We are all human and we all have egos. Ego is defined as the opinion that you have about yourself; a part of the mind that senses and adapts to the real world.
The ego has a useful function. It helps us to discern, to understand to set boundaries, and to remember, evaluate, and plan.
Along the way with spiritual and personal development, we have been given a message that the ego must be subdued or diminished or obliterated. Key transformational leaders will avow that they have transcended their ego.
Good for them. I still have one. You still have one. As an Emotionally Intelligent Leader, I must learn to manage my ego in the same way that I manage my emotions:
- Recognize and don’t deny.
- Clean up any ego explosions.
- Find neutral – that purposeful and passionate place of presence that resists ego and emotional hooks or triggers.
When I deny ego, justify my ego outbursts, or stay in drama rather than purpose, I am not aligned in emotional intelligence. I go unconscious and can be hijacked by one of the big functions of the ego – safety.
One of the tricky things about the ego is that it enjoys safety and protection – both of “me” and “itself.” When ego is running the show, we often find ourselves in resistance, protection, masked, and defensive. Boy, that commitment to safety takes a lot of energy.
As I was considering talking about the ego, an acronym popped into my brain: EGO is Easing Genius Out. Ego has push and pull; contrast and comparison, levels and closed doors.
Genius is flow. Genius is open, honoring, emotionally vibrant and unconcerned with the safety and protection of its neighbor, EGO.
When I’m leading an emotionally intelligent life, I find myself in the flow of genius more and more often and ego subterfuge is easier to see. I have choices:
- Flow or resist
- Create or compare
- Curious or critical
I’m getting better about the first choice. I like it better. I’m learning to dance between healthy expressions of ego and living in my genius.
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