When I first contemplated leaving the corporate world over 5 years ago, one of the biggest things that was getting in the way was my ego, my false sense of self. Leaving my career behind meant giving up so many items – like my nice steady paycheck (which paid for the beautiful house, the wonderful vacations, and restaurant dinners), my title (which I had worked so hard for), and the ability to tell people that I worked for a big company. It was funny to realize that this “little” thing called ego could be so strong and was so tied to my work, my role, possessions and experiences. I had never thought of myself as a materialistic person, yet here I was, not wanting to let go. I finally had to ask myself what was more important – feeding my ego or gaining my happiness and freedom?
Why was my ego clinging so tightly to these things? It was afraid that if I let go of these pieces, that my sense of self would be threatened. That would mean that I would be vulnerable. I would be opening myself up to the innate fear that I was not enough, that I was somehow flawed and unworthy of love. And we will always do whatever we can to avoid feeling that.
The same thing happens when we get criticized by someone else or when we think that we “failed” or made a mistake. We may become very defensive or aggressive, because our sense of self is being threatened.
I finally decided that gaining my happiness and freedom was more important than feeding my ego and left the corporate world 5 years ago this Friday. And since then, I have learned that if we love ourselves, if we know that we are enough, that we are completely worthy of love RIGHT NOW, then we don’t have to protect our ego so fiercely. We don’t become so upset when we lose our possessions, when we no longer have our work title, or when a belief that we held turns out to be wrong. And we don’t have to become so defensive or aggressive when we get criticized.
So continue to practice loving yourself, so you can leggo your ego and find more happiness and freedom. Find things you are grateful for every day, so you can focus on the positive and be really present in the moment. Acknowledge yourself every day for all the little and big things you do. And be compassionate with yourself every day, so you can have more compassion for your loved ones and friends. ♥