Hi, I’m Thea.
I’m a nice person. I’m friendly, compassionate and care about other people’s happiness. Therefore, I don’t have an ego, right?
We tend to think of someone who has a big ego as someone who has an inflated opinion of themselves, and then tries to convince everyone else how wonderful they are. And yes, this is one way ego can assert itself. But really it’s much more complicated than that.
We all have a voice inside our heads. This voice with it’s accompanying thoughts, impulses, emotions all come from our biology and psychology and affect us to varying degrees. Inside our heads, we’re battling daily with the fruits of human evolution. Sparkling new self-control, creative, problem-solving programmes are competing with the age-old legacy software that hijacks us at moments of threat and crisis.
Our ego is….well, no one can definitively say. For the purposes of this blog I am defining my ego as the voice of my inherited humanness. It is a voice that is young and playful like a chimp*, wanting instant gratification and being directed by emotions. It’s also that self-protective part of us that says ‘don’t do that (i.e give a talk, do a parachute jump) because it’s dangerous. Just stay at home and eat ice-cream.’ It’s also the voice of other people’s opinions and behaviour, ‘nice girls don’t...’ or ‘money is bad/good‘. And it can also be the voice of our personal coping strategies and armour that we’ve built up over the years in response to our experiences and influences so far.
It’s a complex, intricate, indefinable thing. Sometimes it’s as vulnerable as a young child who needs loving and nurturing. Other times it thunders in on a cloud of anger and threat and demands you act in ways you normally wouldn’t. Sometimes it disguises itself so well that you don’t know it’s there. Its tools of choice are fear and manipulation, so most of the time we don’t stand a chance. Our ego runs our lives, and unless we become aware of this voice in our heads, understand it, and work with it, we will continue to dance to its tune.
* From The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters.
Me & My Ego is a space for me to share my thoughts and experiences of life, love, parenting and work. I want to connect with other people who also struggle with the voice in their head and want to learn more about it in order to manage it better. Some of my posts will be purely describing scenarios in my life, others will analyse in more detail what is going on. Some will discuss recent scientific research and opinions of other experts, and sometimes I’ll offer tips and advice for us all to try. It’s going to be an organic process where I experiment with what’s going on for me, and what feedback you, the readers, give me. Throughout, I will be honest about what is going on in my head, but due to it’s very nature I may be deceived by my ego! But that’s OK – it is all part of the process.
A bit about me
You may be interested in reading a Q&A article about me from One of Many published in October 2015.
I was born in Sheffield in 1972 but spent my formative years (and lost my Yorkshire accent) in the lovely city of Exeter in what could only be called a commune. I didn’t know it was a commune at the time; we were just the wierd hippy kids who lived with two other families in a big old house. It was the end of the 70s after all. I credit this experience with my being comfortable with doing things differently and having rebellious tendencies.
I trained with the UK College of Life Coaching in 2005, qualifying as a life coach in January 2006. After the College changed it’s name to Coaching & Mentoring International it became part of The Coaching Academy. I also have a somewhat redundant BA (Hons) in History & Sociology, and a slightly more useful MSc in Information Science. (I loved studying for them though, and had a great time – so nothing wasted!)
During the last few years I have been coaching women to develop happier habits because changing our daily thoughts and behaviour has a huge impact on our lives. I have run workshops, online courses, created a Wellbeing course for security staff at Gatwick Airport and managed the Horsham branch of The Mumpreneurs Networking Club for 3 years.
I have three feisty, loud children and I practice daily to live a happy life with them and my husband, Chris, in Sussex.
In the Media
Watch: I appeared on the Chrissy B Show talking about the pros and cons of Perfectionism.