One of the things I absolutely love about blogging and the community that comes with it is the fact that we can address the issues that affect all of us. Issues like body image, industry size vs. plus size, ethical business practices, being authentic – we’ve all talked about it. But one issue I think that’s worthy of discussion is Ego.
We all know how important it is to be humble and not always make it about you all the time. It’s not cool to be snob, stuck up, or condescending. We totally get that. However that’s just the obvious signs of a big Ego. There are also not so obvious ways that our Ego can keep us from being successful in blogging and in life.
I was watching Oprah’s Life Class last night entitled The False Power of Ego and it was one of those shows that literally had me thinking a long after the show was over. It was really, really deep and if you didn’t have a chance to watch it last night, I highly recommend you check out the webcast of the after show. You will have so many mental light bulbs going off in your head it will feel like Christmas!
I won’t get into all of the details but Oprah and Eckhart Tolle, who wrote A New Earth, define Ego as:
A false sense of self
Any identification with form
It means that your Ego ties your idea of what you think you are with something like the types of clothes you wear, the kind of car you drive, what you do for a living, etc. Your sense of worth in the world is defined by these materialistic things. The truth is that all of those things aren’t tied to your true self because at the end of the day when you strip all of those things away, you will still be you and you have to know and love the person that you really are. Otherwise you’ll never be satisfied and never feel you have enough. As Oprah pointed out, you can’t begin to love yourself unless you know who you are separate from your ego. It really goes way deeper than this and it took me a little bit to wrap my head around it but it’s definitely something to think about.
For me it kind of clicked that I would always identify myself with what I did. When I was in school I was the honor student, the Drama class actress, the girl on the Step Team, or the Alto in the choir. Doing those things and doing them well made me feel validated as a person. In college, I was the future attorney and once I became one my life would be golden. I put everything that would’ve made my life happier on hold so I can put all my energy into attaining that goal. My Ego was telling me that I was an attorney, deserved to be one, and nothing else matters. When I got those low grades on the LSAT I was pissed because( I thought) there is just no way could have done so bad. I did everything right and studied all the right things. Then the rejection letters from the Law Schools came in and I was in even madder. Did they not see my grades in college? (Ego much?) Then the anger turned to sadness and depression because I thought I was a failure and just didn’t deserve anything good to happen to me. I was too blinded by my false sense of self to realize that this was not the route I need to be taking. The decisions I was making was not in alignment with what I wanted out of my life and it took me almost ten years to figure that out.
I’m thrilled to say that I’m in a much happier place because I’m fueling my passion for writing again but Ego is still a tricky thing. That’s where I feel that this concept of having a false sense of self is very important when it comes to blogging, especially now. There are so many opportunities for us now and for those who want to take their blog and turn it into their career in some form or fashion there’s even more pressure. Since I realized last night that I have a tendency to tie my self-worth to what I do for a living I have to be even more careful and remind myself of a few things to keep this Ego in check:
Who would I be if I wasn’t a blogging or writing anymore? I’ve grown a lot as a person as a result of this little space on the internet. I found a more confident, adventurous, and secure person hiding underneath all of the insecurities and negativity that I had all these years. I’m not totally there by no means but I’m finding out everyday what I am capable of and I don’t think that would go away if I wasn’t writing anymore. What you do for a living, a hobby, or whatever does not define you. Just think about what personality traits you would still have if those tangible things that you thought made you who you are aren’t there anymore.
Just because others may see me one way doesn’t mean I have to be that way. Everyone that was close to me in my life saw me having a career in the traditional way i.e becoming a lawyer or something along those lines. I was a creative person at heart, but pushed that aside to go that route and I was miserable! Now they see how much I love what I do now they are totally on board, but that doesn’t always happen. If people know you as a beauty blogger that doesn’t mean you have to live up to that image all the time. You don’t have to go broke buying products you can’t afford just to review them or be made up 24-7 if you really only wear makeup on special occasions. Don’t let that type of Ego get in the way of doing what you love to do. When you don’t love it, your readers will notice!
I am enough just because I’m here. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been blogging for six years or six minutes, everyone has something valuable to say. There is only one of you in this world and that alone makes you stand out from everyone else. Having a million hits a day, 5 gazillion followers, and big name sponsors doesn’t make anyone more qualified to write about something or have an opinion. The same way an Ego can make you bigger than you are, it can also make you feel smaller than you are, especially when you’re comparing yourself to everyone else. Just remember, before you decided to blog you had something awesome to say – your blog is just the platform to say it!
What do you ladies think about Ego? Have you ever identified with something that wasn’t really you?