19 Lies Your Ego Tells to Keep You Safe (and staying small)

I sat there in my office chair for 15 eternal minutes…my finger shaking as I hovered my mouse over the SEND button…just sick to my stomach.

I couldn’t do it.

I released a deep noisy breath from the shallows of my throat and cupped both hands over my face… and then ran my fingers through a long brown tangled mess of uncombed-overworked-entrepreneurial-hair.

I almost cried.  My throat was tight.   It felt like the death of me + my business.

“You’ll bother them.”

“They won’t remember you….you’re just spam.”

“Who do you think you are?”

“You. Suck. At. This.”

My inner, egoic chatter was brutal.

Yep.  That was me.  Sending off  my first email newsletter of all time.  To 40 people.

A little dramatic?  Maybe.  But you’re lying, fearful ego will do just about anything to get their way….. be comfortable….be safe…. And keep the status quo.

I won’t ask you if you’ve been there or somewhere similar, because I know better.

We’ve ALL been there.  Immersed in fear.  Paralyzed by our own thoughts.

Lied to by your own self.

When I finally untangled my fingers from my hair… I looked up and caught the bullet points within my own newsletter that was glaring back at me…

Bullet point number 3 then SCREAMED at me.

It read:

In that moment,  it all became clear.  Here I sat, with a message from MYSELF.

(Duh right coach!?)

I AM stronger than I think. 

This was NOT a lie.  It was indeed the truth.  My heart knew it.

And if I didn’t consciously get over the lies MY ego was telling to keep ME safe, then I’d stay small too.

In my heart of hearts I knew I was destined for something greater.

In that moment — I became more willing that I EVER had been… to confront the fears that held me back.

This time I took a cleansing breath.  And became still.  I thanked my ego for working overtime and for keeping me safe.

Awake to my own beautiful lies…. I clicked SEND.

Your Ego LIES.  Here’s WHY. 

Simple answer?  You’re human.  Your ego comes as part of the package of YOU.

 And one of the biggest jobs of your ego is to protect you. 

Nice, right?   In theory yes.  But ego sometimes acts like a warrior with a pack of swords on her back when you’re doing things like….errr…sending an email. 

Overkill, my dear ego… (sheesh, settle down!)

But there is some risk there right?   And she doesn’t want that for you.

So, when you are trying to go full out, play a bigger game and be more successful in your life — your ego can be a little over zealous.

Let’s just rationalize and get clear on  this for a moment.

Ego likes to keep you safe from: 

Failure.  Success.  Being seen.  Being judged.  Not being approved of.   Not being loved.   Criticism.  Being wrong.  Being imperfect.  Risk.  Discomfort.

Pick your fear.  She/he will outdo themselves to make sure you don’t have to face it, and more so… FEEL IT.

Here’s What I Know:   

Awareness is power.

What lies are you telling YOU that keep you from your dreams.  That sabotage your success in the name of staying safe?

I’ve been coaching for a lot of beautiful years — and I’ve narrowed down a list of some of the common egoic lifes, beliefs and all out doozy’s that keep you safe… and playing small.

If you’ve heard any variation of the thoughts below running wild in your mind — you are not alone.

It’s time to stand in your greatness — don’t you think?   Awareness is the first step.

Here we go… 19 LIES YOUR EGO TELLS TO KEEP YOU SAFE (and playing small)

  1. I’m not smart enough:  Hey, I’m all for learning new skills, doing what it takes + using that brain of yours (because when we use it, we get smarter!)  But a belief that “I’m not smart enough” really is just a thought that protects you from failure.   Now, I get it.  Not everyone can be a brain surgeon.  But chances are it’s not your passion.  And the thing that IS your passion — you’ve already got most of the mojo for, and can learn what you need to go the distance.
  2. I’m not good enough:   Good enough for what I ask you? For who?   “I’m not good enough” is rooted in our need for approval.  And I get it… the mother of the kid next door told you were a horrible human being for going out of turn with the lady bug toy.  (whoops, that’s mine) and suddenly that rush of shame turns into “I’m not good”.    I can make light about neighbor ladies and toys, but truth is childhoods are not for the faint of heart, and we gather the data for that lie from a very early age in some way or another.    These lies turn into handy coping mechanisms for the Ego when she/he is up against something fearful, like change.   Or something you WANT, and would like more than anything to have in your life.  But, are you good enough for it?   Ego says, “Wait… wait…. Let’s examine the files.  Turns out you’re not good enough…. remember…. we collected the data on this a long time ago… do we really have to revisit this again?  Let’s not.”
  1. I’m  not beautiful enough:  Let’s face it.  There is a lot of comparison going on out there… I’m not beautiful, I’m not thin or I’m not fit enough and I’m afraid to BE SEEN are all part of this nasty set of lies.  You’d be shocked if I told you just how many entrepreneurs I work with that won’t do a live stream, or do a video, or get their pics done because they aren’t beautiful enough, or have such a fear of being seen… flaws and all.   It’s a handy way to stay small, isn’t it?   Because if you’re hiding, you’re not living life or doing business to the fullest.  (and here’s a thought for you, most people LOVE real people they can relate to, not airbrushed cover girls. What if you believed that instead?)  YOU are enough, right now.  Just sayin’.
  2. I’m  not worthy or lovable:   I was about 14 years old and sat in a Weight Watchers meeting with my mom.  I’ll never forget one of the ladies there, pouring her sweet heart out… I almost cried.  She said — I’ll get my ears pierced when I lose 25 more pounds.  I remember thinking — what?  Why not now?   Through my coach eyes I know the answer.   She had set up prerequisites for self love and worth.  I’ll love myself and reward myself when I’m 25 pound thinner.  When I’m WORTHY of it.  (kind of bleeds into the above, doesn’t it)  I imagine that she didn’t allow the rest of the world to love her either.  “I’ll be worthy or lovable when…. “  fill in the blank.  Is a trap.  And keeps you small.   This is by far the most important work you can do in your journey to creating your empire.  It’s layered.  It’s deep.  And you’re worth it.
  3. They will think I’m crazy:  Truth is…they might.  They might have all kinds of thoughts about you.  They might judge you.  They might talk about you.  They might think ALL kinds of things about you.  In fact, it’s not just “might”.  They WILL.  You’re probably like, “Lori, c’mon that’s not very comforting!”   Well, I’d rather have you get comfortable with the fact that it doesn’t matter what they think…. Or even what you THINK they think.  Because anything less halts your ability to move forward.  I get it.  Judgement is painful, and ego will outdo herself to escape it.  But their opinions won’t give you a weekly paycheck, nor do they offer you your dream life.
  4. I don’t have time:  I’ve got 4 kids, and very full business.   And little “time”.  But funny thing is…when I REALLY want something, I make the time.  I somehow downright manifest the time.  It shows up.   But place change or something a little scary in front of me … and BAM suddenly I don’t have the time.  It’s such a lovely reason (err excuse) … and such a great way to talk myself right out of going big and being GREAT.   Sometimes you just gotta call yourself out on your own stuff.  You’ve got the time, and you can make the time.  End of story.
  5. That’s just the way I am: Somehow we got sucked into this belief that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  Or that change isn’t possible.  Like you have to throw your hands up in the air and surrender to the fact that you are just XYZ.  Fill that blank in…  That’s just the way I am… I’m…..   (Scattered? Lazy? Unwilling?  A pushover?  A follower?  Shy?  Slow learner?  Intolerant?  Hate change?)  Here’s what I know…  you don’t have to define yourself by anything.  And change is possible.  As a coach, it’s all I DO know.  Sounds cliche but change IS the only constant, thank goodness.    And “the way you are” need not be used for an excuse to stay small anymore.  Unless of course, that’s just the way you are.  (wink, wink)
  6. It will never work out: You can see by now where this is headed… but a belief that says “that’ll never work out is just a fear of failure, or success for that matter.  Ok — so I know you might be good at predicting an outcome based on your business savvy — but check in.   Is this a thought based in intuition, in solid and savvy street smarts… or is it fear based and holding you back from taking a much needed leap?  Don’t let your ego trick you either.  Remember it will lie to you to keep you safe… so do a little soul searching when you hear yourself chanting the it-won’t-ever-work-no-way-no-how mantra.  It could be a lie to keep you safe + playing small.
  7. I can’t:   Here’s my take.  You are stronger than you think you are!   You can. And that includes sending emails, making cold calls + public speaking darling.  All of it.   It’s so disempowering to your psyche, and to your spirit for that matter to utter “ I can’t”  under your breathe, or let that run rampant in your mind.   “I can’t.”  “I can’t.”  “I can’t.”  It’s a lie.  What if you can?  What if you just WON’T?   At least own it.  I won’t.   That’s right.   A least you stand in your power.   “I can’t” is a lie.  I won’t is power.   Now…. I’m sure you can find some limit in which you really can’t do the impossible.  You can’t eat bricks.  You can’t morph into a shark.   Ok… you got me.  But let’s not nitpick.  Look at what how you’re ego uses these two words to keep you small + safe.
  8. .I need to be perfect: This lie is SO slick.  Why?  Because you’ll never be perfect.  Perfection is only a judgement, based on a set of preferences, expectations + circumstance.   You’re ego can use this one over and over and over — because guess what?   You’ll never be perfect.  So you’ve got all the padding you’ll need to stay the same, and keep your ego comfy.   You’ll never be perfect to your ego…  but if you do the work of dropping perfectionism — you’ll step into a new kind of perfect that will serve you.  Perfect imperfection.  And there is power in that.
  9. I don’t deserve it:  What don’t you deserve?  Money, respect, kindness, success?  Somewhere along the line this notion of “deserving” got attached to personal qualities.  Quite frankly, it’s a little screwed up.  You deserve “it”  only if you work hard, are good enough, smart enough, perfect enough, beautiful enough…. Maybe you deserve it because you “earned”  whatever IT is.  And who decides if you are worthy enough to deserve anything?   And guess what.  Your ego buys into this hook line and sinker — because here’s a great way to keep you small, and safe.  “You don’t deserve it anyway.  You were a crappy    You’ll never amount to anything.  You didn’t get the grades.  You didn’t win the medal.”   I mean really…. Who makes this stuff up?  You are deserving.  Since the day you were born.  Of everything you’ve ever wanted.  Guilt free.  No paybacks necessary.  (except when you’re inspired to pay it forward –which usually comes from a person who believes that everyone is deserving…and that’s a whole ‘nother beautiful story.)
  10. I’m not lucky: If you say so, then you’re right.  If you’re not lucky… you get to hang out in the sad camp of  the “unlucky ones”.  Life just doesn’t serve up the good stuff to you.  You know I’m the mother of 4 kids because I’ve got  The Little Mermaids, Poor Unfortunate Souls song  ringing through my head right now!    Success only happens to the lucky, right?    What then would inspire your ego to take the leap, ever?  Because you’re not one of the lucky ones, your just doomed?  Sounds like a pretty safe comfy place to be.  Sounds like there’s no risk here. So, if you can relate just a little too much, check this belief.    Listen — you create your own luck, and it starts with your attitude and inner conversation.  Luck is combination of strategy and consistency and skill and mindset and conscious creation.  Say this instead — “I create my own luck.”
  11. I’ll start tomorrow (or will start again or someday):  If you are the king or queen of “I’ll start that XYZ project/program/goal tomorrow….”  and it never happens…. you’re not alone.  It’s yet another sneaky lie that you’re ego tells to keep you flying under your own BS radar…. And playing small.  I say stop “starting”.  And just be in motion, keeping promises to yourself and forgiving yourself when you don’t.   “I’ll start tomorrow” is a mental loophole that offers your ego EASE (feel that? “Yes, I’m still going for it!  I’m so doing this!  Starting tomorrow!”) but happily keeps you in the same place…day after day after day….because you’ve always got tomorrow.  Never “start”, and never wait to begin. Just simply continue from where you are, right now.  Doing it better.  Trying new things.  Loving the journey.
  12. I just don’t have what it takes: So this.  It’s a thing that people say when someone didn’t make it.  “She didn’t have what it takes… poor thing.”   Or from a place of righteousness… “He didn’t have what it takes.  He’s not the best of the best.”   Right?   What’s the “what it takes” recipe anyway?  Who makes that up?  Who’s the expert?   I can tell you — “what it takes” is not the same for everyone.  And when you hide behind this egoic lie before you’ve even tried — well that’s just fear of failure.  Before you believe it — question it.   And then try this on for size… “I don’t know what it takes, and I can’t wait to find out.”
  13. It’s not the right time:   And it will never be.  It’s never going to feel like the right time to do something scary.  To step outside your comfort zone. To make the change.  To do what you want.   To be who you want to be.  To live the life you you’ve dreamed of.    Your ego will HIGHLY suggest you don’t… and “it’s just not right time” is a perfect chant to keep you from harm’s way.  That cleanse you’ve been thinking about doing?  I’m sure there’s a better time to get healthy.   That business you want to launch?  You’ve got too much going on to become wealthy +free.  (again, wink! I like a little sarcasm don’t you?)   Look — there will be a thousand reasons why NOW isn’t right… I get it.  But don’t let this be the one that snuck up and bit you, and kept you from really creating the life you wanna live.  My brother Josh would say, “When’s the best time to plant a tree?”  Me: NOW.    Him:  20 years ago.   Ahhhh!  I  was a sucker and didn’t see that one coming.  He’s right.  Live in the now so you don’t look back and wished you woulda.
  14. I need to win the lottery:  Ok… let me have a little chat with your ego before I go here…  if you want to win the lotto, ok.   No problem.  You get to want what you want, of course.   Let’s just be open to the power within for a moment, shall we?  The thing inside of you that says, “I just need to win the lottery” just might be attached to a feeling of powerlessness and scarcity, because you don’t believe you can create or make a lot of money.  And here’s the other kicker… the belief that you might win is all well and good — BUT it could keep you from creating your own financial wins…which requires getting into the mindset and action.   I’m pretty sure with the right tools, the right opportunity, and the right coach  you can hit your jackpot.  Your odds of  “winning” will increase big time by the way.
  15. I’m not responsible: Look, life doesn’t just happen TO you.  You really are the artist, the creator + the inventor of your life and reality.  I believe in a 100% responsibility model that says — I’m responsible for my life.    The good, the bad, and the ugly as they say.  To not take responsibility is give away your power.  You’re ego will be comfortable, however.   Because there is no challenge or change here.  Because it’s easy to be a victim of life, versus the one who has to take responsibility for any perceived failure.   And noticed I say perceived failure… in truth there IS none.
  16. I don’t know how:  It was my last year of my Masters program and I had to fulfill a few electives.  I chose Personal Development.  (imagine that)  We sat around an intimate table while my professor rolled out the expectations… he talked about vulnerability, and expression and trust.  Then he started talking about the wave of the future.  He talked about the world wide web.  He said EMAIL would be the new norm.  What is this?  Personal Development or Star Trek?   He expected us to stretch ourselves… and send EMAIL.  I was like… SCOFF.  I’m not doing that.  I don’t wanna.  This is ridiculous. I’ll never use this in my whole career.  And to make matters worse…. I don’t know how.  I remember scooting myself down to the college computer lab at least 5x to fulfill my requirements….  It’s safe to say that today, I know how to send email.  I know how.  But here’s the thing… my ego created a huge storm back then because she liked the status quo.  Poor Dr. Ray.  I should really apologize for being so difficult 😉   If not knowing how is your ego’s story… time to learn baby!
  17. I can’t afford it.  THIS is the mother of all. If your ego is freaking out over anything… “I can’t afford it” to the rescue.  It’s reliable as hell.  Can get you out of almost any tight situation, right?  And before you start pulling out your bank statements to prove your lack of wealth, know that I’m much more concerned about your the beliefs you hold, and the lies you tell yourself.  I want you to stand in your power.    Right now in this red hot moment you might not have an extra $5000 to invest in your business…. And you MIGHT say, “I can’t afford it”.  But here’s the question,  could you create it to afford what you want?  YES.Stop saying you “can’t afford it” to yourself… and stop spewing that into the world.  Truth is — you CAN afford it.  You are working on affording it.  You are clever and creative and WILL afford it.  And I don’t care if it’s a huge business investment or you want to get healthy, or buy a new car, or grab that sexy new pair of heels (or berks).  You CAN afford it.  Empower your life and language with that and funny things happen… you might find yourself affording it.

So I hope you enjoyed these 19 LIES.  Sneaky little buggers, aren’t they?  Which one or two or three of these resonate with you the most?  Comment below.

Here’s some final words for you….

You SPEAK and THINK you’re life into existence.  If these words are floating through your brain and out your mouth – CHECK them.   Truth is — you can have the life you want.  The sooner you clean up these lies, the sooner and more effortlessly you’ll meet your goals and dreams.  😉