Have you ever watched the movie, "Divergent"? In one of the scenes, Tris (the main character) is put into a simulation in order to face her greatest fear. She easily completes the 'test' because she can tell herself that the simulation isn't real. Our ego is a lot like that. It can be very scary and make us do things that don't make sense, unless we acknowledge that it isn't real. Here are some ways that ego can deceive you:
Ego Create Excuses
Ego will do anything it can to protect us from feeling stupid. It will create all kinds of excuses for why an idea or activity didn’t work. We would rather say skiing is “dumb” and quit because we fell down the first time, than spend an afternoon learning how to ski correctly. It’s painful to go through the stages of being horrible at something. Our ego will tell us that we don’t have time to exercise, cook, switch cell phone plans or do other things that are good for us. Ego will tell us that we deserve a vacation, a break, a treat, or whatever else our flesh wants. These are all excuses, and an excuse is just a well-planned lie. Stop listening to lies.
Ego Tramples Other People
Our ego would have us believe we are better than everyone else; if not in one way, than certainly in another, more important way. “That girl is a lot kinder than me, but she’s so fat,” or “that lady is just rich because she married a tycoon. I’ll bet she watches TV all day” or “Susie is so pretty because she spends hours and hours in front of the mirror, but I’m glad I’m not a brainless doll like her.” This makes us feel good about ourselves. Instead of improving ourselves, we deceive ourselves with lies about us (“I’m a good person”) and lies about others (“Justin Beiber is a horrible singer”).
The Good News
The good news about this is that we can overcome our egos and think like rational human beings. We can look at facts, make wise choices, and then benefit instead of letting our own pride run and ruin our lives. This takes three things:
1. Admit Your Mistakes
It’s okay to admit that you did something stupid. I’ve done many stupid things, just because I didn’t know any better. Let’s face it; we are all ignorant in many ways. It’s humiliating to admit that we really don’t have a clue about what we’re doing.
2. Learn From Mistakes
Did you know you can build a great career on failures? Many successful businessmen and women had previous failed companies and ideas. Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times at creating a light bulb. But out of those failures came one ground-breaking success. Most of us do not have to fail 10,000 times before we see a success, but some of us quit after one or two failures. How sad is that?
3. Ask For Help
To bash down ego, become a perpetual student. Get good at asking for advice and asking for help. People with big egos have problems asking for help because they don’t want to be seen as incompetent. But does this make them competent? No! If you aren’t open to advice and counsel, you will only have your own experience and wisdom to draw on. Bringing other people into your life makes the learning (and therefore SUCCESS) process 10x faster.
Have you noticed ego in your life lately? What have you done to stop it?