When feeling unsafe, ego can easily take the lead. Rather than evenly deal with what is at hand, we revert to a defensive posture which often resulted from some long ago offense.
To stand in the truth before you, without the illusory protection that ego provides, can be terrifying. However, this is the only state in which growth can occur. This is where you challenge old (often misguided) beliefs and discard constricted perspectives. There is space to do so.
Ego is scarred and scar tissue is unable to grow. It is resistant. To let it run the show is to choose confinement.