Is Your Ego Blocking Your Life’s Purpose? - Christine Kane

Years ago – back when I was performing music for a living – a motivational speaker almost made me give up on my dreams.

In fact, he told me to give up.

He stood on stage and shared the driving motivations behind his success, each of which were noble and beautiful…

His passion for healing the world!

His desire to transform lives!

The discovery of his higher calling!

Then he went on to say that if these kinds of things didn’t motivate each of us in the audience, then we should give up and go home until we can align with that pure level of intention. Otherwise, we would not survive the daily work.

And I almost took his advice.

In that moment, as I explored the deepest parts of myself, I found that, yes, I had some beautiful intentions in my work as a musician…

I wanted to inspire people.

I wanted to encourage and help people.

But along side of that stuff, I also had these really embarrassing prom-queen-like motivations.

They kind of went like this:  “Screw healing! I want approval!”

It was clear that these voices were every bit as much a part of my motivation as my more noble intentions.

And here’s the thing.

The challenge of being self-aware is that you’re aware of ALL of yourself. Not just the stuff that’s conveniently noble.

So, I went home from that speech.  And for a few months, I told myself that I wasn’t going to pursue anything anymore until those needy, smarmy, prom-queen, ego voices went away forever.

I find this hysterically funny now.

And I regularly get emails from people who are trying to do the same thing… get rid of their ego. They doubt that they can live their purpose or their passion because they notice that they can’t get their egos out of their dreams. (Maybe they listened to that same speaker!)

So, I tell them the very thing I discovered for myself…

You don’t have to.

When I finally did decide to go forward with my music, I allowed both parts of me to go along for the ride…

My noble wise-self with her beautiful deep intentions.

And my needy, grasping, approval-whore who wanted applause and to prove herself to anyone who ever doubted her.

The two could live side by side. And one would begin to heal the other.

As I moved forward, I allowed my calling to teach me how to live in the deeper self more often, creating lighter and better directions for me.

I also let my needy self teach me how to be present to those old patterns and fears, and how to use them as messengers, a way to heal my many broken parts.

To say it isn’t easy is a giant understatement.

But taking action is often the very thing that will help all that ego stuff burn away slowly. If you can stay present and watch yourself make choices and take actions with a clear awareness of what fuels you, then you’ll keep growing and learning.

The one action I advise you NOT to do…is to wait.

Waiting is a dead end.

And waiting for enlightenment or purity – as I was attempting to do all those years ago – is really just an attempt at avoiding pain. I didn’t like the discomfort that my ego made me feel and the shame of the “stuff” that would come up.

So, the whole idea of enlightenment felt like a good way out – sort of like a spiritual martini. If I waited long enough, I’d never have to face that crap, right?

Slowly, I learned the hardcore, no-nonsense spiritual truth of business: Take action in spite of your flaws.

I realized that spiritual perfectionism is every bit as insane as my old eating disorder perfectionism. The action I’ve taken, in spite of my ego, has made all the difference.

Those ego voices are only a tiny part of my life now. They show up on occasion and have lots to say, but I no longer try to get rid of them. I sit with them. I’m present to them. I let them have their voice. But they don’t run the show.

And now I’ve become someone who speaks from stages, inspires people and coaches them on how to build and run successful businesses…

…and I will never ever tell you that you should only ever be purely driven by your noble motivations. It all gets to come along for the ride.

That’s what makes you real, my friend.

And that’s what makes it worthwhile.

41 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • Louis D. Cox, PhD

    Your post fits my experience. My ego and what I call my “native self” will always co-exist. For me it comes down to spotting my ego doing its thing quicker, stepping away in the moment, and then “dropping into” what I call my TruthPlace (located in my heart and my gut). This is the source of knowing my truth in the moment.
    I’ve just published a book about this very human inner territory. It’s called – “Ego: The Ghost in Your Machinery”. It’s available on Amazon under the book title or my name – Louis D. Cox PhD. Thanks Christine

  • Ella May

    Thanks Christine
    Your writing is so refreshing!
    I love how real you are, it makes it easy to relate to you, woman to woman.
    Let’s keep inspiring each other 😍

  • Janika

    As a closet attention whore who has spent a fairly long lifetime suppressing the “base” drive to have the whole freaking world love me for my outrageous talent, outstanding intellect, and intense creativity, I know what you are talking about. My desire to do the right things for the right reasons has been the most amazing excuse in the world to do nothing at all, to keep my amazing hidden, to avoid the possibility that if I actually put myself out there, the world will actually hate me for being such a show-off, know-it-all.

    My mind understands this contradiction and the barrier it creates against my success. But my heart has no idea how to reconcile or overcome these fears.

    Truth be told, my mind is the martini that keeps me from feeling what I need to feel to make the change and embrace my greatness.

  • Paula

    Thank you Christine for being so raw and honest, that is what inspired me to join your team!
    I enjoyed reading this and felt the beautiful intention, that you put out to all of us. It was very helpful. Many blessings, Love Paula

  • Loredana Giuran

    Oh my dear Christine,
    Your email is so helpful for me at this time. All the judgmental thoughts that came together with my good intentions blocked me a lot so far.

    Thank you my dear

    • Christine Kane

      Hi my beautiful friend! Where are you these days? i was just thinking of you!

  • Erica

    Great email! I just had a meeting of the minds…(my own minds..lol) yesterday and I told myself to relax, that we can all have a voice…and in that moment I realized I wasn’t those voices/thoughts I was the observer/soother/leader/mediator and within those thoughts there is validity and parts of myself in them…but by listening to them I become the listener and the role as listener gives me choices… It is liberating to be freed from identifying with your every thought..

    I can definitely see how things are starting to sync up with where I am at…I ponder though…Is it that I can understand the perspective now that I didn’t before so I relate more to everything??? I think I have a tendancy to seek confirmation of things by the universes signs to me…but maybe I am individualizing that which really is universal and now I am joining the party?!?!?! Anyway, such is a day in the life of my pondering mind!

    Thanks for all you share so freely…it has really resonated with me and guided me through this process!

    Erica

  • Cheryl Gnad

    Hi Christine, you caught me in the very quagmire! Augh!! not fun. This time (yes, there have been numerous other times) I seem to be lasting in it longer than usual. I, too, have learned that if you wait long enough, accepting that this moment is what drives me forward to a NEW way of thinking or doing things, I will eventually get to that point OR look back and say “wow!! I’ve made it through! And LOOK where I am at now!” However, this time it is more painful to search and face the shortcomings that have been showing up. I want to make stronger the stronger aspects of my business, change up the weaker parts, perhaps find that NEW way that will differentiate me from the growing competition out there. I believe that there are plenty of businesses that need my services, but who are they and how do I reach out to them and make myself seem like I am their answer to their situation. So I look at if my ego is getting the better of me or what is if not that. It has been a long time since I’ve been in this situation and it is really getting to me this time. I’ve been able to find something that “floats my boat” and I go with that and it works! That spark gets me going! I truly believe that the struggle WILL produce great directions for me but I pray I will last through this struggle to get there! Even if I must listen to the things that are irritatingly unpleasant. Once you KNOW what those are – you can make the decisions to go otherwise…whatever that be!

  • Lourenta

    I’m so glad to hear that I do not have to kill my needy, grasping, approval-whore side of me. I though I was flawed for also having this side in me despite my all good attentions.

  • Aparna

    Hi Christine!

    Was I dumbstruck, when I opened this email from you ? Yes!! To say the least.
    Let me admit, I don’t even recall when i was first drawn to your wisdom. However, I do remember, that ‘vision boards’ , is what caught my attention. I’ve been for the past 2, nay 3 years trying to get a vision board done for myself, only in vain. So, this vision board workshop announcements somewhere on the net caught my attention & I got myself registered to receive all communication from you in my inbox. Depending on the time at had, I read some, delete some, mark a few other communications for ‘ read later’. But the caption of the mail , ‘ Is your ego blocking…’ prompted me to open this email instantly, for given my current state of affairs, I being drawn towards something I am very passionate about and alongside this, my ego drives me to take on a profession which is going to feed my ego and feed me & pay my day to day bills.

    With this constant battle in my head, I haven’t started either of the two! Obviously no step has been taken in either direction. I’m flummoxed to say the least. Now, this mail from you looks like it is customized for me [ I am firm believer of the theory, that the universe sends us answers when we seek sincerely] It felt good to learn that I am in the right palce and in the right direction too.

    What is really very important for me is to take ACTION. That’s my weakness, I learnt. So i need to work on ACTION.

    Thanking you so much & with lots of love and light your way…

    Aparna Rao

  • Janet

    Hi Christine, it’s Janet from Bali about to launch my first workshop here in around 3 weeks. Thanks for this piece, as someone earlier said, it’s a great reality check…and let’s face it, some of us where born to be in front of an audience, it’s not our ego, it’s what we’re supposed to do. Relish the limelight…I ran away for it from most of my 57 years, and I know the reverse pain of letting my ego rule and keep me in the shadows. I just didn’t have the right message but now that I do I find that I’m loving being seen. Ego-free or not!

  • Sara

    Love this! Thank you! It’s great to be reminded to move forward in spite of imperfection😊

  • Cheryl

    What you shared Christine speaks volumes!!! I’m definitely saving this particular topic as often I do not align with the “ego” inside myself, and your description and candor is a wonderful reminder to allow our entire self to “take action in spite of our flaws”. Thank you and this is my daily work in progress to “do” rather than just “be”.

  • Dawn Pardun

    Wow! This totally resonated with me! This ego thing could also be called a gremlin…that message that keeps you from doing what you want to do. Fear. Or Doubt. But simply showing up anyway, walking through the muck of ‘not-knowing’ and with each step I’ll get clearer and clearer. I really liked how you put this…the chatter that goes on in our heads; either its a gremlin or thinking you’re hot stuff, either way, it is all about us/me. When I get past that voice, it will simply ‘be there.’ It wont have the same immobilizing energy that it used too. Thank you for this validation.
    I had a class last Tuesday that I wasn’t clear about my “WHY” and the people that showed up were a little mystified why I was there. One walked about 3 minutes before the time was up and one kept on saying when there was a window of connection, that ‘this whole thing was futile.’!!! My energy was up and not daunted by these negatives, but I learned a ton from this meeting. I have two more this month and from this meeting I gleaned several things that your email validated! I don’t have to know…keep moving forward with curiosity…learning and shifting and in the process, I’ll get there! Yay! Thanks!! : )

  • Barb

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this reality check. I’ve been stopped by this idea for too long, waiting for passion to come along so I can do the work I want to do. Simple as that. I want to do it, and it’s okay that I’m not overflowing with passion and purpose.

  • Michael Boyd

    Thanks Christine,
    For your insight.
    Now I might be able to move forward with both spirit and ego.

  • Sara May

    Thanks, Christine, for the candid reality check!

  • Monika

    I am new here becouse I really like the idea make money with vison boards. I already made 3 for myself. And to say some thing about the ego yes I worked against my ego and I smiled when I read your story. I lived for few years in South Carolina and I am 2 years back now in Germany and struggle that clients come to me for Workshops. Did a training about Louise Hay Philosophie in Florida. Its always a back and forth, my ego says, just do us all other do, who needs you and the other voice, do it you love this work so much. Help and encourage other who struggle like I strugled when I was very sick. So I stick to it and let my ego talk but I go forward anyway. It doesn’t matter how long it will take that clients will come. I helped people already in my environment. They are all very thankful for the job I had done. I am exited where life will take me. Thank you for sharing all your inspirational words.

  • Monica

    Thanks for sharing! These is just the truth! I discover it on me, y hay más in a very deep hay! Thanks again! 😉

  • Irene Salazar

    Thank you, Christine for your authenticity. That is what attracted me to your courses first and then your generosity of sharing your success through all your programs.

    What you say in this article speaks volumes of my journey to where I am today. I realize now that if I attempted to get rid of my ego I would not be the person I am today.

    I find that when my ego shows up, I need to slow down and refocus my intention for my life.

    Thank you for sharing your life with so many people and giving them hope to know there is nothing they cannot accomplish when they take action!

  • Claire

    I subscribe to your e-mail update and enjoy your thoughts, but today you made me laugh-out-loud….
    “And my needy, grasping, approval-whore who wanted applause and to prove herself to anyone who ever doubted her.”
    This is the side of my 53 year old personality that I quietly adore, because who can talk about the need for approval when you’re over 50, right? I’m supposed to be the one giving out the approval.

    Anyway… I just wanted you to know you made me chuckle… and I thank you for that!

  • Brenda Chasteen

    Christine, thank you! You put to voice exactly what I was thinking this morning. I was doing my daily “To Do” and included whole sentences from your writing – so you’ll be with me all day! I appreciate your effort and thoughtfullness in reaching out to us.

  • Amy Shouse

    I needed to read this today!!!!
    Thank You Christine Kane!

    To deny our multitudes is to deny or human-ness and I want to embrace being human, be relatable and make an impact by being all of me!!
    You rock

  • Gincy Carrington Plummer

    Ha SO TRUE! I just un the last 24 hours have come up with an Amazing Big Hairy Goal (documentary on what Americans find beautiful about America) and almost immediately the ego stepped in to talk me out of it. Thanks for this Affirmation!!

  • Carol Smoot

    Thank you so very much for sharing that very insightful lesson. I too have been waiting. And now I realize how crippling that has been. And how much it has robbed me and the world of these amazing ideas I have. Then I am also learning that my idea has almost been replicated and is becoming a multi million dollar business by a 23 year old that went for it. So how I’m not waiting any longer. Because if your incredible messages I’m taking my leap of faith. It’s scary but not as scary as staying stuck for one more day. Thank you. And wish me luck please. I really need lots of it

  • Rebecca

    “I don’t mean I’d mind being rich and famous. That’s very much on my schedule, and someday I’ll try to get around to it; but if it happens, I’d like to have my ego tagging along. I want to still be me when I wake up one fine morning and have breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Holly Golightly/Truman Capote

  • Michelle K Smith

    As a student and teacher of A Course in Miracles and the Gita and Law of Attraction and the Christian Mystics, I’m finally getting clear that the ego isn’t something you seek to get rid of or dissolve. That just gives it more apparent life. The ego is a thought. A thought of separation. A thought that sponsors other thoughts. “The tiny mad idea at which the One of God remembered not to laugh.” As. E. Tolle writes: “The ego isn’t wrong. It’s just unconscious.” It’s messages (pleasant or painful) are important information about what we’re believing.
    As always, appreciating your walk in the world, Christine. ox

  • Kyia

    Great post!
    I LOVE my ego…it’s just other people that seem to have an issue with it, LOL!
    Glad to read this.

  • Jan Milburn

    No I’m not situated in the financial aspects that is why I’m trying to get everything out of the webinars

  • Kelly

    Thank you for sharing. It’s exactly what I needed to hear today. After attending a master mind retreat this week I experienced a lot of that inner voice and it was overwhelming. I need to adjust the way I view myself and simply take action. This helps me know I’m not alone and it’s just part of the process. ❤️

  • Jenn Dizmang

    “Spiritual Martini” has had me laughing for the last few minutes. Love it! I might have to borrow that phrase!
    Great article…exactly what I needed to hear about taking action

  • Nathalie

    Hell yes!!!

  • Janese Carstens

    “And my needy, grasping, approval-whore who wanted applause and to prove herself to anyone who ever doubted her.”

    Apparently you’ve lived in my head (and I laughed when I read that section I quoted). I’ve struggled with allowing so much of my value to come from outside of myself and those I trust. Now, that I’m turning inward to seek my value, it’s harder to trust that value and not look for approval (even of the fact that I’m looking at myself for value) from others. It’s uncomfortable and unnerving at times but it’s gaining traction and it makes me grateful.

    Thank you for this article!

  • Roxane Lessa

    Ok, I’m getting this now. Radical Acceptance, the wonderful book you sent us, is really helping me with Bitchy Betty ( my old task master/ego). She’s not running the show so much these days. I’m always taking action, but now I’m paying more attention to the source of that action. Thank you for making that choice long ago to take action with your ego and everything else too!

  • Erica

    So timely. I’m becoming much more aware of these qualities in myself that I don’t like – those dark areas. I like how you described it and the whole notion of taking them along for a ride makes sense. I’m working on not resisting them so much but being aware of these parts of me and holding that tension between the two….not getting stuck or paralyzed by them and taking imperfect action. PS – Action was my word of the year this year and looking back on 2014, I’m amazed at the actions I took despite worries, fears, & the need to do things perfectly. Forward progress!

  • Molly Hall

    Christine, Thank you for sharing your sage wisdom in your message today. This article is beautifully written (as usual) and the exact message every solopreneur needs to hear. You are a true gift to us all!

  • Katja

    How about that for serendiptiy? Just yesterday I realized that my frustration with my new business was partially due to missing the “limelight” I got as a performer and teacher in the dance world… I looooove helping people (and Pilates does that for sure) but I do sort of miss the wild and crazy laughter and applaus from the previous career and now that I know that, I can deal with it a lot better… and maybe still find a way to “feed my little ego” a snack from time to time!

  • Sarah

    Wow. This is an amazing article, Christine. Our constant battle with our ego is so frustrating at times. But it is refreshing to hear your approach to accepting its existence and being a whole person. Thank you.

  • Dawn

    Hi Christine,
    I knew I needed to read this article. I was just having those “how ya like me now” daydreams yesterday. When I read the first part of the article, I stilled myself to be chastised. (This speaks more to my punitive mindset than your approach.) Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by encouragement. I hope my primary motivation is a desire to help and serve others. I think my ego is “covering” hurt and pain.
    Thanks Christine!

  • Sue Susnik

    Brilliant timing, Christine – just what I needed to hear! Love your reminder to take all parts of ourself along for the ride, not just the noble part. Thank you 🙂

  • Giovanna

    Ha! Super cool and VERY true! This is a plague especially for women who are subjected to the cultural pressure of perfection! Thanks Christine!