The #1 thing that you can do to improve your dating life (and life in general) right now, is to recognize and control your ego.
Think about a time when you wanted to talk to a crush, but didn’t do so because you were scared of rejection and embarrassing yourself.
Think about a time when you found some clothes that you loved, but ended up not getting them because somebody else disapproved.
Think about a time when you wanted to try a fun new activity, but chose not to because you were worried about looking foolish.
The memories that arise with these prompts are different for all of us, but the emotions that go with them are the same. They’re powerful emotions such as fear, shame, and pride. They shaped our actions in the scenarios above, and they’ll continue shaping our lives unless we recognize the truth behind them.
What if you did what you wanted to do, and the potential embarrassments came true? How much would any of that matter right now?
Would your life be significantly worse if you got rejected by your high school crush and got laughed at by her friends?
What about if you wore that unconventional outfit, and some people said you looked weird?
How about if you fell on your ass and looked silly on the first day of a new dance class?
Chances are, life today wouldn’t be that much different if those scenarios happened. But while avoiding those situations can prevent temporary embarrassment, it can also cost us opportunities that have could have a real lasting impact.
The fact of the matter is, all of us have partners and passions that are out there waiting to be discovered. Sometimes we overlook opportunities that are in front of us because we become scared.
We allow what doesn’t matter to prevent us from reaching the things that do. And this happens because of our:
A big part of our emotions are driven by our ego, aka our own definition of ourselves. This definition comes to life whenever we use the word:
As in – I am…
There are so many ways in which we define ourselves, and they’re encompassed when we say I. The word becomes not just a personification of our name, but also our activity, body, beliefs, and life.
What’s Wrong With That?
We all have an ego, it’s not possible to be free of one. But what we have to realize is that our ego isn’t who we truly are, it’s just our own definition of ourselves. There are facts that we describe ourselves with, such as our name, age, occupation, and etc. But then there are opinions that we also use, such as smart, generous, open minded, cool, and etc.
Conflicts arise when the opinionated parts of our definition are challenged. Have you ever been in a pointless argument, but didn’t remove yourself from it just because you had to show that you were right? That sort of situation is your ego taking charge. We define ourselves as being correct in that moment, and we are not willing to accept something that says otherwise. It becomes more than just a matter of being right or wrong, but rather a perceived attack on our personal characterization.
Another example of our egos taking charge are the scenarios in the beginning of this article. All of us have had moments where we didn’t do something just because of what other people would think. Even though the results may be short and inconsequential, our egos are ultimately afraid of them being perceived differently.
“I don’t want them to think that I am a joke and not cool.”
“I want people to think that I am stylish.”
“I don’t want to be seen as a loser.”
Be You, Not I
Our egos are incomplete at best, and wrong at worst. Think about all the things you’ve been through in life, all the work you’ve done, and all the intricate thoughts you’ve had. How can we describe everything that makes us who we truly are in mere words? We can’t. And neither can anyone else. But yet we attempt to do such a thing every time we use I. Of course we can’t avoid using I in our daily lives, that would just be unrealistic. But what we can avoid is having I become our limit.
Let the Excuses Go
So many of the excuses that we make in life are centered around our ego. They become limits for ourselves because we’re scared to push past our definition.
Have you ever seen someone else do something, and then wish that you could do the same thing yourself? It could be for anything, such as seeing someone randomly chat up an attractive person on the street, waking up at 5 am to workout, or somebody risking it all to follow their dreams. We see these things, and then we wish we could do them ourselves. But we don’t. So many of us create excuses instead:
“I am not attractive enough to do that.”
“Some people are early birds, I am not.”
“That just isn’t the type of person I am. I can’t do it.”
These types of excuses keep us safe, that’s why we like them. Our ego tells us what’s acceptable, and these excuses keep our lives limited to those lines. They keep us grounded. But if you’ve read this far, you’re probably not interested in being grounded any longer. Life isn’t going to change this way; staying grounded is going to ultimately mean staying single, staying out of shape, staying broke, or staying wherever else you don’t want to be.
If you want to soar like an eagle, you can’t be on the ground with the turkeys.
Next time instead of saying I can’t, ask yourself, “why not me?” instead. Someone has to do it. Someone has to talk to the attractive girl in the bar. Someone has to be the CEO of the next breakout company. Someone has to be the one living their best life in-spite of all the challenges, temporary embarrassments, and setbacks that might be along the way.
Why not you?
Leave the ego on the ground where it belongs. Take you and soar.