Ego is definitely something I have often had a problem with. I’ve often, in the past, celebrated my ego, and even bragged about the inflated size of it. I was proud of how cocky I could be. I would be the first person to step up and proclaim just how absolutely fucking amazing I was.
Letting go of ego is a real thing. There are tons of books out there that say they can educate us on how to let go of our ego, and live a more humble life. These books go flying off store shelves so that we can finally learn to how to not be egotistical pricks. We examine methodology inviting us to critique our bad habits, our environments, our verbal communications, our body language…the list goes on and on. We are told how to monitor our self talk, how to use certain buzzwords to ensure we are communicating in a humble way and present way, and how to be an active listener.
You know what we rarely read or hear though? The invitation to take a hard look in the mirror at ourselves. We can certainly communicate in a humble and present way, but will that communication truly be meaningful if you, as a person, are simply using that communication method as a means to an end and to not truly be present? In other words, your ego is still playing a part here. You’re scamming the system, so to speak.
I’ve heard conversations where one person is tempering their words and tones, and using all the key buzzwords to express active listening, but as soon as they’ve achieved their goal in the conversation, the tone changes. They lose interest and walk away. I see the return of ego, as they “won” the conversation.
That’s no way to be. Leaving your ego truly at home is hard. Remaining in a humble space isn’t easy. There’s a balance that we must all find. Yes, we should celebrate our successes. I reached a point in my life where I had to learn that celebrating my success as someone else near me just failed was an egotistical thing to do. For me, it goes back to the old adage – there is a time and a place for everything. Celebrating me when someone near me just had a spectacular failure shows me that I’m not present in my environment, and shows I’m not practicing empathy.
Again – there is a time and a place for everything. When it comes to remaining humble, being present, and showing empathy….leave your ego at home.