Wanting to be someone else is a
waste of the person you are.
—Kurt Cobain; you know
who this one is, right?
When I first started getting into selfhelpery, there was lots of talk about
something called the “Ego” that confused
the hell out of me. I always thought that
Ego was about being conceited and
braggy and all, “I’m gonna talk on and
on and on about how great I am and then
I’m gonna show you my muscles.”
Meanwhile, even though arrogance and
conceit (which are different from selflove and confidence, BTW) are part of
the Ego, they’re not, as I later learned,
the whole dealio.
In the self-help/spiritual community,
“Ego” is used to refer to the shadow
self, or the false self, or the self that’s
acting like a weenie. It’s the part of us
that’s driving the bus when we do things
like sabotage our happiness by cheating
on our husbands or wives because deep
down we don’t feel worthy of being
loved, or that refuses to follow our
hearts and pursue an acting career
because we’re terrified to be seen for
who we really are or that goes on and on
and on and on about how great we are
and shows off our muscles because
we’re insecure and need lots of outside
validation that we’re good enough.
In other words, there’s more than one
way to go on an ego trip.
From here on out, I’m going to refer
to the Ego as the Big Snooze. Or BS for
short. I think it’ll be less confusing. Plus
I think it’s more appropriate, since the
leading cause of sucking (staying broke,
dating morons, uncontrollably crying in
public because we hate our lives) is that
we haven’t yet woken up to how truly
powerful we are or to how massively
abundant our Universe is.
Alrighty, so, moving forward.
The Big Snooze operates according
to your limiting false beliefs. This is the
garbage that was stuffed into your
subconscious as a kid that doesn’t ring
true for you, as well as the decisions
you’ve made about yourself that are
less-than flattering or empowering. It
gets validation from outside sources
(I’m doing this to win your love, your
opinion of me is more important than my
opinion of me), it’s reactive (My
circumstances control my life, I am a
victim), fear-based, and extremely
committed to keeping you safely
confined within the reality you’ve
created based on these limiting false
beliefs (otherwise known as your
comfort zone). The Big Snooze lives in
the past and in the future and believes
you are separate from everything around
Your true self or your higher self or
your superhero self (your non-BS self),
on the other hand, is the part of you that
operates according to your connection to
Source Energy. It gets validation from
within (I love and trust myself, this feels
right to me, I have a purpose, I am
loved), it’s proactive (I’m in control of
my life, I think I’ll head on out and kick
me some ass), love-based, and is
committed to creating a reality based on
your limitless potential—as soon as you
wake up from the Big Snooze. Your true
self lives in the present (not stuck in
your head), totally believes in miracles
and is one with the Universe.
We all experience life in varying
degrees from both perspectives, and
while I seriously doubt there’s anyone
who’s totally Snooze-free, most people
are so wrapped up in the BS that they’re
settling for realities that are waaaaaaaay
beneath what’s available to them.
Very few people are even aware of
what’s available, however, because we
live in a fear-based society that loves to
get all uppity toward people who wake
up from the Big Snooze, blast out of their
comfort zones, and follow their hearts
into the great unknown. Oftentimes,
taking great leaps of faith is labeled as
irresponsible or selfish or insane (until
you succeed of course, then you’re
brilliant). This is because:
Watching someone else
totally go for it can be
credibly upsetting to
the person who’s spent
a lifetime building a
solid case for why they
themselves can’t.
I’m obviously generalizing, and there
are plenty of people out there cheering
us on, but one of the first things you
might have to deal with when you decide
to wake up from the Big Snooze and
make massive positive changes in your
life is disapproval from other people
who are snoring away. Especially the
people closest to you, lame as this may
They may express their discomfort in
all sorts of ways: anger, hurt, bafflement,
criticism, snorting every time you talk
about your new business or your new
friends, constant remarks about how
you’re not the way you used to be, brow
furrowing, worrying, teasing, blocking
you from all social media outlets, etc.
Shirley, are you really going to quit
your secure, corporate job to open a
nail salon when you’ve got two
children, a mortgage, and high blood
pressure? So few new businesses
succeed, especially in this economy—
aren’t you worried about what will
happen to your family if you fail?
Of course Shirley is worried about
what will happen to her family if she
fails! She wakes up every night seized
by panic about it, but she’s moving past
her fear to create something she’s really
psyched about, rather than dying a slow
painful death hanging around the
watercooler with you, whining about
how dry the cake was at the birthday
party your boss threw for you in the
conference room last week.
Even though they’re often doing it out
of love and concern, having others smear
their fear and worry all over you is the
last thing you need when you’re
strengthening your superhero muscles to
step out and take some risks, so I highly
recommend keeping your mouth shut
around people who are gonna bring you
down. Instead, seek out those who are
already totally kicking butt (or who are
lifting up their foot to do so), or people
who you know will be supportive, and
confide in them. Because you’ll have
your own internal freak show to deal
with as you try to overcome the
objections from your own BS.
The Big Snooze is like an
overprotective Italian mother who not
only doesn’t want you to ever go
outside, but who wants you to live with
her forever. Her intentions are good, but
fully fear-based. As long as you stay
inside the familiar, risk-free zone of your
present reality, the Big Snooze is
content, but should you try and sneak
past her to attend the rockin’ party
outside, your overprotective, controlling
mother is going to claw, scratch, scream,
bite, hurl her body in front of your
rapidly approaching new life—basically
she’s going to do whatever she can to
stop you. And it ain’t gonna be pretty.
It’s like when you quit smoking or
doing drugs and go into withdrawal.
Finally, you’ve taken a leap and done
something that’s going to massively
improve your life, and for days,
sometimes weeks, you feel worse than
you did when you were a wild child.
You’re hacking up all this nasty crap,
ridding your body of toxins, shaking,
sweating, puking, wondering why on
Earth you thought this was a good idea.
It’s really fun.
Same goes for when we rid ourselves
of limiting subconscious beliefs that
have been holding us back and take a
giant leap outside our comfort zone. It’s
a detox of such staggering proportions
that sometimes it can feel like The
Universe is conspiring against us—trees
fall on our cars, our computers crash, we
find our significant others in bed with
our best friends, we get our identities
stolen, we get the flu, our roofs cave in,
we sit in gum—when in reality, The Big
Snooze is creating chaos in an attempt to
self-sabotage and keep everything as is,
instead of moving forward into
unknown, yet desperately wanted, new
territory. Every successful person knows
this and has been through this.
When taking great leaps
forward, life often turns
to shit before it turns to
I realize this might seem a bit farfetched, but remember, you create your
reality. And you’ve spent a lifetime
creating the one you presently have
largely based on your limiting beliefs.
When you decide to re-wire these
beliefs, go for what’s truly in your heart
and do a massive overhaul on yourself
and your world, you’re basically
murdering the Big Snooze. And she is
going to come at you, rolling pin raised
high over her head, to beat you back into
your old life. We are very powerful
creatures who create our realities
through focused energy, and should our
subconscious mind decide to focus that
energy at stopping ourselves from taking
a risk because it’s freaking out and
terrified, things can get a little crazy
around here.
The Big Snooze will do
everything it can to stop you from
changing and growing, especially
since you’re attempting to
obliterate the very identity that
you and everyone else has come
to know as “you.”
Never underestimate the power of the
Big Snooze scorned.
Sometimes the Big Snooze sets up
emotional blocks to try and stop us,
other times she gets physical. I have a
client who decided to quit his ho-hum
yet high-paying job to start his dream
company from scratch. He had no idea
where to start, what he wanted to do or
how he was going to pull it off, and
regardless of the fact that he had a family
that was counting on him, no guarantees
and even fewer leads, he quit his secure
job and went for it because he was
determined to create a life he loved.
That’s when the BS hit the fan—he got
not one, but two flat tires after leaving a
coaching session with me, his babysitter
ran into his wife’s car while driving his
car, the water main under his kitchen
exploded, and right before his first big
deal went through, he got hit by a freakin
bus (I’m pleased to report he’s fine). But
even with all those extremely convincing
excuses to say Ok, fine, screw it, you
win, he never gave up. Today he finds
himself being his own boss, doing what
he loves, traveling the world, negotiating
multi-million dollar deals, making a
huge difference in his clients’ lives,
being creative and setting an excellent
example for his kids about living life on
A record producer I worked with
decided to build her own recording
studio. She put all her money and effort
into buying all the recording equipment,
instruments, amps, soundproofing, etc.,
only to have the entire thing burn to the
ground almost immediately after it was
completed. Instead of closing the shades,
getting into bed and sucking her thumb
for the next two years, she raised the
money she needed to rebuild an even
better studio and is now rocking so hard
that she gets to hand pick the musicians
she works with and basically live out
her fantasy life.
So if you finally decide to quit your
soul-crushing job and start the pastry
shop of your dreams, be not upset if a
truck drives through your front window
into your scones. Instead of taking this as
a sign that you shouldn’t have opened
your shop, take it to mean that you’re
ridding yourself of your BS and moving
in the right direction.
Growth ain’t for weenies, but it’s no
where near as painful as living the life
you’re living right now if you’re not
really going for it. If you want to take
control of your life and turn it into
something as spectacularly “you” as
have the people I described above, stop
at nothing. Have faith. Trust that your
new life is already here and is far better
than the old. Hang tight if the Big Snooze
pitches a fit. Whatever happens, stay the
course, because there’s