I don’t know about you but when I used to think of the term ‘ego trip’ my mind was drawn to the idea of showing off or drawing attention in some way. When I looked up a definition it said;
‘An activity done in order to increase one’s sense of self-importance.’
So far, so good but a while back my attention was grabbed by a much broader definition that has proved both useful and enlightening.
I use the word ‘insecurity’ as a catch-all term for the feelings we have that are based in some kind of fear, anxiousness or tension. We all experience such feelings from time to time and yet if we don’t understand what these feelings are really telling us it can cause all kinds of problems.
Let me share an example.
I used to sometimes find myself getting very distracted during business meetings with potential new clients. Instead of paying complete attention to the client, really hearing what they were trying to communicate and responding appropriately, I often felt tense and my mind was filled with inner dialogue like…
‘How am I doing?’
‘Am I coming across ok?’
‘Is this going to work out?’
All this inner mental activity was contaminating the communication, lowering my impact and, ultimately, my chances of actually landing the business.
The ultimate ego trip
It was Dr. Judith Sedgeman, on a webinar I took part in, who said ‘Insecurity is the ultimate ego trip’.
When I heard this I thought ‘Wow – I have never thought of my insecurities as an ego trip before’.
We can so easily pin our sense of well-being on external things – like winning business, being liked or getting approval. We think that if the outside world conforms to the way we want then our own inner world will be ok too.
But this is an illusion. The outside does not cause our inner experience. Not ever.
When we see the illusion then we stop giving in to our insecurities because we see no value in trying to fix what we made up in the first place!
Insecure feelings are a fact of life. It is not whether we get them or not that is the issue. Trying to get rid of them is a waste of energy because fighting a feeling makes things worse. Adding more bad feeling on top of bad feelings does not make them go away. How could it?
The truth is that it is ok to feel insecure. What really matters is how much you care about how you feel. If you’re not insecure about feeling insecure then you can feel anything and be ok with it.
I found that the less attention I paid to my insecure thoughts the more available I was for what really matters.