I found the website “Shit Your Ego Says” a while ago, and I immediately loved it. Here was a funny, frank, and genuinely helpful place for people to get over their shit-talking egos. I thought it was great.
I’ve only visited it twice.
Why? Probably my ego saying that it wasn’t necessary. That I was fine the way I was and didn’t need to find a way to be better. But my ego was wrong. It usually is, no offence.
James McCrae, creator of Shit Your Ego Says, argues that your ego isn’t just a Freudian concept or the term for acting and being high and mighty. Your ego is the voice that says that you shouldn’t be doing this. Your ego is all of your fears conveniently compacted and stored in the back and front of your mind, weighing you down. You don’t realize it at the time, but your ego is a part of you, but not you. Your ego acts like society or a parent, but is not your enemy. Not really.
I’ve thought about the times that my ego has shit-talked in order to get me to stay the same (read: remain stagnant and complacent) and not do anything. My ego told me to search for jobs the traditional way when I knew that it wasn’t working. My ego told me that I needed another person to complete me. My ego told me to not do anything out of the ordinary: don’t sign up for coaching, don’t share your writing, don’t build your network, don’t, don’t, don’t.
It’s amazing how I did not get tired of hearing that. At the time, it was like reassurance and justification for procrastinating on things that would only propel me forward and allow me to grow. It was like my ego was taking care of me. In reality, it was coddling me. And I didn’t need that. I needed to be an adult. I needed to be a grown-up. Most of all, I needed to be me.
Whenever you let your ego do the talking and just go with whatever it says, you’re denying yourself the opportunity and freedom to be yourself. You’re not standing up for yourself. You’re letting one part of you act like the whole. (Like I said before, your ego is not your enemy. It can actually protect you at times from taking risks that would backfire, or caution you to think some more before making a big decision. It can teach you how to be self-confident and how to trust yourself.) And this whole person needs to listen to a more important part. This can be your higher self, your intuition, God, the universe, etc. But this part is more of a whisperer. It doesn’t like to yell or point or jab at you. It is more loving and calm. Which is why we tend to ignore it for so long.
My higher self doesn’t shit-talk. It soothes me, heals me, and lends a listening ear and a warm embrace. I always feel better after listening to it and doing what it says. I feel more like myself, because the ego’s been stripped away. All of the worries, fears, expectations, layers of, well, shit, are gone. It’s just me and my higher self.
While I do feel a little weird about talking about what some might call “airy fairy hippie spiritual nonsense,” I also feel vulnerable and earnest and completely myself. So it must be the right thing for me to do.