Deep down, most of us want to be - to feel - authentic. To be free of the emotion that rules us. To achieve a place of peace and calm. After all, we all come into this world truly authentic.
But while we may begin as truly authentic beings, life happens. We learn rules. Are told what to believe about ourselves and the world around us. Become moulded by our experiences. Slowly, as we age, that which was originally the real deal gets replaced by something else.
A box called Ego.
Ego is a construct, created as a result of our life experiences and learning. It exists to keep our perceived identity safe. When ego is stroked, or at the very least not challenged, life is good.
But Ego is rarely happy. It incessantly craves attention. And when external conditions try to push it out of its well-defined box, it reacts fearfully. Ego wants two things more than anything else - praise and safety. Remove either one - or both - and all hell breaks loose.
And what does Ego do when under threat? It pulls up the drawbridge and retreats into its bastion of rationalization, but not before sending out its favourite knight - Fear - to do its bidding.
When you are struggling with something in life or work - perhaps it’s an interpersonal challenge, a lack of ability to move forward in spite of your best efforts, or a knowledge that you want something but can’t seem to get up the nerve to take that step - consider the following:
1. Your desire for change is coming from your Authentic Self. It is your quest for joy and fulfillment that is driving you. Take heart in this! While the Authentic You may be submerged beneath the overburden of life’s learning, it is ALWAYS there as your strongest and most devoted ally.
2. Listen to your emotions. Your emotions are the messengers from the deep. They come from Authentic space. If your emotions are telling you something is not quite right, it would be wise to give them an audience.
3. Ask yourself “what am I afraid of in this situation?". Sir Fear is on the prowl at the bidding of Ego. Understand that fear exists to keep Ego safe. Pinpointing the fear that holds you back and releasing it is the conduit to your Authentic Self and to the fulfillment you want in life. But beware - Ego will fight back. Understanding that this is part of the process of eventual full release will help keep you on track.
Life always sends challenges our way. It is the human condition. But understanding the nature of the Authentic Self - Ego battle being waged within ourselves gives us a leg up on finding solutions to get to where we really - authentically - want to be in life.
Glenn Case is a Career Success and Leadership Coach focused on guiding others toward greater career fulfillment. He can be contacted at www.glenncasecoaching.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/glenncase.