roofs caving in. It may sound far-fetched, but the author of You Are a Badass says the BS is creating this chaos. Since we’ve spent a lifetime creating the reality we currently have, doing a massive overhaul is basically “murdering” the BS. Because the BS doesn’t want to be murdered, it will do everything it can to stop you from changing and growing, setting up both emotional and physical blocks.
As an example, the author had a life-coach client who was leaving a high-paying job to start a dream business. In a short span of time he experienced two flat tires, a car wreck, a water main explosion — and got hit by a bus. But he never gave up, even with all those “excuses.”
So when you finally decide to take a leap, leave your comfort zone and make your dreams come true, don’t be surprised if something destructive happens. It’s a good sign that you’re heading in the right direction. Stay the course because creating your own reality is worth it.
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Here's what you'll find in our full You Are A Badass summary :
- How to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to do it
- How to stop your self-sabotaging thoughts
- How to tap into Source Energy for mental and spiritual strength