Does Your Ego Control You?
Ego. Webster defines Ego as the “I” or self of any person. Eckhart Tolle in his book A New Earth describes “ego” as an “illusory sense of self”. He refers to ego as a major aspect of the human dysfunction. And, based on my recent negotiations in the sale of my condo, I see what he means.
My condo had been on the market for two months. No longer living in the condo, I wanted out of the mortgage and was anxious to sell. My desire for a quick sale, combined with the downed economy meant I would be taking a loss on the deal. Somewhere in the negotiating the subject of my washer and dryer surfaced. The buyer wanted them as part of the deal and I agreed to leave them if he came closer to my bottom line price.
Ultimately, we agreed on a price for the condo that was significantly less than what I had wanted. However, he still wanted the washer and dryer. This is the strange part. I really didn’t need them. I would have given them to a friend, or put them in storage. Unfortunately, my ego took over and suddenly the entire thing became a full blown problem that almost cost me the deal.
I eventually realized that the issue had stopped being about a washer and dryer and had become about my cheated ego. Ego took over my thought process and it became about winning. My ego wanted to have the last word.
Often we find ourselves in situations where we lose sight of the real issue. Instead of solving problems we try to prove a point. Instead of focusing on what is important, we focus on emotion and ego.
In the workplace, this is illustrated with showmanship, backstabbing, and gossip. In our personal lives, it is evident when we argue, deceive, or hurt those closest to us in order to be “right.” We find ourselves holding grudges that hurt only ourselves.
Success begins when we stop allowing our ego to control our thoughts. Once we realize that self-awareness means letting go of pointless emotions, we become free. Until we recognize the difference between our “ego” and our “self” we will continue the same thought patterns and habits that have constantly held us back. In my case, it could have left me paying a mortgage that I no longer needed. How is your “ego” holding you back? And more importantly, what are you going to do about it?