My coach reminds me that ego is an automatic way of being designed to protect ourselves.
But despite its evolutionary function to build confidence in our abilities develop a sense of personal worth and be proactive with setting boundaries, it’s only a small fraction of the entire being that we are.
In fact, ego will almost always find something to cut the legs out from underneath our success. And until we declare, okay, this war is over, it’s going to keep showing up, more goddamn believable than the day before.
The secret is, the ego stays alive through a story. Our brains scramble to create narratives that make sense of complicated and difficult life situations.
And so, the story we tell ourselves doesn’t have to be intractable. It can fall away in the light of our awareness.
Brene’s pioneering research on the science of vulnerability suggests we preface our thoughts with the following phrase.
The story I’m telling myself is.
Challenging our inner monologues in this way achieves several emotional victories. We’ve responded to ourselves with compassionate acknowledgment. We’ve called the ego on the carpet for what it really is. We’ve taken ownership of our own narratives. And we’ve acknowledged the chasm between perception and reality.
This ritual of metacognition, this awareness and understanding of our own thought processes, helps us transcend the confines of our limited and isolated minds. It allows us to find a different story that takes us out of the torture, so we’re no longer enslaved by the narratives of the past.
The business applications of this principle are limitless.
When yet another prospective client denies, rejects, or worse yet, abandons our proposal, feelings of frustration and hopelessness will inevitably settle in. As they should.
But what we can’t do is succumb to the temptation to globalize our disappointment. Because if the story we’re telling ourselves is that the entire marketplace is populated by cheap, conformist, unsophisticated donkeys who wouldn’t know real value if it sat on their faces, the ego has won. Again. By a landslide.
The story we’re telling ourselves is but one version of reality. If we’re willing to engage in a practice of metacognition, we might discover that reality is almost always kinder than the story we tell ourselves about it.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you deluding yourself that your toxic story of self is serving anything other than your own ego?* * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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