When working on cultivating the mind to your advantage there are many things that can stand in the way. The ego is one of the biggest things. Most of us have grown up to believe that the ego is who we are. We trust it more than anything else. Yet, the ego’s only purpose is to protect us from danger. True danger.
Although we probably feel like the world is a dangerous place today, it’s really quite safe. Quite safe when compared to the times of those before us. We no longer run from wild animals. We live pretty safe and sheltered lives.
For most of us there is no longer any true danger that the ego has to protect us from. With that said, it is the ego. So, if it can’t protect us from real danger, it’s going to play make believe with us. And most of us live our whole lives falling for it.
When most of us think about the ego, we view it as something that only those full of themselves possess. However, we all have an ego. For some of us it may be more prominent than others. Our egos are what prevents us from uncovering our true selves. It’s what makes us believe we must live one way when our hearts want to live another way.
Through my self-love and intentional living journey, my ego has been one of the biggest obstacles I’ve had to face. One aspect that my ego has always prided itself on is independence. Growing up, my mom always prided herself on being independent. Independence was always associated with strength and power. She especially encouraged my sisters and I to seek independence. She instilled in us the belief that we should never have to depend on anyone else — especially a man.
I took all of this to heart. At 14 I got my first job. Money was the key source of independence. My mother never made much money. She always justified that this was so because she did not have much education. Therefore, education was the first step to receiving enough money to be independent. I followed my mother’s recipe for independence exactly. I graduated from college. I got high paying jobs. Most of all, I didn’t need to depend on anyone.
The Ego is a Lonely Place
For most of my life my independence served me well. That is until I decided to get married. And then even more when I decided to have children. This “you can do it all yourself” attitude was no longer working. It was left me frustrated, stressed and confused. Through the help of a variety of books, podcasts and blogs I realized that my ego was preventing me from being truly happy. To find this happiness, I needed to slowly let go of my ego. Leaving my job at Apple was the first step in taming my ego.
The second step was asking for help. Help was never part of the success story. I prided myself on not having to depend on anyone. I realized, however, that if I truly wanted to live with intention and for happiness I needed help. This help ranged from small things like asking others to watch my kids for a while. To big things, like moving across the country for the wide array of support from my family.
Asking for help is still something that I’m not completely comfortable with. My ego still tries to trick me into making me believe this is a sign of weakness. What I’ve learned, however, is that it takes so much strength to ask for help. Strength that I’m still developing. My life is so much richer because of the help I have received. Through this richness I also want to give more of myself to others, so that they can also experience the joys that comes from helping one another.
You Don’t Have To Do It Alone
Living with the ego as your life guide will leave you unfulfilled. I say this because that’s how I lived for many many years. What I’ve learned is that life was not meant to be hard. We were not meant to suffer. There is an easier way to live. And plenty of people that want to help you live it. All you need to do is ask. Realize that you don’t have to do it all alone. There is a reason why the saying “it takes a village” resonates with so many of us. Anyone who has ever been truly successful and fulfilled, never got their entirely on their own.
If you’re serious about discovering the power and potential of your mind, you must be willing to tame your ego. Realizing that you are not on this journey alone, and that there are so many people who want to help you is one way of taming it. I’m still not comfortable asking for help. But, I force myself to do it. Each time, I am grateful that I did.
Through this journey I have also studied many people. Those who are truly successful and fulfilled have no problems asking others for help. They have people running their businesses, handling their calendars, and taking care of their kids when needed. For some reason, we’ve been led to believe that to be successful we have to do it all ourselves. This is simply impossible for most of us.
Help is There
Help is available if you need it. I know, because I offer my help all of the time. What I’ve realized, however is that this help is only good if those I offer it to accept it. Many times, others don’t want to feel like they are a burden to me. Or that they are taking up my precious time. What they don’t realize, however, is that I live for this stuff. I started this blog to document my journey. However, I also started it because I truly want to help people.
I can’t force my help upon others. So, if you need my help, I am ready when you are. Know that I, like those that I receive help from, give graciously. I don’t do it out of pity. I do it because I want to empower you. I want you to realize your full potential.
It took me a long time to accept help. I realized that through this help others were empowering me. They weren’t helping me out of pity and guilt. Our society has been led to believe that “self-made” successes happen all on their own. They don’t. Go to anyone you admire. Anyone who is successful and at peace with life. Ask them who helped them get there, and you’ll likely be surprised at the answer. My list of people who have helped me has grown tremendously through this journey. As this list grows, so does my strength and happiness.