The past ten months of the presidency under the current administration has left many exasperated and alarmed about where we’re heading as a country. Last year, when I decided to do this Leadership series, I was getting increasingly alarmed as the campaign for Election 2016 was drawing to a close. What kind of Leadership does the United States of America need during these critical times? Each of the three posts are long yet provocative and inspiring. (You can read the comments on the original post 10/2016 Part III HERE
This is the third post on what qualities make a good Leader The first ~ What Kind of Leadership is Needed for Our Time by Heather Plett ~ looked at Leaders as Host rather than Leaders as Heroes. The second ~ Are We Winners or Losers by Arthur Rashap ~ looked at winning and losing and how to play life’s infinite game.
Do you worry that you may be ego-driven? It happens to most of us at some point, so you aren’t alone!
To understand if you are ego-driven, it can help to understand what your ego is. The ego isn’t who you are, but rather it is just a fragment of your consciousness.
What is the ego?
See, there are several aspects that make up who you are as a conscious being. One, is the loving light that makes up your soul. This is the part of you that is strongly connected to the divine (and therefore connected to every other being as well).
The other, is your ego, or the mask you wear that tells you that you are different from others. Your ego is your self-image in this physical reality. Because the ego observes your separation from others, it is often the part of you that seeks to protect you from others, rather than connect you with them.
The ego isn’t a “bad” thing, and it isn’t something you should try to get rid of. In fact, your ego does serve a very powerful purpose. It allows you to perceive the world from a unique, differentiated perspective. Without the ego, it would probably be pretty hard to root down into this physical world, and have this experience as a separate, human consciousness.
When an ego is out of control.
With that being said, sometimes the ego does a lot more of the driving in life than is useful. An ego-driven person frequently pushes down the higher, loving aspect of him or herself and allows the ego to take primary control.
The ego-driven person usually measures his or herself from a competitive viewpoint. For this reason, ego-driven people are often in hot pursuit of being ” “stronger than,” “smarter than,” “richer than” or some other element of “better than” other people.
This is born out of the desire to protect the self, but left unchecked the ego-self can become a tyrant. An out-of-control ego forgets entirely about the importance of unity, love and our ability to connect with others in meaningful and fulfilling ways.
To the ego mind, there is no connection. There are only winners and losers, and the ego desperately wants to win.
How to check your ego when it’s out of control.
So, what do you do when you feel your competitive ego taking more control over your life than you’d like? How do you check your ego, and allow more of your love and kindness to shine through?
Here are 9 easy ways to check your ego. Next time you find yourself caught up in the rat race of “winners and losers” try one of them out!
1. Remember, we’re not all perfect.
The ego is quick to point out other people’s mistakes and missteps. When you find yourself judging the actions of others, understand that is the ego at play. Step back into the loving aspect of yourself by remembering that you make mistakes too, and you appreciate it when people love you in spite of them.
2. Remind yourself that people often act out when they are hurting.
There’s nothing more annoying to an ego-driven person than another ego-driven person! However, it’s possible to check your ego even in the presence of someone else who is fully ego-driven. Just remember that those who are ego-driven are often acting out of fear or pain. Their competitive natures are typically driven by the threats they perceive from the outside world. When people are hurting or scared, they often step into the ego-self for protection.
3. List out the things that are most important to you in life.
Think about what you want to look back on when you are on your deathbed. The achievements and experiences you ultimately wish to have will likely resonate much more strongly with your higher self than with your ego.
4. Practice gratitude for the things you already have.
The ego is more concerned with what he or she doesn’t have, as again, the ego is very worried about coming up short. Gratitude reminds you of all of the ways you are supported and abundant, and therefore have no reason to worry about losing.
5. Think back on a time someone showed you they really loved you.
Looking back on loving memories is an excellent way to connect back into your higher self. Just thinking about being connected in love is often enough to tap you in to your higher knowing.
6. Help someone less fortunate than yourself.
Helping those less fortunate than yourself reminds you that you really don’t like for people to lose in life. The loving aspect of yourself wants everyone to win. When one of us loses, we all lose!
7. Give someone a long hug.
The simple act of connecting with another person in a loving manner can help bring you back into resonance with the loving aspects of yourself.
8. Meditate, to center back into the loving part of yourself.
The ego thrives on mental clutter and fearful, worrisome thoughts. Clear out the mental clutter with meditation.
9. Play devil’s advocate for the people you are arguing with or competing against.
Why might they be right? Why might it be good for them to “win” instead of you? Playing devil’s advocate allows you to connect with another person’s perspective, rather than separate from it.
Keep your perspective as high as possible, but respect your ego too!
Remember, we all have an ego, and that’s ok. You aren’t supposed to be without an ego, and it does serve a very powerful and important purpose. Without an ego, it’s unlikely that we would have a separate sense of self in this human experience.
The ego makes the game of life a lot more exciting and interesting. An ego allows you to view reality like a movie, with you getting to be one of the characters.
With that being said, a life driven entirely by the ego can be a very sad and unfortunate one. Our ability to connect, to love, and to laugh together is what makes this human experience so wonderful and enjoyable. When we allow our egos to take control in life, we disconnect from the most satisfying elements of life. It’s like we forget it’s all just a movie, and we take things much more seriously than we need to.
A life driven entirely by the ego is one filled with pain, anger and frustration.
You are infinite and eternal, and everything is going to be ok.
Ultimately, we are connected to every being on the planet, and beyond. We are all connected to an infinite source consciousness. In fact we all ultimately ARE infinite source consciousness.
This means, in the end, there is nothing to fear, and nothing we need protection from. Everything that makes up this universe is us, and we it.
This reality is simply a platform we’ve created to play around in and experience. The threats our ego perceive exist only in the illusion that is this physical reality. All of the struggle, and all of the pain is just a part of the ride. It isn’t anything we really need protection from, in the end, as it is our own creation.
Again, it’s just like watching a movie. There’s a lot more going on when the show’s over! See yourself as a character in the movie, enjoying the ride, but keep that inner knowing that you are connected to something far greater than this individual life experience.
Remember, we’re all in this together. We are all one, therefore we are all actually safe as infinite, eternal beings. Your ego will try to get you to forget this, but your higher perspective knows this well.
Put your ego in the passenger seat to enjoy the ride of life, but let your higher perspective do the driving. Everything is going to be just fine in the end.