Are you being driven by your ego or your values?
I recently read the book by Ryan Holiday called Ego Is The Enemy. It talks about how our ego can get in our way of reaching our full potential. While reading, I started making the distinction between ego and values.
When pursuing a goal, and I’m relying on ego, I get excited and then burn out quickly. However, if I’m leaning into my values, I’m able to move forward even after the dopamine rush subsides.
How do you know if it’s ego or values that’s influencing you? Here are 10 ways to make that distinction.
1. Ego relies on the acceptance of others. Values don’t care what anyone thinks. Besides, they’re not thinking anything anyway.
2. Ego is afraid of failure. Values understand that failure is all part of the process in becoming the most authentic version of yourself.
3. Ego doesn’t want to let go and move on to something better. Values helps you let go and choose a path that’s better for you.
4. Ego says how dare they ignore me. Values tend to neutralize interactions and sees people as more fully dimensional.
5. Ego hates discomfort. Values keep you open and curious so you can continue learning.
6. Ego likes to gossip to keep others down. Values create a higher level of thinking and speaking.
7. Ego says that what you’re doing is the most important thing in the world. Values realizes that, while what you’re doing is valuable, it’s a big world with a lot of other important things going on out there.
8. Ego is a people pleaser and wants to say yes for fear of disappointing or missing out. Values helps you say no when something doesn’t align with who you are.
9. Ego chases and compares. Values keep you running your own race.
10. Ego wants to be the most talented person in the room. Values realizes one of the best ways to get better is to be around people who are more talented than you.
I love making this distinction. It’s incredibly helpful for keeping growing into my truest self.
I leave you with an inquiry. “In your own life, what’s the distinction between ego and values?”