That little voice inside your head – the source of much anxiety and stress – the pervasive, nagging voice that can keep you locked away in your own self-focused little world, missing out on the present moment and the people you could be sharing it with.
In todays Wednesday weigh-in I’m turning the spot light on something that has and does hold me back… something I’m working daily to ditch: today lets cover: 4 Ways Your EGO Is Holding You Back.
Ego exists because it’s needed to keep us safe from dangerous situations… that used to be some wild animal that had us in mind for dinner. However how often is that sort of danger relevant today?
So the ego goes to work compelling us to feel emotions that for the most part are not useful.
Judgement. Jealousy. Fear. A desire to stay within your comfort zone.
I first got some clarity on exactly how limiting my ego was a few years ago at a workshop on public speaking.
I realised how ego was making everything about ME. When really it wasn’t.
Being terrified of public speaking means I’m thinking: “What will they think of ME?” and “What if I forgot what I’M going to say?” and “What if I’M not as good as the others” and “What if they ask ME questions I don’t know the answer too?” …basically it’s the fear, of not being enough.
The natural desire to to seek approval – that in doing so is an expression of lacking in some way.
When really if I can let go of ego it becomes about: “How can I provide the most value to the people I’m here to serve?”
Under extreme circumstances there is less room for ego. If it’s life and death you’re not going to worry how you look if you make a mistake or ask for help… however extreme is not something we deal with day to day.
Now that we no longer have to deal with a sabre tooth tiger in the present ego spends its time on either future projections of problems or rehashing past regrets, mistakes and hurts.
Have a think about it, of the things that are most fearful, stressful and anxiety inducing… these things are for the most part future projections right?
And the only place the future exists, is in your mind.
Of course letting go of ego is easier said than done… so to give you some fuel to help launch ego off your back…
Here are 4 scenarios specific to your health goal in which Ego will hold you back:
1). Not admitting you need help.
The classic won’t ask for directions when driving scenario. Or expecting yourself to be an expert at anything you try rather than fast-tracking your progress by utilising the experience of someone who’s committed 1,000’s of hours to getting awesome at the skill you’re struggling with.
2). Not admitting when it’s not working.
This is when the need to be right out-weighs all else. It’s a lack of flexibility. It’s also hugely limiting because it’ll keep you repeating ineffective actions and getting poor results. Often throwing more time, energy and money at the problem when all you need is a more effective approach.
The obvious example here is fitter and fatter. The vicious cardio cycle of the more you do the more you have to do or the less you eat the less you have to eat. Or worst of all a combo, where you’re stuck doing more and more cardio and eating less and less AND still you’re not seeing results.
3). Making it all about you.
We all do this… and if you don’t ask you don’t get. Or as Wayne Gretzky would say “You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” The question is to what degree does it limit your potential?
When you don’t approach that hot dude or dudette in the pub you’re making it about you… however maybe you’re really not missing out on much dependant on how many drinks into the night it is!
When you slink off to the safe and familiar cardio-land part of the gym because it’s mindless and you know how to make the machines work and you can hide in a corner you’ll depriving yourself of the superiors results the weight floor have to offer AND since everyone else on the weights floor is solely focused on themselves you would have nothing to fear if you only stopped making is all about you and stepped up and into the world of weights.
4). Not risking failure by giving it your best shot.
This is staying stuck within your comfort zone. Opposed to change. Holding tight to the ‘I didn’t give it my best shot card’ so you get to keep that illusive dream, however if this is your approach that dream will never become a reality.
One of the most freeing – yes also painful – yet freeing lessons I learnt was that failure is survivable. You can choose to reframe failure to feedback or to learnings however regardless, a failure does not define you.
You always get another go.
If you give your goal you best shot and don’t succeed the goal police are not going to race on over and condemn you to junk food and zero gym access for the rest of your life. You pick yourself up and you give it another go.
The only thing stopping you is Ego. Is protecting your ego worth more than achieving your goal?
Let’s make this actionable. Today I want to take inspiration from this quote, from I’m not sure who: “You can be right or you can be happy.”
What is one area in of your health in which it’s not working and you’re holding tight to the need to be right?
That’s ego throwing your time. your energy and perhaps also your money and self belief down the drain. There is no weakness in admitting you now have better information and in changing your approach. In fact there is strength in having the flexibility to change what’s not working.
That’s it for me, thanks so much for sharing the Healthification love with me today. I’ll be back tomorrow with Thursday Training and… Do Ladies Need To Train Differently To Men?
If you liked this you’ll also like: Judgement The Zero Value Emotion That May Be Stalling Your Weight Loss
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