Ego and Fear
Two Motivators that Lead to Failure
In my experience, there are two motivators that drive most of us; ego and fear. Let’s take a look at how each of these is a separate issue with devastating results.
We all have ego. It’s our sense of self. No matter who we are or what we do, that bad boy is lurking, looking out for number one. It makes us feel slighted when we get passed over for a promotion; and feel cheated when our raise is too small.
It’s what makes us refuse to solve a problem because it is more important to us that we be right. Instead of looking for solutions, we look for ways to prove our own point of view. The ego is hard at work controlling our behavior. It makes us feel insignificant if we aren’t better than those around us.
Eventually, we have to realize that being right doesn’t always matter. Solving a problem matters, proving who is right is unnecessary. We must let go of the emotions and value who we are as individuals. We look for ways to please our egos and it’s impossible.
If you’re in a heated discussion about a standstill on a project, ask yourself if it’s your ego that wants to win. If you take a step back and become aware of your ego, you will gain perspective. You’ll likely see that you aren’t arguing about a project and it became about being right.
If you begin to see a pattern in your behavior you’ll know that your ego has abducted you!. Letting your ego control you is a choice. Once you see the pattern, you can make another choice.
Another one that gets us all… is fear. In fact, some of the most successful people are successful because they fear is driving them.
I’ve worked with executives who were so afraid of failure that they had no choice but to succeed. And that success came with a high price tag. Fear controlled their lives. They sacrificed family, friends, vacations, hobbies, everything. All because they were afraid to fail.
Are You Motivated by Fear
How do you know if fear is your primary motivator? Ask yourself these questions:
Are you afraid to try a new project at work?
Does fear stop you from moving forward with a promotion?
Is learning a new skill too scary?
Do you ruminate on what would happen if you were poor, or unemployed, or destitute?
Is your imagination making you think you’ll lose everything?
If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, fear may be motivating you. Sometimes t you don’t even recognize it. Fear is powerful.
What’s been motivating you? Has it been ego or has it been fear? If you’re like most people, it’s likely, it’s been one of them. If you take a moment to understand that, you’ll find the courage to change it. Finding peace will be the real success story. Letting go of fear and ego will be the first step to inner peace and to true success.