Episode 104: The Fragile State Of The Human EGO
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In today’s episode, I will take a deep dive into the human EGO’s fragile state and how that leads to overwhelming discomfort and, ultimately, pain.
Now we’ve all heard the statement that your Ego is the Enemy. Ryan Holiday wrote an entire book on the topic. Some of you hippest may even have a t-shirt or have shared a meme stating, “Your ego is not your amigo.”
I’m afraid I wholeheartedly have to disagree with that idea.
I believe the EGO is necessary and should serve a vital purpose in our lives.
Now before you call Ryan and tell him, I disagreed with him. Let me explain.
I concur with the concept that an untamed out of control juvenile Ego is your Enemy and will 100% destroy your life without a doubt.
The healthy Ego I’m supporting here is evolved, nurtured, and mature.
Untamed Ego Example: The untamed Ego is like a Six-Year-Old hopped up on frosting and soda that has been released into the ball pit at Chucky Cheese. That joker has zero regards for his safety or the safety of others. And his sole mission is to embarrass his mom and make her the talk of the next PTA/reason for mom’s the get-together and gossip meeting.
Evolved Ego Example: The evolved Ego is like Gandhi. You know that dude has seen and heard some bullshit in his time, yet he stays centered, doesn’t publicly judge, and provides a sense of calm for the world to follow.
Right now, everyone is reacting and responding with anger and angst. This is how you know you’ve reverted to untamed wild ass ego. Not to worry ~ noticed I used the word reverted. We have the ability and, without conscience, thought to move from evolved mature right back to F you Bob Ego.
My goal both today’s show is to help you get more self-aware so that you can manage this shift without it getting to the points overwhelm and exhaustion.
An out of control ego is exhausting.
Moment of Awareness:
If you are participating in online fights surrounding politics, pandemics (yes, this includes mask vs. no mask), or any other hot button topic of the moment, then you are in full Untamed Ego Mode.
The truth is that the Evolved Ego doesn’t attack, belittle or berate others. It doesn’t crawl into the mud and start slinging haymakers. It knows that those battles are never won or lost because the untamed Ego isn’t looking for a solution. It’s merely looking to be right.
And when you’re hell-bent on being right, you can’t see anything but your side of the situation. History shows us that it is a failing formula.
Enough about the Untamed Temper Tantrum Ego, we all know, and nobody likes it. Not even the person who’s full-on in it.
Let’s spend the rest of our time focused on the value of the Evolved Ego.
I say value because I genuinely believe the Ego is necessary to propel you to your ultimate potential.
I think another more comfortable what to look at the mature Ego is to call it self-confidence.
Self-confidence is a more respected version of the Ego.
We call it Ego when it’s bad and self-confidence when it’s good.
So how do we tap into our self-confidence without it turning Ego driven behavior?
The key is self-awareness.
Self-awareness is the ability to focus on yourself and how your actions, thoughts, or emotions do or don’t align with your internal standards. If you’re highly self-aware, you can objectively evaluate yourself, manage your emotions, align your behavior with your values, and understand correctly how others perceive you.
Why is self-awareness so hard?
So what happens is, we have conditioned vast groups of people to wish they are rather than auditing who they are. Self-Awareness is Hard To Get because we spend so much time wishing to be people we’re not rather than auditing who we are and going ALL IN on our core strengths.
Self-awareness is crucial because we can experience ourselves as unique and separate individuals when we have a better understanding of ourselves. We are then empowered to make changes and build on our areas of strength and identify areas where we would like to make improvements.
How do you develop self-awareness?
#1 Look at yourself objectively.
#2 Keep a journal.
#3 Write down your goals, plans, and priorities.
#4 Perform daily self-reflection.
#5 Practice meditation and other mindfulness habits.
#6 Work with a coach or mentor
Why is Self Awareness Important?
“A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.” – Gandhi
The perspective we take on the world’s happenings and our lives largely determine the state of our world and our being. Thus probably the most vital lesson we can learn in life is the importance of what we think.
If you think failure, you will find reasons to fail and inevitably succumb to it. If you think about positive health and well-being, you will make the conscious decision to take the path leading to greater health and well-being.
Unfortunately, many of us do not consciously choose the perspective we take. Our thoughts, which may be considered covert behavior, may simply roll with life and become conditioned by events, the media, and other people around us.
If this happens, we have given up our power as human beings to create our world and our life around us. We are using our strength against ourselves to make ourselves feel powerless. We can’t develop and grow ourselves if we lack awareness of ourselves.
How To Cultivate Self Awareness
“A person who is aware of himself is in a better position to predict and control his own behavior.” – B. F. Skinner
One of the root causes of personal suffering is an internal delusion. Not knowing or understanding what is going on within oneself creates this delusion ~ aka lack of self-awareness.
It is a lack of awareness that lies at the root of all our problems. The solution is to extend clarity and understanding down into processes that are generally unconscious.
Mindfulness and intentionality are the critical components of shifting delusion to awareness. Mindfulness is the process of bearing something in mind. An awareness, which does not drift along the surface of things but is a thorough observation, observing without judgment, without habitual reaction or compulsion, but clearly acknowledges what is there in the flow of experience, noting its nature.
Thus, one way to expand our circle of self-awareness is through the development of mindfulness. This can be achieved both through meditation practice and by making a conscious choice to be more mindful in our daily lives actively. In this way, through greater self-awareness, we become empowered to choose our own way to grow ourselves in the manner of our own choosing.
Can you see how a natured, evolved ego (self-confidence) is the key to your personal and professional success?
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Health and Happiness,
Jay Nixon CNS, CFNC, CPT