Shayne Hughes is the President and Culture Change Partner at Learning as Leadership. Shayne is also the bestselling author of the new book, “Ego Free Leadership: Ending the Unconscious Habits that Hijack Your Business.”
As a kid, Shayne was often picked on and bullied. He grew to become hardened to the outside world until he realized he was on the wrong path and forced by life to make some big changes.
After getting pulled over for a DUI, Shayne realized that he had to change if he wanted his life to go anywhere. There were a lot of stages between when Shayne hit bottom and ended up where he is now, but on the way he realized his ego was getting in the way.
There are always two sides to the ego. The part where you see yourself as a superhero, and the negative side that ends up being your worst critic. We have an obsession on success and a terror of failure with us all the time that shapes our identity. The truth is we tend to underestimate what we are capable of, and overestimate how bad we are.
The simple definition of your ego is your preoccupation of your self worth. Sometimes the critic is just a whisper, and sometimes it’s so loud you can’t hear anything else.
Your ego will tell you a story that keeps you in your comfort zone. It is constantly making trade offs that are aiming to protect yourself from something you are afraid of.
Even people who tend to get a lot done, do so within their comfort zone. They aren’t doing anyone any favors by playing small.
You have to listen carefully and be honest about yourself when you’re fears keep you from doing something. Pay attention and track as your ego surfaces, journal it over a few weeks and you’ll get a good picture of when your ego hijacks you.
Do you feel a general sense of comfortable dissatisfaction? Where you aren’t particular happy with your habits but not in enough pain to stop. Your ego is the culprit.
For people who have no problem getting started, ego can appear by preventing your ability to trust others. If you build the people, the people will build the business. If you always have to be the smartest guy in the room, you are going to have trouble hiring and working with people that are smarter or better than you.
When you’re not aware of the undercurrent of value and competence that you inject into these situations, you add a lot of stress and tension to your life. You have to realize that there is nothing really at stake when it comes to your worth.
Manifestations of the ego are extremely costly to the organization of a business. What are you not creating because your team is not committed to taking risks together? Are you being guided by what you most want or by your ego, unconsciously to keep you comfortable?
Reference: Ego Free Leadership: Ending the Unconscious Habits that Hijack Your Business, Shayne Hughes
When you say “so what?” to your fears, and you reach for the stars, the magic of being human unfolds. Write down your worst fears and what the worst case scenario is. 95% of that is connected to your self worth. If you can so “so what?” to your fears, you enter into a new mental space where you are able to go after your goals. We are not born with a fear of failure, it’s something we learn and you don’t have to be at the mercy of that.
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