The difference between ego and self worth

Deep ✨

As humans, we can reflect on ourselves and our actions. We can consciously step outside of ourselves, judge ourselves, and have thoughts and opinions on who we are. We often do this from mere emotion, not ratio or logic. Insecurities, past experiences and how we think other people see us, play a huge role. But there is also room for true and justified estimation (you know the word self-‘esteem’?), from a place of love. Let’s see where these views differ.

Both our ego and our sense of self worth stem from our ability to self-reflect. The first one saves us from future humiliation. It’s the band-aid on our insecurities, that allows us to go out into the world again after someone critiques, dislikes or mistreats who we truly are, at the core. The second one is more silent, but holds our deep truth – that we are worthy independent of anyone’s (even our own!) opinion.

The ego

Your ego is the voice in your head that either agrees with the person who hurt you (‘It’s true, I AM ugly’) or overcompensates to make the thing that hurt less dominant (‘It’s a lie, I’m beautiful, THEY are ugly’). The person who hurt you basically created a small hole that feels uncomfortable, and your ego tries to cover it so you’re able to still go to your job, talk to people and live your life, even though you now have a small hole.

Either, your ego resides in that hole, takes comfort in the pain, and allows you to believe the hurtful thing (for example; that you’re ugly) for the rest of your life. Or it will cover the hole, make sure you believe the exact opposite while still using the same framework, and your ego will ‘save’ you from being hurt.

Funny enough, whatever the ego chooses, if you act from the ego your behaviour will probably look like this: You act like you’re not hurt at all, while you focus and keep questioning on your ugliness or beauty (in the case of the used example). You will judge other people on their ugliness or beauty, and constantly compare yourself to them.

In future situations, you either completely believe the hurtful things that are said to you (because they are in line with the hole you already have) or you don’t even consider their truth because it is scary and you might get hurt (while staying in your own opposite bubble).

Many people who act from their ego, also worry a lot about their identity. They often want to tell or show people ‘what they’re like’, want to define their sense of style or even obsessively stick to ‘being that type of girl’. You know when someone says ‘I am who I am, and I’m not gonna change for nobody’? You guessed it – it’s their sassy ego talking.

Self worth

But what the ego tells you, doesn’t say anything about who you are, deep down, and what you’re worth. The ego is just the good-intentioned but badly-educated friend who gives you a (often false) opinion of yourself, so you can live your life. But what if we didn’t need an opinion of ourselves to be able to go about our day? What if we always knew, deep down, that we are worthy and we are not defined by what other people think about us?

This is where your self worth differs from your ego. Where the ego tells you ‘I’m ugly’ or ‘No, I’m pretty’ – a healthy sense of self worth knows that you are worthy and deserve a good life, no matter what you look like. Where the ego might tell you that you’re not good enough, because someone doesn’t want you in their life or rejects you, your self worth should know that who you are and what you deserve is not dependant on other people, and is definitely NOT defined by someone leaving you.

As humans, we find it hard to not think of rejection, abandonment, judgement or recognition as signs that tell us something about our worth. Because we are social beings, we are programmed to take these things very seriously in order to survive (we need to be part of a group). But this is merely deep-rooted emotion. And these emotions are meant to make us survive, not find objective truths.

When you have a good sense of self worth (yes, you can train this) you’ll even see that getting hurt is not that bad. In the ideal case, you don’t even feel the fear of the ego: because when you know your worth, no matter how other people estimate you, you can take a hit without changing how you feel about yourself. You don’t need to form an opinion on yourself or other people anymore. Because you know who you are without it.

So the next time someone hurts you, try to remember that who you are and what you’re worth is not dependant on anyone else’s opinion of you. And that your opinion of you should be informed by your sense of self worth, and not the ego – from a place of love, not of fear.

xx Coco

Why the light scares you (and how to step out of the darkness anyway)

Deep ✨

A few days ago, I was reminded that many people are actually more afraid of success than they are of failure. These people often have a victim-mindset, which makes that they’re used to feelings of failure. Their familiarity with failure has formed habits and patterns which actually make their ‘failing life’ (as they see it) comfortable. Taking steps to get out of the dark and walk into the light then seems difficult and terrifying.

To be completely transparent: I was that person. In my late teens and early twenties, I felt like life what throwing sh*t at me all the time. So I decided to accept the darkness and be a victim. But in the long run, that didn’t make me happy and I decided to change.

Are you scared of the light too? Let’s find out.

You choose darkness because it’s easy

When you’re scared of the light, you have probably been living in darkness as long as you can remember. Many people who have a victim-mindset, have learned that the world is out to haunt and hurt them at a very young age. If this is you, you have learned that life happens to you, not for you (or independent of any value judgements about what you deserve).

Because so many sh*t has happened to you, you have learned that you probably deserve to be unhappy, and that you don’t deserve to be successful or fulfilled. You have secretly admitted to going wherever the dark events of life take you, and being the victim has become part of your identity.

But there’s one thing you refuse to see. You’re so stuck in your victim-role play, that you don’t see how other people have been through what you’ve experienced, and got out of it. You don’t see how one or many events that happened to you, are not about who you are, but who or what they are.

And that’s because being passive is easier than being active. Blaming other people or events for what your life has become, is easier than overcoming these people and events. Being pushed around by whatever life throws at you is hard and painful, but since you have become accustomed to it, it’s easier than taking the reins and designing your own future.

Because as long as you’re not acting on it, you can always blame someone or someone else for your failure.

You fear success because it takes effort and responsibility

This takes us to the next reason. If you’re scared of success, you’re probably scared of putting in the effort and taking the responsibility for you life – including the mistakes. If all your life, you’ve been the victim and not the author, you never had to take responsibility for the things that happened to you, or for the person you’ve become.

If there’s parts about your life or personality you don’t like, you can always point the finger. You can always say ‘Well I know I’m not smart, but I didn’t have a good education.’ Or ‘I’m really scared of commitment, but that’s because of my ex-boyfriend’ or ‘I’m really scared to drive, but my grandfather had an accident last year.”

See where I’m going with this? Being a victim always gives you an excuse for not taking responsibility for who you are, and saves you from putting in effort to become better.

You fear your dream life will also be disappointing

But even if you’ve overcome your fear of putting in effort and taking responsibility, there’s still a reason for sticking to the darkness. That’s because when you’re in a victim-mindset, you’re always ready to be disappointed. You’re not even doubting to be disappointed anymore, you know you will be. You’re basically already waiting for something to fail.

So even if you would take responsibility for who you are and start putting in effort into your future, there’s still a change that the outcome will not be what you expected. There’s a tiny chance that your dream life is not so great after all, and just dealing with that disappointment is already enough to not change anything at all.

Maybe deep down, you feel like you don’t deserve your dream life. Or maybe you’re still doubting your own potential. Whatever it is, it keeps you in the past and merely dreaming about the future. But with this mindset, you will keep failing because success isn’t even in the cards for you (by your own choosing).

What now?

So, if you (secretly) recognise yourself even partly in the person described above, you’re probably (somewhat) scared of the light. And I’m not judging. But if you want to change this, the first step is to start working on your self worth. If you deep down really believe you don’t deserve to be happy, this is where you should start. Read these blogs on why you’re worthy, how to find your worth and dealing with hardship as a kind of self care to see if it helps you.

Next you want to ask yourself why you’re holding on to this victim-mindset. How does it serve you? But really? I don’t want you to answer ‘it doesn’t serve me’ (because I know that πŸ˜‰ ) here, but I want you to dive into the psychology of why you hold on to it. What does it bring you that you apparently still need in your life? Is it the fear of having to put in effort, taking responsibility, or disappointment? Or is it something else?

Then, you want to formulate something you also want really badly, something your victim-mindset keeps you from doing, on the opposite. What attracts you to the light? Why would you even consider stepping out of the darkness? Maybe you want to finally start that business, have a deep, healthy relationship or stop suffering in the more general sense.

Now, let’s literally build your successful future, so stepping into the light becomes more practical and comprehensible for you. There are many tools that can help you with this, but this blog and worksheet are a good place to start. You can read more about how I got out of the darkness in this blog, and this one can give you more perspective on the areas of life you might want to invest or become more succesful in, now that you’re in the light.

Thank you so much for reading this blog, and if I can help you deal with all this light-ness coming your way from now on, let me know! πŸ˜‰

xx Coco

The self care nobody talks about

Deep ✨, Lifestyle πŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

The concept of self care is so hot right now. Everybody does it – everywhere you go. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is SO important. But self care almost seems the new religion everyone has just adopted. And while I love talking about the spiritual side of self care (just wait for that blogpost ;)) there is a side of self care nobody seems to talk about. Because it’s dark. Or hard. And not as convenient and comfortable as ‘self care’ might sound. But I’m a scorpio, so dark and uncomfortable attracts me. Let’s dive into this.

What we like to view as ‘self care’

Usually, when we talk about self care, we often actually mean self maintenance. Painting your nails, shaving your body, or getting your hair done can feel like self care, but they do not actually make us better human beings. Or make us feel better on the long run.

We might indirectly feel better on the inside because of what we do on the outside. Maybe we feel more worthy because we take good care of ourselves, and in that way we ‘care’ for our ‘self’. But other than that, making sure your outward appearance looks good is not the same as caring for your character, your mind or your soul.

And yes, there is a deeper and traditional concept of self care that we also talk about very often. Investing in your development, reading books or meditation also count as self care. Making sure you are okay, making sure you feel good about yourself, and feeding your self-image with positive mental states is self care. But there’s the catch.

What ‘self care’ also is

In order to take real care of yourself and your happiness, and in order to really get what you deserve, you sometimes have to be really hard and difficult for yourself. Sometimes, you have to grab life by the balls, and force yourself to do something you really hate, or that really hurts, in order to take care of yourself in the long run.

And no, this isn’t as fun or convenient as taking a bath or reading a book. It doesn’t instantly make you feel better, and it doesn’t sound like something we want to call ‘self care’ at all. But it is. Self care can be really hard, dark and ugly.

So it’s time we get used to taking care of ourselves in these ways too. Real happiness, real self worth and real fulfilment require a little more effort than the traditional, easy sense of ‘self care’. Because the things that make us feel unhappy, unworthy and unfulfilled are serious problems, which require serious measures.

You need to hear this

So, don’t shoot the messenger, but sometimes self care is not going back to your toxic ex-boyfriend, even though you love him. Self care is telling your friends that you can’t hangout tonight because you need time to work through your darkness or loneliness right now.

It is NOT wasting a lot of money on shopping, drinking or getting your hair done to suppress your emotions, but actually dealing with them – ESPECIALLY when it hurts. It is eating healthy and reasonably, even though ‘you really love food’. Self care is quitting your victim-mentality, and being hard on yourself just so you can pick yourself up because, well: nobody else can do it.

Self care is facing rejection, pain and hardship. Because dealing with it and being happy in the long run is what a person who cares for herself would do. Running away and staying in your dark hole because it’s easier in the moment, is what the girl who doesn’t love herself would do (because she believes she doesn’t deserve to be happy in the long run).

And yes, forcing yourself to work towards being the girl who loves herself and moves on, instead of the girl who hates herself and gets stuck – you guessed it – also counts as self care. Let’s get it into our system.

Let me know what you think! What types of self care do you practice? And would you like a worksheet with this blog?

xx Coco