How to Be Aware of
Your Defense Mechanisms
Do you hear that voice in your head? The one trying to steer you in the “right” direction. The one that makes you doubt yourself. The one that determines how you see the world. That’s your ego talking; and it wants to control your life!
Your ego gains this control by employing its defense mechanisms. These defense mechanisms allow you to avoid pain and deal with uncertainty, at least temporarily.
But, left unchecked, your ego and its defense mechanisms can stand between you and the fulfilling life you were meant to live — complete with a meaningful career, healthy relationships, and increased self-awareness.
So how do you take back some of the control your ego is clinging to so tightly? It’s not going to be easy because the desires that drive your ego are buried deep in your unconscious mind, but I believe we can learn to:
- Recognize when our ego is using its defense mechanisms, and then
- We can choose whether or not we’re going to let ego take control of our actions.
And we’re going to take that first step today by learning about 3 defense mechanisms your ego employs to protect itself. By gaining this awareness, we’ll be able to recognize ego’s defense mechanisms in our behavior patterns.
- Rationalization occurs when you use false reasoning to get what you want or to explain away your behavior. Basically, you find a way to justify your actions and behaviors so that they seem more socially acceptable. In the process, you cover up the real reason behind your actions.
- Displacement occurs when you transfer actions or behaviors away from the intended target onto an unrelated, and less threatening, target. Basically, you take your feelings out on someone who had nothing to do with the situation that caused the feelings to begin with.
Keep scrolling for the 3rd defense mechanism.
#3 – Sublimation occurs when you redirect unacceptable desires through socially acceptable channels. Basically, you take the energy created by painful feelings and/or circumstances you have faced and redirect that energy toward a positive, and productive, behavior.
Now that you’ve gained some awareness, start paying attention to your behavior patterns, and see if you can spot when your ego is employing these defense mechanisms. Doing so will help you balance the scales of control with your ego so that your ego doesn’t get in the way of the fulfilling life you were meant to live.
This is just a quick overview; your ego uses several other defense mechanisms. I’ve outlined some of them in this post: Is That Your Ego Talking? How to Know. Plus, we’ll get into a deeper discussion of the three I’ve listed here. So be sure to check that essay post out.
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And until next time . . . have an AWARENESS-FILLED day!
Take a screenshot to easily access this summary of 3 defense mechanisms your ego uses:
- Rationalization – Using false reasoning to explain away your behavior.
- Displacement – Redirecting actions or behaviors away from the intended target to a less threatening target.
- Sublimation – Redirecting negative energy toward positive, and productive, behaviors.
HOW THE EXPECTATION GAPS WORKS
You’re Fed Up With Mediocrity & Want to Make an Impact
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