Spiritual Spring Cleaning

The Jewish people never managed to leave Egypt; they had to be removed by Hashem. From the story of the Exodus we can learn what it means to be stuck in a situation from which we cannot extricate ourselves and how to allow Hashem to do for us what we cannot. Why is "ego death" or "hitting rock bottom" a precursor to finding one's genuine self? How do we shed our defense mechanisms and adaptations to become the person we were always destined to be?