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Fear, the ego and self-sabotage

26. November 2015 - Flow * Ego & selvsabotage
Af: By Anja Vintov, Author & F L O W Expert
Fear, the ego and self-sabotage By Anja Vintov, Author & F L O W Expert

Have we missed out on something very important in the time we´re living in, since an increasing amount of people become ill, stressed out and broken down by the so-called modern life?

What do we carry around in body and mind without even noticing, that it controls our ability to take care of ourselves – and each other?

Here in the welfare-state of Denmark we would like to ooze positive energy and success, but fact is that many people run around chronically worried and afraid without even knowing it.

✽More from the english edition - “Don’t wish it was easier. Wish you were better.” English edition

The consequences to suppressed fear (such as stress, anxiety and depression, unsatisfying results, inner and outer conflicts) are to be seen.

So let us bring the fear out into the daylight and deal with it together.

Fear in perspective

We´re all worried and even frightened sometimes. No one is able to avoid this.

Maybe we just rarely say it out loud to the boss, the colleague or the partner for life, sometimes because we´re simply are not aware of, what controls our actions – and sometimes because we simply don´t have the guts to do it.

Primal fear

Being able to become afraid is a biological mechanism, which has served our ability to survive as a race and is still today very important to us.

We hear a car hit the brakes hard and instantly feel our heartrates increase. We see a kid disappearing in the waves and react by running into the sea or crying out for help.

We hear footsteps behind us on a dark night and prepare ourselves to make a run for it.

The tangible fear is literally palpable.

✽More from the english edition - Good Feng Shui is everything that makes you happy

The primitive pattern of reaction when we are frightened is to run, fight or “freeze” (become paralyzed). When danger has passed our body returns to normal condition again.

Everyday fear

Everyday fear is different. It´s a more subtle and often irrational kind of fear, which isn´t influenced by external factors in the same way as primal fear, and it can be way more damaging to our health, because we are able to create it ourselves. It will reoccur again and again, if we do not teach ourselves how to act through it.

For example, we can be afraid of not being good enough. Afraid of claiming our space, afraid of not being able to perform and live up to demands and expectations, afraid of becoming ill, afraid of making mistakes, afraid of losing, afraid of creating conflicts etc.

We´re unconsciously able to cultivate the everyday fear and let our actions dictate from it, and over time it eats away our resources and relations, including the relation to ourselves.

Without even knowing it, we become self-taught experts in blocking our own flow, when we let everyday fear control our lives.

Everyday fear and consequences

Fear of claiming our space
We don´t say “no” or feel and stand by our own needs. We´ve grown super accustomed to caring for other people´s needs and helping others much more than we help and understand ourselves.

Fear of (not) being okay – getting “caught”
To be a part of the team, we do everything in our power (and often too much) to earn recognition/accept. We haven´t even learned to recognize and accept ourselves.

Fear of losing
we´re accustomed to exercising extreme control, which can lead to jealousy, but it can also result in us not having said “no” and stood by own needs and limits, so that we get stuck in something, that do not serve us.

Fear of getting fired
we overcompensate to show our worth, we create uncertainness by talking about “what if…”instead of looking deeper into all the possibilities occurring when eventually dare being concrete.

Fear of showing vulnerability
We´re afraid of looking so-called “weak” and hide our inner feelings and needs. Instead of being honest misrepresentation and distance dictates the daily energy-level. We protect ourselves so much, that our bodies will carry much more, than what´s healthy for us.

Fear of making wrong the wrong decisions
we battle problems for a long time and become mentally drained of energy. The art of making decisions is connected to trusting, that what we feel we need is also the right thing to do. If we´ve been used to making decisions based on what our surroundings need, then we end up with the feeling of constantly making the wrong decisions, and the fear of making more of them increases. It´s a so-called self-fulfilling prophecy.

Fear of being rejected
We don´t ask for help, put ourselves out there or make ourselves available (neither personally nor professionally).

Fear of failure
We don´t go all the way with our dreams and wishes. We might go some of the way, but then we change course. We procrastinate. We create new projects, that we´ll also follow half through. It can also concern relations to other people, who will eventually be replaced, when they start demanding something from us. We hold ourselves back, as well as our dreams and ambitions. We may have a hard time acknowledging our own mistakes as so-called opportunities to improve, and we often blame our surroundings or other people for our situation.

Fear of being successful
We have been so accustomed to believing, that things are hard and difficult, and that what´s well known is also more safe for the body- even if it doesn´t serve us. Then, when everything starts working out for us, we unconsciously find ways to sabotage the success, so we´re able to return to the safe, but hard and difficult comfort-zone. What´s “too good to be true” becomes reality.

Fear of being visible
We do not express our needs or limits, but we desire to be seen and heard. We let others take control and we feel the frustration and sadness instead of inner strength and openness.

Fear of conflicts
We bent over backwards, deviate from our opinions, needs and wishes and do everything to straighten out and suppress our feelings to avoid feeling other people´s anger – and avoid getting in touch with our own.

Fear of responsibility
We can be afraid of having more responsibility in one or more aspects of our lives (concerning a promotion, for example) because we have a tendency of taking on too much responsibility in everything and everyone in general. It´s often connected to not having learned to take care of ourselves and saying “yes” or “no”.

Dissolve the everyday fear with everyday courage

To start understanding what we can do to become more conscious of, what controls our actions in the everyday life, we must relate to the ego and our ability to learn. We have to dare to look more closely at ourselves and find courage to dare to take action on needs – rather than acting from fear.

✽More from the english edition - Umahro’s 10 Dietary Commandments Anno 2015

Know your ego

In some circles the ego is severely criticized. The other day, I sat at a conference on “management and trust”. I overheard one of the participants say, that the ego is to blame for the lack of trust in the leaders , because they have too large egos.

But this is only partially true. You can´t measure the egos by the same standards and say in general, that the ego is a terrible thing, you have to shed or overcome. The ego is not a bad thing. It just has to be led and developed like every other aspect of us.

Without the ego, we´re literally lost

The ego is one of our minds fundamental functions. It´s a feeling of having an individual-self different from everything else. Our personal-self. “Here I am – there you are”. The ego evokes our personal identity, which is unique and different from everybody elses.

The central functions of the ego

The most important purpose of the ego is to protect ourselves and see to that we´re physically and mentally in shape. The ego despises failure, because failure puts us in a bad light. To the ego failure equals a psychological death, which we´ll try to avoid at any price.

✽More from the english edition - Are you postponing and procrastinating the things you want to do?

The egos primary tool for avoiding failure is fear. When we know the its “fear strategies”, we can start looking deeper into ourselves - not by suppressing our ego – because that would be the same as suppressing ourselves – but by discovering and becoming aware of, how we react, when we´re scared….then we can start working on gaining everyday courage and integrity.

The fear strategies of the ego

The ego´s leaps to protect us against the feeling of not succeeding.

The prosecutor:

We blame other people and circumstances for our feeling of lack of success.

“I would have done it, if Tine had not been absent, because her child is ill. We would have a far better family-life, if my husband wasn´t so much away from home”

The passive hesitant:

The passive hesitant protects him / herself from situations, where failure is in fact a possibility – The problem is, that there´s often great potential in such situations, but you never benefit from it.

“I´m not the type, that takes a risk. I don´t like new situations, I won´t put myself in embarrassing situations.”

The perfectionist:

The perfectionist exercises extreme engagement, usually connected to large costs such as unbalance between work- and family-life and stress-related illnesses.

“I never give up. I´m hard-working. I`m always the one to carry most of the weight here.”

The under-actor:

The under-actor puts restraints on his/her effort or performance, so that if he/she fails, there´s actually a reason for it.

“I would have succeeded, if I had really tried. “

“I tried, but I didn´t succeed.”

“At least I´m that type of person, who gives it a try.”

“I could have done better”

When we´re to lead ourselves and our egos in direction of feeling both inner and outer success instead of sabotaging our possibilities and find external reasons for why, things don´t work out the way, they´re supposed to, we should look at our body and mind as a whole.

✽More from the english edition - How to make your own personal manifestation altar

Baby-steps towards large changes

Our system, body and mind primarily learn new patterns of behavior in two ways; through repetition - by repeating and repeating – and through pain/trauma.

For example, if we´ve for many years had trouble asking for help and have taken care of everything for everybody and suppressed our own needs and feelings, we eventually have to give up, perhaps with absence from work because of stress to follow, which means, that we´ve learned our lesson through pain, and the ego has taken “a clout on the head”.

Subsequently, we must slowly begin to put our own needs a little more in front of others and sometimes admit to ourselves, that we´re no superhuman. We do that by practicing telling other people “yes” and “no” over and over again.

In the beginning is no walk in the park, but it gets easier and easier, and in the end it´s an integrated part of us.

It´s an advantage to remember, that it´s actually far worse to be stuck in an unhealthy pattern, than to remove yourself from it, step by step.

Fortunately, the everyday life offers many situations, where we can practice new ways to be in this world, and the inner strength comes from daring to act in accordance with the new needs having arised from the painful incident, we´ve experienced.

It could be the need to take better care of yourself , be more clear and distinct in statements , and stand by who you are deep inside, and who you really want to be.

If we sincerely have a dream of creating a good life with a superior flow, which means, that we - without resistance and taring ourselves apart - greet the challenges, life would bring us, the foundation has to be right.

In order to be able to break new grounds in life, fulfill ambitions and explore new relations, we must learn how we (despite fear) take care of ourselves and act on our needs. But to have the comprehension or knowledge is never enough, we also have to be able to act on, what we´ve learned. The more we know – without knowing how to act on it (rather than not knowing anything), the more pain it brings us.

I often meet people, who are extremely intelligent, well-read, ambitious and well-educated, and who know a lot about how to live life, mentally speaking.

They just haven´t done it in real life. They haven´t set their body and mind in motion and actually taken the steps.

✽More from the english edition - Love is not a game for sissies

It has stayed a mental-project, because in the short run it´s the safest.

It takes a little of us to dare living life– but in exchange we get tenfold back, because we learn how to create comfort from inside, and because our system open up to start receiving and giving in a much higher level, when fear doesn´t control our actions any longer.

Everyday courage is the key to a life in motion.

When the inner world is safe – the outer world lies at your feet.

When we are aware of how fear works in our system, we can end all kinds of inhuman and careless behaviours towards each other.

Everything begins with a step in one direction. Choose yours wisely. Take this day today and make it a peaceful and loving one. Reach out. No matter what ever is asking you. No matter what you fear the most. End all quarrels and share kisses, hugs and deep emotions with and open Heart.

Take this day to do some Heart Talk instead of Hard Talk, with the ones you love.

Life is now - Be Brave.


Books by Anja Vintov.

The book about everyday-courage “(flyt dig lidt” – små skridt til store forandringer”) –Published from Gads Forlag.

Read more about Anja at

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