What’s over-inflated and makes you feel really self-conscious when others point it out? YOUR EGO. Confession time -- I’ve got one hell of an ego. This might sound strange coming from a coach but all that means is I’m more acutely aware of when my ego is running the show. But you know what? It's totally ok -- that’s part of being human. You come with an ego & assembly not required.
But a majority of the time it’s your ego that hurts others AND yourself.
In coaching, the ego is closely connected to your inner critic -- that gnawing voice that pipes up when you’re under stress, pressure and feeling vulnerable. It pits the world against you, draws dividing lines and intensifies little situations into big deals. Thing is, the ego gets so wound up with your normal daily voice, it’s hard to even tell the difference. You confuse the critics voice for you own and things get even more nasty when you start to allow that critical voice to become your own.
A little confusing, sure -- so what’s a good way to know if your ego is running the show?
- You start to judge...and judge more and more
- You get defensive and feel personally insulted even by the most mundane things
- Fear bubbles up and stops you from doing what you’d like
- Anger, rage, frustration...towards people around you and yourself
- When you think “right” “wrong” or in black or white terms
Uhhhh, yeah - we’ve ALL been there probably many times a day! Some might just consider that normal. Your ego also exhausts you pretty fast -- it’s draining to keep fueling the critics desire to label, categorize and scrutinize every single thing.
“But Rach, I get that...how can I STOP it?”
Think of your ego as a whiny, brat of a child...ignore it, and it just gets worse. Your ego WANTS your attention -- so the best way to get it to calm down is to actually acknowledge that it’s showing up. I often say [to myself] “I see you...” when my ego voice pops up. It’s not that it make it disappear totally, but for whatever reason, that noticing quickly puts me back into check so I can approach the situation at hand more clearly rather than getting caught up in the moment.
Once you flag that you ego is showing, you can then make a conscious choice to continue letting it lead, or shift to your authentic voice -- that is -- the voice that doesn’t need to judge but can accept and understand things at face value. Authentic voice has this wisdom about it. It never makes you feel like you've got to be on guard or threatened. Authentic voice is calm, composed and heightens your awareness of what's really going on apart from your reaction to it.
Like I said -- we all come in our original packaging with an ego, but it is up to us individually to recognize how it’s impairing us from seeing the truth of what’s happen and not solely our judgement of it.