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.
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