Let Go of Your Ego and Get More Done
Ego is defined as a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance. We know self-esteem plays a major part in our success. Whether we are starting our first job or have built an empire; the belief we have in our ability to achieve success is deemed as a main contributing factor. We need to believe in ourselves to succeed. But when does our sense of self-importance get in the way of our success? Does it prevent us from connecting and leading our people, creating goals to get to the next level, or keeping up with the fast pace of progress and learn a new skill?
Identifying and overcoming obstacles, both on the business/financial side and interpersonal side, helps keep us on the path of continued success. However, we often find ourselves against road-blocks when trying to achieve the next level of success.
Taking from the book, Ego is the Enemy, Ryan Holiday offers some tough love focusing on the definition of ego being "an unhealthy belief in our own importance; arrogance." When you get to your business or leadership advancing roadblock consider these five strategies to get your ego out of the way:
1. Remember that silence breeds accomplishment.
Talking makes us feel like we're making progress towards the goal. However, when we talk about all the amazing things we're going to do next, we can spend all our time and energy talking about it and never actually doing anything to get us towards that goal. Does this ring a bell for anyone? If we stop talking about the goals and focus our energy and wrestle with the action, we can move forward.
2. Ask yourself if it is about the doing or the recognition?
Oftentimes we fall in love with the image of what success looks like and lose sight that what it takes to get there is typically not so glamourous. Therefore, ask yourself, "What is my purpose?" and "What do I want to accomplish?"
3. Be willing to learn.
Ego prevents us from continuing to learn and improve. It makes us believe we don't need to learn or grow more. Learning allows us to continue to evolve. You can't get better if you think you are the best. Learning something new is hard, humbling, and puts our ego in check. Learning also means allowing yourself to be open to feedback, and even allowing yourself to fail.
4. Get out of your own head.
Ego should not be confused with confidence. Ego wants the world to look at us. In our social media driven society, likes and follows are an indication of how important we are and thus, makes us feel special. Are we too concerned with the wrong metrics of what defines us as a leader? Are we too in love with the vision of our self that it prevents us from doing what we need to do to make the necessary decision to reach our goal?
5. Continue working.
Ego counts the hours we've put into something and asks when we are going to see the fruits of our labor. While we should always be cognizant of the difference between being busy and work, there is no substitute for hard work. Work doesn't end once we get our big break; some might say that's when the real work starts. Work is a life-long journey whose light cannot dim once we achieved some success; there, we fall in the grips of ego.
The roadblocks described above are symptoms of our own arrogance. We work hard to build our confidence and believe that we can actually be successful. What has been your experience walking the thin line of earned confidence and ego? How do you know when you're being confident or arrogant?
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