Do you wonder what it is, exactly, that keeps all you are doing from making that big difference in your life and the lives of others you work so hard to improve? It is so much easier to fight and win over anything when you know what it is you are fighting against. Who or what exactly is your enemy.
It doesn’t matter if you are Professional Alaska Guide or Trainee. It doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home Mom or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. We all share the same horrible enemy.
Your enemy is ego.
Now, having a healthy sense of self-confidence and self-assuredness isn’t what I am talking about. I am talking about the ego that keeps you from being as awesome as you could be.
Ego (as defined by vocabulary.com) is an inflated feeling of pride in your superiority to others or your consciousness of your own identity.
Today’s point is to help you to know your enemy. It is to give us all the knowledge and thought to ponder that your ego alone is what is holding away the absolute joy of being alive, being successful and being a great leader.
As our own self-confidence and self-assurance increase, as we grow into our positions and see the light of all of our dreams glistening in the distance, we are all vulnerable to believing ourselves more important, more intelligent and more deserving than anyone else.
We forget how much more even the best of people are, together. We no longer listen to other’s input, advice, criticisms or ideas. We decide that our own ideas and insights are all that matters. Our own level of importance becomes distorted.
Worse, we forget to look inward. We begin expecting others to walk our talk for us, because but of course we ourselves are beyond that. Because we stop listening to those who are certainly not as wise, important or insightful as we are, we also stop learning. We stop becoming more than we were ourselves, yesterday, and instead we have become less.
Then, how do we fight this enemy?
Not to worry! Rarely is there anything or any enemy that cannot be fixed, corrected, nullified or even made into an ally with understanding and insight.
To fight being overcome by our own egos we must always seek and listen to honest feedback. Truly listen, take the time to really hear what is being said and progress from there. It isn’t a weakness to seek out those that inspire your trust and thoughtfulness. It isn’t wrong to decide on a different path than another would mark fro you. But to make that decision first you must really hear what is being said.
Another step and strategy to keep our own egos in check is to practice humility. Our ego cannot break free if we are humble. There is happiness to be found in being an inspiration to others, but the true joy of life itself fills us when we are humble and use our strength and knowledge to help lift others up. There is no righteousness or glory in cutting others down or dulling their shine.
Honesty is a wonderful thing. Yes, it can be a rough sell to some and some truths are hard to hear but would you like to know a secret? Using honesty, “be who you say you are” and owning up –out loud and in front of your team- is not only a great way to keep our own egos in check- but it also shares the lesson with the Team and it is a sure-fire way to not make the same mistake again!
Now we know the true enemy. We also have a few weapons to use to tame this enemy. Who knows? Our ego might just be the ally we were waiting for ~ if we can learn to use it to bring the best out of us.
Have you ever battled ego? Your own or someone else’s? Do you have any other strategies that you use to hold the enemy ego in check? Have you discovered other ways of making it your ally? Please share them with us!