📝Ego backlash


§ Self-Development Homeostasis

  • You work as a harmonic oscillator: every time you make a significant change, expect a force pulling you back. (→ Homeostasis)

    • It doesn’t really matter whether change is good or bad, the force will be pulling you to the norm.

  • Ego backlash is subtle. It does not announce itself.

    • It feels like a strong emotion. It might be a feeling of need, sadness, or anger (#emotion)

    • We tend to overestimate our progress. When you feel like you’re moving toward enlightenment and overcome most of the challenges, the worse is yet to come.

  • Change does not always come as a move forward. Sometimes, you must break something and disentangle it, to improve it or replace later.

    • Stuff does need to die off. You can’t just pile more and more things.

  • Know your limits. Don’t push too strong so that backfires. You should try to find a pace that is still challenging, but does not tip you over.

    • Beware that your ego might use that to avoid deep work: telling yourself you can’t handle more when you can.

    • Honestly live through backlashes. You might need to backlash two-three-four times before you learn your limits.

  • How to deal with ego backlashes:

    • Expect it. Know how your mind works. Homeostasis is not a bad thing, it’s just how it is. It might even be good when it returns you back from some nasty breakdowns (e.g., bad psychedelic trips)

    • When it starts happening, explicitly label it. (That helps create distance, so you’re not as sucked into it.)

    • Observe it mindfully. (§ Meditation is a good to develop that skill.)

    • (Do NOT make any drastic changes to your life while backlashing. They are likely to be bad decisions.)

    • As much as you can, try to maintain your positive habits, even if you don’t feel like it.

    • Do not get discouraged by it. Frame it as a growth.

      • There is a silver lining to ego backlashes. Yes, it sucks, but these are the moment you learn about yourself the most.

      • Spiritual growth is not a monotonically growing function. (#mastery)

    • Stop expecting quick fixes and easy one-time solutions.

    • Apply self-love

  • Ego backlash can happen to collective egos as well.

    • Spiral dynamics stages can ego-backlash against next stages. e.g., blue/orange backlash against green