Definition of Ego:
“a person’s self-esteem or self-importance”
Everyone Has an Ego:
- Ego itself is not a negative. It’s a reflection of how we see ourselves.
- It can also reflect how we would like others to see us.
- If can also be a mask for our fears and/or our insecurities. (our vulnerabilities)
The Four Fears:
According to Sigmund Freud, a neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, there are four basic fears that drive our motivations and ultimately reflect in our Ego. Sigmund is considered to be one of the most influential and authoritative thinkers of the 20th century,
The Four Fears are:
- Fear of Failure
- Fear of Loss
- Fear of Rejection
- Fear of Success
The strength of these fears depends greatly on our unique experiences and influences that we’ve been exposed to since the day we were born. Every experience of every day has a positive or negative effect on how these fears drive our actions and motivations and ultimately shapes our ego.
Three Survival Instincts:
In very simple terms, there are 3 parts to our brain.
1. Front – is the logical processor. It thinks it’s making the decisions.
2. Middle – is the emotional processor. It’s our feelings.
3. Back – is the oldest part of the brain (reptilian brain). This part of our brain cares about helping us survive and thrive. It operates on survival instincts. It’s the part of our brain that is driving our choices and decisions to help us feel safe and survive.
Considering what humans need to simply survive…
There are 3 survival instincts that drive our choices and decisions:
1. Food – We need water, nutrients, oxygen, etc. for humans to survive.
2. Sex - We need to reproduce for humans to survive.
3. Safety – This is the “tricky” one. We need to be safe to survive but what we define to be safe or not is completely based on our unique experience and the influences of others. What we define to be safe or not shapes our fears.
The greatest obstacle that will prevent you from achieving your vision is yourself. Take the time to explore and understand how your fears came to be.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Who were the biggest influences in my life?
- What would some of their fears have been?
- What sort of events have I experienced that were both good and bad?
- Why did I label them as good or bad?
- When did I think I was right only to learn later that I was wrong?
- Why is this or that important to me?
Taking the time to explore how your own fears might have evolved will allow you insight to better manage them going forward and ultimately allow you to manage your ego and put you in a stronger position to lead yourself towards your vision.
Equally important is taking the time to understand the fears in others. This requires a great deal of questioning, patience and listening.
When you understand and can remove the fear in others, you build trust, loyalty, openness and respect.
Communicating and interacting consistently, honestly, transparently and clearly will help in removing the fear in others. They are more likely to follow and fully support you when they determine you are safe and worth following. They may then seek to feel comfortable that your vision is in alignment with their own.
5 Tips – Removing Fear for Others:
- Lead with Questions
- Be Patient and Listen
- Communicate with Clarity
- Be Consistent, Honest and Transparent
- Create a Vision you BOTH can see
Manage your Ego, Manage your Fears and Lead with Confidence!
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