Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mistakes and My Ego

Image Source: myLot

I'm not very good at making mistakes.

The other day at work, I sent a coworker some calculations that I worked on for a couple hours the night before. I had worked really hard and did the best I could to make sure that the answers made sense before I sent it to her. It was SOO hard for me to hit the send button because of my uncertainty and confidence about the correctness of my answers. But after checking through them again, I sent it off.

Well, turns out I did the calculations wrong. Chemistry calculations that should have been simple (at least in my head should have been simple) I got WRONG.

That alone created a downward spiral of thoughts in my head...

"You thought you were so good at chemisty...well obviously not..."
"How could you think you could become a chemistry teacher when you can't even do simple problems!"
"You should have known better."
"People are right to think you don't know what you are talking about."
Etc. Etc. Etc.

This is the way I've always been...or should I say... the way my EGO has always been.

My Ego has been flaring its ugly head lately. I don't think that this is necessarily unusual, I just think that I am more aware of it after watching Oprah's first Lifeclass last week.

It showed up again over the weekend, when I didn't get the expected reaction from The Hubs after his surprise weekend. I mean, the surprise wasn't for me, so why should I get so incredibly upset when things didn't work out exactly like I had planned.

So yesterday, I decided to rewatch Oprah's Lifeclass on The Power of the Ego so that I could take some notes and really learn how to keep my Ego in check.

Here were some of my favorite quotes from the class. Things to remember and to know when my Ego is flaring up..
  • "I don't think it's possible anymore for others to hurt me. They are are just giving their observations. I am giving them meaning." - Wow. When I heard this, it totally made sense to me. Something I need to remember! 

  • "Know the truth of yourself to disconnect from Ego." - I sometimes think that I really do need to learn more about myself. I think most of the time I'm probably identfing with my Ego and not my true authentic self.

  • "The Ego feeds itself in wanting."

  • "Ego shows up when someone disagrees with you. It's your defense." - I've seen this happen in my own life. Probably more times than I can count. It comes with being a perfectionist and people-pleaser.
  •  "I am worthy!"
I'm going to try again and read some of Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth. I've tried in the past, but got bogged down with the philosophy of it all. Oprah said Chapters 3 and 4 really resonated with her so I figured maybe I would start in small steps there.

I think I'll do some individual posts on additional Lifeclasses that resonate with me. This way I can go back and remember all the wonderful things I learn without hogging DVR space! :-)

Do you ever recognize your Ego flaring up? How do you deal with it?
Are you taking Oprah's Lifeclass? What do you think so far?


  1. Wow Jen, this is BIG stuff and I think that ego work is probably life long. I think our ego's are there to "protect" us but I think they get in the way of us really experiencing as well. I would like to do more work to understand and work with my ego, use it when its helpful and let it go when it doesn't. I started reading the Dark Side of Light Chasers, Liz recommended it. It was A LOT OF WORK and I enjoyed it, but I got stuck on a hard chapter, each chapter has an associated exercise. I think I will pick it back up. I love this kind of stuff, thanks for sharing your journey and insights.

  2. Great post Jen! I would love for you to do more posts about this as I think it is so very interesting and I know I could learn so much from it. I totally relate to "the ego shows up when someone disagrees with you". I have a hard time letting go of my defense mechanism and has been something my husband always calls me out on...he's really helped me work on that part of myself. And I have to remember that people are entitled to their own opinions, I'm not always right - like you, that's the perfectionist in me ;)

  3. Oh and I meant to mention, I love the new look of your blog! And I wanted to point out that when I click on your blog title so I can comment it errors and doesn't bring me to your homepage.

  4. @Shayla - Thanks for the feedback! I'll see what I learn from the other Lifeclass shows and post when I think something is especially interesting.

    As for the error... Do you see it when you click on the title from Google Reader or when you go to the actual URL? I tried both and it seems to work for me. I did notice that if you click on the "Happy Birthday" post it errors, but that's because I rescheduled the post to actually post on The Hubs's birthday tomorrow. I don't know how to get it out of Google Reader after I accidentally hit publish. I've been having problems with Blogger lately (another post on that scheduled for Friday), but I'm so blog illiterate I would never be able to figure out how to move everything to another platform!

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  6. It happened when I clicked on the title from Google Reader, but now it's working! :)