Many years ago I was working with a specialist in human behavior who taught me a valuable skill. He taught me to close my eyes, thank my ego for its years of service in getting me to the present, and say “thanks, but I don’t need you anymore.”The first time I did that, I opened my eyes,and all the things my ego required to maintain itself were no longer my burden to shoulder. I didn’t have to do the same things or say the same things, have the same things or believe the same things. With this amazing freedom I got to a healthy, balanced place where I could move forward personally and professionally. The world opened up to me in a whole new way. My path through the world was no longer so narrow. There were so many new possibilities apparent to me.Why is that? How did my ego, my identity, my concept of myself interfere with my ability to see the world as it really is? How is it that your ego can limit your ability to see alternatives?We can’t just look at something and immediately make sense of it. We need to have a concept of something in order to perceive it effectively. Your ego is your concept of yourself, your identity. We begin to put our identity together when we we are very young. We develop an identity to explain the limits between ourselves, others, and the world, and to explain the rules for the way our individual world seems to work. It’s a powerful ability that helps us make sense of our experiences and make personalized decisions.I love to talk about the power of stories. Your identity, your ego, is the most important story anyone tells themselves. It’s the narrative that supports why we believe we are or are not a certain way and why we can or can’t do something. It’s the way we rationalize what we deserve or don’t deserve to do or to have. It’s how we define our feelings and back up our attitudes. What I have learned is that life works best when you’re able to focus and experience it as it really is. When your identity is due for an update, there are symptoms. The world has trouble fitting through the filter of how you see yourself. You feel limited and stuck. When that happens, take that expert’s advice. Close your eyes, thank your ego, but let it go. Sometimes, it’s time for a change.Letting go of your ego is how you begin to rewrite your story. You stop, close your eyes, and remember that you are free to see and do things differently. Then you open your eyes and let yourself see how things are really going in your life. By being present and making decisions as they come, you are in the moment, and able to find your genius. The more you do this, the more you flesh out a new and more accurate concept of yourself. Letting go of your ego allows you to want different things and do different things, and that freedom allows you to find and explore your genius. So many difficulties in our lives are solved when we allow ourselves to have accurate self concepts that are grounded in reality and are chosen to help us move actively through our lives, rather than old ones which we keep because they help us explain why we are where we are and why we can’t change.We each have the freedom and right to go back to the drawing board from time to time and develop a new sense of identity that helps us function in our lives. Give it a shot. Close your eyes, get a good sense of your ego, thank it for getting you here and helping you make sense of your life, and give it the day off. Make some new sense. Come to some new conclusions. Think of yourself differently and see where you go from there. I guarantee you won’t regret it.Cheers,Dave
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