This week I want to tell you about a free toolkit that I offer via email. Twice each month you receive a tool in your email inbox to help you master your mindset. I call it Mindset Mastery Academy (MMA). In case you have not signed up yet, I included Tool #11 so you can see an example. If you like this sample, you can sign up for the toolkit in the left sidebar. Let me know what you think!
Tool #11: Get your ego out of the driver’s seat
Let me just say, if you think this doesn’t apply to you, it does. I’m sure of it. So, hang on and stick with me and really do some reflecting on how this might apply to you. Remember, the biggest barrier to learning something is what we think we already know. With that in mind, read on.
We ALL have an ego. There is no way to avoid it and it serves a very important purpose. The purpose of your ego is to make you feel special. It is a component of your self-esteem and confidence. The problem comes in when we let ego get in the driver’s seat and make decisions for us.
The ancient Greeks defined ego as a small separated self. What this means is that your ego is not you. It’s just a tiny little separate piece of you whose job is to make you feel special. The only way you can feel special is if you are somehow separated from and better than others. Are you beginning to see how this could become a problem? The more you let your ego run the show, the more “special” you feel and the more special you feel, the more you separate from other people. Yikes!
As I mentioned earlier, we all have an ego. There is no way or reason to try to eliminate it. Just start paying attention to it. When does your ego pop up and try to take charge? I’ll give you a hint. It is totally fear related. If you subconsciously feel threatened in any way, your ego will jump up and take over.
So when does this happen? What are some clues that ego is taking over? Let’s think about some examples. I’ll get us started.
- Someone tells you something you think you already know. You either say out loud or think, “yes I already know that”.
- You feel a sense of entitlement.
- You have to make sure everything is perfect before you say it, write it, post it, turn it in or show it to anyone.
- When you silently compare yourself to someone else and decide that you’re better.
- Having to keep up a certain image of yourself instead of just being who you are.
- You can’t let someone else talk without bringing the topic back to you.
- You can’t let someone else make a point without countering and making your own point.
- It kills you to just sit and listen and not comment.
- You make sure everyone knows how smart or important you are. You do this by finding ways to mention money or your car or your degree, etc.
I’m going to stop here but I could go on and on. I want you to think of when this comes up for you and when you can see it in other people. No judgment here. Remember, we all do this. The idea is to notice it and then decide if it’s serving you. Does it help you connect with other people or does it push them away?
When I am in a conversation and I feel compelled to give my opinion or tell a story about myself, I pause for a moment and ask myself why I want to say it. Is it strictly ego driven or will it add to the conversation and help me connect with this person? If I find that it’s really my ego, I refrain from saying it.
This takes practice and you won’t always do it the way you want to but if you pay attention, it will really help you connect with people on a much deeper level. I don’t know about you, but one of the most important things in my life is my connection with other people. If I let my ego be in charge, I lose out on that deep connection.
So, what do you think? Do you see how this happens for you? How about in others? Share your thoughts and examples with me.