Who is in charge – you or your trickster ego?
Dealing With Your Trickster Ego
Are you making decisions based on your most deeply held values? Do your choices reflect your emotional desires of the moment but not your priorities?
You want to make courageous decisions in synch with your best self, but that means reducing the power of that aspect of your ego that is a trickster. Your trickster ego leads you to make bad decisions out of fear, preventing you from being true to yourself.
The trickster ego likes instant gratification. It is afraid it won’t get its needs met if you don’t hurry up and do what will produce fast results. Integrity goes by the wayside as the trickster ego rushes to get things done.
You think you are on the right track but you do not listen to your wise inner self that whispers, “Slow down and be cautious! You are headed in the wrong direction!” The trickster ego makes you feel everything is going well, but it is deceiving you.
Your trickster ego is guided by fear that keeps you from dreaming big and listening to your inner wisdom. It steers you toward compromises that do not honor what is important to you and causes you to make mistakes.
Even if you achieve some success through following your trickster ego’s guidance, that success will be limited and ultimately unfulfilling. It’s not easy to admit how much this aspect of your ego has influenced you—and misled you with false promises that you will feel happy and contented if you just do its bidding.
Yet if you can be brave and acknowledge how much you have been misled by your fears, you can recommit to being true to yourself—and taming your trickster ego.
When you are honest with yourself, you can more easily see when you are being distracted by surface successes and rewards that don’t make you feel happy and empowered. Deeper successes that are in synch with your values often require a deeper commitment to being true to yourself. It takes courage to make decisions from your most deeply held values and banish worry, fear, and expediency.
Making decisions based in your most deeply held values requires you to quiet the trickster ego that confuses you and leads you astray. Fortunately, you can establish a new relationship with this aspect of yourself.
First, pay attention to your trickster ego. Know how it works and what causes it to spring into action. Expose its shenanigans and become aware that it is influencing you. You can do this by getting in touch with your witnessing self, the aspect of your consciousness that sees what is really happening within you.
Your witnessing self arises naturally when you relax your mind, opening the door to your unconscious. Your witnessing self will tell you, “You’re not being true to who you are,” and “Listen to yourself!” The witnessing self is ultimately kind, not cruel, even if the truths it reveals make you feel ashamed or embarrassed at first.
The witnessing self helps you to see when you are making a decision you may come to regret. It allows your inner knowing to arise. Awaken your witnessing self often so you can practice being true to what you desire when you are your best self.
Once you notice the workings of your trickster ego, it won’t have so much power over you. You can even become amused by how it works. Smile at yourself, observe how you have been tempted to make a choice out of fear, and then say a firm “No!” to your trickster ego.
You know what you most value. When faced with a decision, your trickster ego will start to make excuses for why you should make choices that serve its needs—quickly! But your witnessing self will say, “Slow down. Look at what is happening.”
Working in conjunction with your wise inner self, it will remind you to operate with integrity. Heed that wisdom, and you will start to feel uncomfortable with what your trickster ego is doing. It will be easier to make a choice in synch with your deepest held value.
Yes, you will get sidetracked and turned around by the trickster ego at times. Notice when it happens and put your trickster ego back in check as you forgive yourself. We all make decisions based in fear and the desire to protect ourselves from discomfort or pain.
It’s being willing to catch yourself and say, “No, not this way,” and make new choices based in your deepest held values, that keep your trickster ego from running amuck. Pride, joy, and success can be yours if you remember to awaken your witnessing self so you will not be fooled by your trickster ego.
Carl Greer, PhD, PsyD, is a practicing clinical psychologist, Jungian analyst and shamanic practitioner. He teaches at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago and is on staff at the Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being. Learn more at CarlGreer.com.
There is no evidence of a trickster ego. “Trickster” and “ego” are psychological terms, and both are being misused in this article.