Ego traps are psychological strategies that help us deal with the uncertainty and ambiguity of existence.

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Making Assumptions::

An assumption is a supposition. When we make an assumption, we believe that something is true based on what we think is true – without proof. Assumptions can be about others, yourself, or a certain situation in life. Assumptions often sound like this: “He treats me this way because ____”, “They think I’m a ____”, “I always do this because ____”.

Why it’s harmful: Assumptions create a lot of unnecessary emotional and mental pain, especially if you always assume the worst. Assumptions can also lead you to make false judgments about others. This can harm and even destroy relationships with the people you care about.

Negative Comparisons::

A comparison is a judgment we make when we measure two or more people/things against each other. Comparisons, for example, can exist between you and others, for instance, “He’s way smarter than me” and “My body is so fat in comparison to hers.” Comparisons can also exist between ourselves and our ideas of what should happen, e.g., “I should be able to work harder,” “I should be better at socializing.”  Dissatisfaction and low self-esteem are the two characteristics that drive comparison: we want to be better, more perfect, more ideal, and excel over others. Furthermore, comparison also drives competition: we use other people and our ideals as a yardstick of success.

Why it’s harmful:  Comparison breed tremendous jealousy and envy resulting in anger, pain, and frustration. These angst-ridden emotions put a large strain on our relationships with others and frequently destroy friendships, family connections, and romantic partnerships.

Strict Expectations::

To expect is to have the preconceived idea that something should happen or will happen. Expectations are usually created by the mind that likes to possess control – even over future outcomes. When an expectation is challenged or not met, the result is anxiety, inner turmoil, and anger/rage. For instance, if you unconsciously expect your boss to treat you nicely, and are let down by their arrogance, you feel upset and filled with anger. Expectations stem from misguided certainty, and this is a symptom of security-seeking behavior. You can also create expectations for yourself, for instance, you may unconsciously think “I will blush and start to stutter,” and immediately … you do!

Why it’s harmful:  Expecting certain behaviors from others usually results in disappointment, confusion, frustration, and anger – and this causes strain on our relationships. Furthermore, setting high expectations for yourself also results in suffering as you are, after all, human and imperfect. Expectations can also become self-fulfilling prophecies: they manipulate the outcome of a situation by predetermining whether it will be good or bad. For example, if you expect to be anxious, 99.9% of the time you will be. This can have an immensely negative impact on your life when your mind is already biased against you.


All too often we live with the inner tension of conflicting desires that we fear will be socially unacceptable. Let’s say you want to laugh loudly and freely, but you know others will look at you strangely, so you suppress that authentic self-expression. Or perhaps you like a movie or a song that you know your friends don’t like, so you bury that desire away and forget about it.

While suppression can be helpful in some situations (like taking care of small, demanding children), it can be toxic when done regularly. Suppression doesn’t make a feeling, impulse, or thought within you go away. In fact, it can make it build inside like a pool of lava that is ready to explode at any point in the future.

Why it’s harmful: Suppression is a major obstacle in self-growth and living a fulfilling life because it results in an inability to be authentic to yourself (which is the key element in self-love). The more you suppress within yourself, the more you have to adopt a false persona or mask to deal with the outer world. The more you wear this mask, the phonier you feel, and an increasing level of disconnection from your Soul occurs.

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