Meet Community & Team Killer #1: The Ego
One of my girlfriends (age 45+) told me a story about a friend of her’s who recently celebrated her third marriage. (Do you even celebrate the third one?)
My girlfriend was horrified when her fairly normal friend transformed into bridzilla.( 20 year old bridzalla’s are cute; 45 year old bridzilla’s are scary). After a month of catering to her friends every whim and desire; wedding showers, luncheons, gift registries, an all day bachelorete party, a weekend get-a-way and yes even smiling during the dollar’ dance, my friend finally lost it. I mean lost it.
What is it about us humans that makes us insatiably hungry for more and more attention? What is it that drives us to identify with forms, words, possessions, substances, experiences, and why do we need to separate ourselves as a way of appearing better, superior, different and important?
Ego. It’s a killer of team, community and friendship.
Ego. Is not healthy self confidence. NO ego is the drive, the insatiable hunger to identify and separate.
It’s the voice within that is entirely obsessed with thoughts and emotions. Ego is scared, it’s driven by fear. The fear that if it doesn’t identify with enough forms and separate itself it won’t be able to prove its superiority.. And if the ego isn’t superior, opposite, different; it may not survive, it may die.
Think survival of the fittest, now you’re thinking ego.
Ego is caught up in the unceasing chatter of the mind. It thinks all those voices, all those thoughts are reality, silly ego. It believes every emotion is a green light to fill a compulsion, drive or need. At it’s core ego is narcissism and selfishness. But don’t go overboard down deep ego just wants to make sure you and I survive and until ego wakes up, gets conscious and aware it will never grow up.~
Ego is highly infatuated. even addicted to any form that helps it identify itself. The more the better as far as the ego is concerned. Oh don’t be fooled the ego can be just as elitist as a tree hugging environmentalist as it can be when it’s an indulgent materialist. You see all forms, all manners of separating oneself feed the ego; not just the obvious ones.
The ego thinks ‘I’ exists. ( I know …delusional huh):)
Its favorite words are me, my and mine. It lives under the illusion that for it (ME) to survive others must perish. The ego is constantly separating itself to appear superior and important. The ego is addicted to right, it hates wrong. Others are wrong. It is always right. The ego believes that making others wrong helps to further separate it, helps to divide and conquer. Ego has never met a label, a name or a word it doesn’t like. It’s mad about defining, labeling and restricting everything so it can have control.
Separateness, identification, insatiable hunger for more, ‘I’ addictions, a compulsion to prove oneself right, need to be superior, different, unique and infatuation with anything that defines me, my or mine aren’t exactly the ingredients for engaging others, growing community or building teams…
As a leader who is intent on growing and evolving I’ve created a few questions for myself to help me observe when my ego might just be killing community, relationships and teams:
Here are my questions-
What is my intent, words, feelings: Me, mine, my, I or We, ours, us?
Complaining and making stories up to separate myself from others or observing?
Fault finding as a way of appearing superior, separate, different or fact finding?
Need to be right, let people know I KNOW or listening, asking, engaging others?
Name calling, label making or non judgment and definition?
Driving for more, more, more out of habit, addiction or an authentic desire and need?
Wound up in thought and feelings or observing my and others thoughts and feelings?
Regurgitating old stories, back story and staying stuck or letting a new story manifest for myself and others?
Thinking what I have and do is who I am or knowing I AM independent of all forms?
Scarcity thinking, there is not enough or abundant thinking?
Reacting and knee jerk responses or asking questions?
Creating wars, against that, against this or at peace with what is and building something positive?
Allowing resentment to grow into grievances I define myself by or practicing forgiveness and letting go of wrongs regardless of pain?
Defining people, situations by past experiences or showing up in moment without judgment?
Aware, conscious of my thoughts and feelings; observing them or caught up in addictive or compulsive reactions based on the
On a good day I know at the deepest level that none of us are what we do, have, say and identify with. Communities flourish, teams grow and engagement deepens whenever I am able to show up present, practicing awareness, detaching from ego identification. My hope is to be less BRIDZILLA like and more community builder, team catalyst.
Photo credit Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/amsterdamned/1011990343/