In the last 8 months, I’ve had my ego challenged frequently. Perhaps one of my biggest weaknesses is that my ego is my identity, as is the majority of peoples’. Let’s say your ego is substantiated by your success at work; what if someone tells you you’re doing something wrong? Your thinking is flawed? Your actions are incorrect? I’d wager you take it personally.
Having been challenged in such ways recently makes my other shortcoming come out; that of reactiveness, or unwillingness to adapt, or change. So in my head, the nuances of my ego are being challenged… when in reality, just the quality of my work.
And that’s it.
So below, I’ve been inspired to give you something to spark a fire.
1. Respect informed criticism.
Now, it’s unsurprising that criticism can come from anywhere; a co-worker, family member, or relationship partner. At first glance, criticism from 2/3 of these individuals may hurt. The other may warrant an argument. It’s up to you to gauge whether that criticism was given in a respectful way, or comes from a passionate, loving place.
If adapting to this criticism would make you the person you want to be; do it.
Growth can occur at any age; a grandparent re-learning how to parent; a successful business tycoon changing his practices to accommodate the time; your sister learning how best to approach you with sensitive topics. Change is irrespective of age or experience. Ego will stop you from this growth.
2. Be with people who inspire you to grow how you want to.
If you’re comfortable, you’re not growing. A sprout from a seed needs to break the soil; a tree needs to push roots through bedrock.
I’ve learned surrounding myself with people who keep me complacent aren’t in my life to see me succeed. People who care about me test my will-power, my beliefs, and who I am. The only justice I can give for their efforts is to be better. Because without them, what do I have?
3. Be open to people who are different than you.
Strong-linked friendships and relationships are there for you to cry with; to go rock-climbing with; to complain about the political climate with. They share similarities with you. It’s easy to feel comfortable with these loved ones, because they’re a luxury. They’re your slippers. At the end of a hard day, they’re there to comfort you.
But are these people your running shoes? Those loafers or black stilettoes you wear solely to be the hottest thing walking on Saturday nights? The shoes you put on a couple of times a week to get you out of your comfort zone? Not necessarily.
What’s nice about all of these “shoes” is the amount of care you give them. While your slippers get the most use, they’re always there next to your bed. And your dress shoes you polish every other month, for that one time they’re needed.
They’re all there for you.
So if it’s anything I’ve learned so far from being uncomfortable with myself, it’s knowing that if I want to grow into the person I see myself being, I need to respect the things above. I need to stop being so sensitive; approach my shortcomings; make those who care about me feel like their love is returned; make my “weak links” feel as appreciated as I feel when I receive their support. Because at the end of the day, do I want to be a taker, or a giver?
So I think;
Can I live with being the same person for the rest of my life?