So...whether we like to talk about it or not, we all have an ego...it is part of us. It is that part of us that gives us a personal identity. It is our self-esteem, self-importance, self-worth, self-respect, self-image and self confidence. Essentially, it is who we are. I believe that it is actually what we choose to do with that ego, that really makes us who we are.
I have been a part of many conversations and many observations where I see ego is the driving force of either action or non action. I feel it is at the root of a lot of what is stopping us from being our greatest selves and doing great things. OR it causes us to do things that hinder others from being their best selves. In this sense, EGO = Edging Greatness Out.
Here is my take. Ego and fear go hand and hand. Ego feeds fear and fear in turn, feeds ego. It is a sick cycle that will never stop, unless we consciously make the effort. From my vantage point, I see that ego has two sides that seem polar opposites, yet both are grounded in and conclude with fear and insecurity.
*I know I am not using the correct Psychological terms here, even though that was my Undergrad. I'm secure with that :)...
Inflated Ego: This is the one most people think of when one talks about Ego. Someone is "egotistical". They appear to think they are better than others. That they deserve better, people should treat them better, they do not have to follow the same rules as others. They are right and everyone else is wrong. They feel that they are on a higher level, and others should bow down accordingly. These people might belittle others, throw up road blocks, bully, insult, sabotage others so they can feed that ego and "stay on top". They put shadows over other's light, try to steal their thunder by diminishing their actions and/or ideas.
But let's really think about this...where does this egotistical behavior come from? My belief is that it stems from a fear- "I am not good enough". Are these people overcompensating for their own insecurity? Do they feel the need to push others down, to lift themselves up? When I look at it from this lens, I am saddened. I am sad that people feel this way. That they project their issues on others...without even realizing the damage it might be causing.
Deflated Ego: These are the people that want to make themselves small and quiet. They act in the opposite way than the above. They try to "blend in", not make waves, hide. They believe that they offer no added value. In fact, I may argue that they feel THEY have little value, worth. They hold the same belief as above "I'm not good enough". But, they internalize their fear and insecurities. They try to stay in the shadows, hide their light and diminish their own shine. They blame themselves for any thing that goes awry, even if they have no control or part in it. They beat themselves up. They are the perfect prey for those with that inflated ego. I am sad that people feel this way. They are causing themselves much damage, without even realizing it.
Regardless of which ego is in the drivers seat, it stops people in their tracks. I feel that a lot of reasons people don't want to change, is because of ego. They either don't believe they need to change, or they can't change. They are afraid of failing, falling, not recovering. OR they have a fear of flying, succeeding, or the pressure to do more. It holds them back from new, from different, from innovation. Imagine how much good...how much great, the world is missing out on because of ego. Because of fear. Because of insecurity.
Imagine what would happen if we vowed to leave our egos at the door! Take that step, that leap...try that thing, connect with that person, open up that world...that mind. Build each other up, lean on one another, join forces.
What it comes down to, is purpose. Are we here to self serve or service others? If it is the latter, we need to keep that as our focal point...move past that ego, for the greater good. Let's NOT let EGO mean "Edging Greatness Out", we can't, we need YOUR greatness. Let it shine through.
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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