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The Part Ego Plays in Stopping "Difference Makers"

By November 20, 2016Ego

“Difference Makers” are those who believe they have a strong drive and conviction about making a positive difference in the world. They know they are on this earth to lead, encourage or inspire positive change. They put considerable energy, effort, and time into actualizing the difference they pursue. They live for the course they are effecting.

There are some ways that ego can get in the way of accomplishing this difference.

1.) It is easy to get on an “ego trip” and believe too much in our self importance. This can take various forms. It’s easy to make others “wrong” if they don’t share our passion. It’s a short step from there to believing that any who do not agree with us or even worse, actively oppose our ideas are “evil”. From these positions, it becomes impossible to bring others into alignment with our objectives. Force becomes our only methodology and that is a fool’s game.

2.) Another form of ego comes disguised as “playing small” or believing we don’t have what it takes. This is not so obviously ego until you examine it more closely. If you believe you have a particular purpose, pretending you don’t have the ability to accomplish it at least suggests a bit of laziness about gaining needed skills, developing confidence and doing what it takes to be assured of having the needed abilities. Isn’t there a bit of ego involved if we don’t take the needed actions to ensure success of the mission? Isn’t it egotistical not to do what is required to fulfill the purpose?

3.) Sometimes ego comes disguised as “lone wolf” mentality. We believe no one can help us. Only we know how and are able to “do it right”. We discount any contributions from others. We refuse and reject help. We ignore suggestions. We always believe that we are the only ones who know anything. We discourage input from others. Our behaviors, communications and reactions all clearly inform others that their ideas and opinions are unwelcome and are rejected.

On top of this, we will frequently play “victim” of having to do it all and play long suffering games about everything falling on our shoulders to do. We never once acknowledge the irony of how we create this dynamic. We never see what we are doing and if we do, we refuse to acknowledge it.

4.) It is easy to get into ego also by allowing self importance to creep in. This can come about subtly and be outside our awareness. Here are some of the forms this might take. We could start to imagine we are more significant than others who aren’t out to make a difference. We could start to discount or minimize any beliefs, actions or missions of others. We could imagine that only what we are here to accomplish has importance. We could fail to support others. We could become self centered in our mission.

5.) Believing we are not important and that our contribution is not important can also be a kind of ego. Think of it this way: contributions from all are required to make up the whole. In that context, how can we justify withholding our contribution by believing in our lack of importance? We make our contribution less important simply through the process of performing in a wimpy and unfulfilling way. Isn’t it a form of ego to be given certain gifts but to feel no responsibility toward developing them?

6.) Another way ego can stop difference makers is to ignore right timing. Most things have an optimal timing and we usually have a good sense of what this is. You may find yourself attempting to rush the timing and find yourself pushing and forcing and feeling disappointed at lack of results. If this is you, recognize your timing and revisit that.

On the other end, many of us will have a sharp awareness of right timing but fail to act when we need to — and let the window of opportunity pass by. This is extremely unsettling because we know better. It seems a conscious choice to be passive when action is required. Typically “crises” will arise or “time wasters” will intervene, but the difference maker is clearly aware that their time to act is passing them by — and chooses not to act. Isn’t some version of ego involved in that?

Ego can come disguised in many ways. There are the obvious versions of ego where our self importance blinds us to the importance of others. There’s the ego of “nobody can do it as great as I can”. There’s the ego of believing our contribution is not important. Ego takes on many disguises to stop difference makers. Don’t let yourself be fooled by ego. Stay aware of timing and don’t play small or “not important”. Ego can really be a trickster.