When we think of the word Ego, most of us think in the negative. It brings a picture in our mind of that person that we can’t stand to be around because the conversation always sways to them and their latest accomplishment (or even worse, their kids!) It’s the person that continually puts others down in order to make themselves look better. But there other times when Ego is viewed as good, a driver of success and competition like we see in famous athletes and personalities. We will often say things like “They have to have a big ego to achieve in their industry” or “If I was that good I would have an ego too” They go around shouting from the rooftops how great they are and how no one can do what they can do. They thrive on competition and have a good run of it for awhile, but then like so many before them, they start to lose their advantage and say or do something stupid that drops their popularity and leaves them open for criticism on a global scale.
So what is Ego? Arrogance, being self absorbed? Maybe it’s more than just that. Maybe it’s actually the false self, like the expression, “they are hiding behind their ego”. The self that sabotages by doing or saying stupid things when everything seems to be going so well. Ego is fueled by self limiting beliefs we learned as kids and have practiced over and over for years. We also have the pressure of a society that looks down on the people that “wake up and smell the coffee” and start changing their destiny no matter how hard it may be. The sacrifices and work it takes is looked at as selfish or reckless. Ego is reactive and can live in the past and dominate your future.
So what about the athletes that not only survive, but dominate in their field? Their confidence is probably driven by an internal self love that keeps them focused and reaching for the next goal, no matter how far fetched it may seem to others.
In this great book I am reading, “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero, she talks about having an internal vibration. The energy that you create from within is like a vibration. Some of us are getting by at a low frequency and expecting high frequency results. They are feeling pessimistic, shameful, jealous and victimized but wanting the awesome things and experiences that others have. They don’t realize that getting those things and experiences requires an adjustment in their frequency in order to hum along with high vibrations and attract better outcomes. I love this quote from the book, “The Universe will match whatever vibration you put out. And you can’t fool the Universe.”
You can fool yourself though….
Living healthy lives is a journey that requires consistency, education, preparation and acceptance. When you are at a low point in life and feeling beat up, it is easy to find excuses and obstacles. “I’m so busy” is my favorite, but others include, “I can’t cook”, “I don’t know how to start”, ‘My family needs me too much” or “I’ve done it before and it didn’t work”. When we think this way, we are really not ready to open our life up to change or opportunities that we “say” we want.
For so many years as a fitness enthusiast and professional, I ran around in circles with the constant excuses of my perceived situation. I worked hard at my cardio fitness and thought of weight training as my, “if I have time” workouts. I would run, do high impact aerobics or FAT BLASTER classes to work off everything I ate. Now this can work for some people, especially when you are in your 20’s and early 30’s. For me it was never the right formula and sadly, it drove me to a dark place. No matter how hard I worked out, I would constantly look at my self and see areas that needed improvement. Being in the fitness field can be very difficult if you have even a tiny bit of insecurity or perfectionism. So what happened? I resolved myself to the fact that there was something out of my control, very difficult for a control freak, and I resorted to liposuction, GASP! Even writing this makes me cringe, 20 years later. The results were great, but guess what? Over a couple years, it all came back in different ways, but I was no better off than before surgery. This was the beginning of my perpetual brain struggle…..work hard, not reach my unrealistic goals, negative thoughts, work harder, no results, settle for where I was and resent others that got there, make excuses…UUUUUUGH! No way to live! It really wasn’t until I became a mom that I started to realize that I had been way too hard on myself and that everyone possesses skills and strengths. I wanted to raise happy and healthy children that were free to aspire to any goal they set for themselves. I wanted them to feel so loved and supported that they could face obstacles, make decisions for themselves and succeed. That’s when I stopped the self deprication and started practicing more self acceptance and love. I am a work in progress and often find myself wandering off into the maze of self doubt, but I can now quickly realize this and reset my focus on positive mantras and beliefs. Acknowledging and accepting my body type was the first step for me. As much as I would like to be taller and rid of my bad knees, I know that it AIN’T happening in this lifetime and there is so much more I can do with what I’ve got.
So what is Self Love?
Simple….letting go of resentment and criticism and being open to gratitude, acceptance and joy. No one knows how great you are but you. Those thoughts that you allow to creep out every once in awhile that say, “I deserve better” or “I could do that”. Cutting through all the brain clutter and focusing on what makes us great gives us the power to care less about all the crap, ours and others!
Start a conversation with yourself that talks about your talents and strengths. Pretend you are a friend or family member describing you and what they admire. For all you moms out there, your kids love you just the way you are, right? Why? Probably because of your unconditional love and support. Throw that back on yourself and really open yourself to accepting love and appreciation.
Forgiving yourself is a HUGE step of self love and can take a little more commitment and perseverance. We hate to go there, but if we haven’t come to terms or forgiven ourselves for past mistakes we can never move forward.
Under no circumstances should you compare yourself to others because that takes all the joy out of life. If you’ve ever had a moment of pride or accomplishment and then heard about someone else’s success and felt less thrilled about your own, you know what I mean. This where that ego thing comes to play again. So many times we have a hard time seeing others really go for it because we have spent years convincing ourselves why we can’t do the same. Let others success be the eye opener of what is available for the rest of us. There is plenty of room for you at the top too. Mind your own business and go for it!
Finally, do what you LOVE and what makes you happy. We are all so busy with the mundane tasks of daily life and taking care of others. Find time for yourself and the things that fill you up with a warm and happy feeling. If you know that exercise is missing in your life but hate running, don’t do it! Find another style that makes your body feel good and still gets you results. Be creative without worrying about the end product. Find ways to express yourself while enjoying the process as much as the results.
If you’ve read to this point and still feel a little unsure of the message, here it is….Put your EGO away(and all those self limiting misbeliefs), step into your SUPER suit(inflated with self love) and take on the UNIVERSE(she’s got your back).