Today we are going to be talking about egos and typos. Now these two topics don’t generally go together but I recently received a proposal from a potential vendor who claimed to be one of the top marketing strategists in the world. That’s quite a bold statement, and on top of that, there was a typo in his proposal! Now that’s a heck of a lot of ego if you ask me.
Our egos are not always a bad things, there’s actually a lot of good things about our egos. They help us develop a strong sense of self, they help us develop our personality, they can make us more bold, daring and adventurous. But there are also many times when our egos they limit us, they can exhaust us, they can cause us to fall victim of crazy fears we come up with.
So how do we check our egos so they stop getting in our way? Join me in this episode where I deep dive into the topic of the ego.
WHAT YOU WILL DISCOVER
When our ego is good for us and when it’s bad for us
How our egos limits our abilities to really listen
5 times when we want to check our egos
10 ways to check your ego
FEATURED ON THE SHOW
Hello hello, welcome to Happy Productive episode number 27. I’m Jennifer Dawn, a business coach and founder of Best Planner Ever. The Happy Productive podcast is your go-to resource for learning how to bring awareness into your productivity goals and time management practices, so you can set yourself up each and every day for as much love happiness and joy as you can possibly handle. Now doesn’t that sound wonderful?
Today, we’re gonna be talking about egos and typos. Now, just bear with me for a second and you’ll understand exactly what I mean by this because this is something that happened recently. I received a proposal for services for marketing services from a potential vendor. And when I opened up the proposal, the vendor had made a very, very bold statement on their proposal, and I’m not going to say exactly who it was or what it was, but you’ll get the idea. They made a very bold statement about being the very best marketing strategist in the world, okay?
That was basically the gist of the statement of, here I am, here’s my, here’s my name, and I am one of the top marketing strategists in the world. And I’m like, okay, well, first of all, that’s a pretty bold statement to make because there are just under 8 billion people in the world, okay? Think about that for a second, 8 billion people in the world. And to make a statement that you’re like, the top of that is really, I think, a whole lot of ego talking, right?
And then to top it off, in this big, bold statement, there’s a typo. Now, come on, if you’re gonna make a statement about being the best out of 8 billion people then you probably would not have a typo in your proposal, just saying. But this really gave me quite a chuckle. And it got me thinking a lot about our egos.
And the ego is not a bad thing. In fact, there are many, many good things about our egos. They help us develop a really strong sense of self, it helps us to develop our personality and who we are. A good ego can help us to be more bold, more daring, more adventurous, and it can give us that confidence that we need to get out there and achieve our goals, right? To step out of our comfort zones to push past fears, egos can do some really wonderful things for us.
However, on the flip side, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, there are quite a few things about our egos that can also start to limit us. They can anchor us and all these like crazy fears that we come up with, which are just not true. Plus, when we overexert our ego, it can really lead to exhaustion, it can deplete our willpower, it can make it harder for us to like, stick with our healthy habits. And it can just really help us make a colossal a-hole out of ourselves when we make this ridiculous statement and then have a typo in it.
The other thing that our egos will do is they will limit our ability to really, really listen. And you guys listening is a skill that so many of us really, really need to develop. I heard a recent statistic that says that we really only hear about 25% of what’s being said, which means that we’re missing 75%. Think of that, think of all the conversations that you have in a day, and you’re really missing 75% of what’s being said. But that is another podcast episode, my friends.
So let’s talk a little bit about times when you do want to check your ego. And there are a lot of times for this. And this is something that I had to learn the hard way. And earlier on in my first software company, you know, here I am walking around whoo hoo, look at me, I’m the president of my own software company, and I thought I was quite the whoop dee doo. And I would go out with my ego into sales conversations. And when a prospect was like, hey, tell me about your software. And I’m like, of course, let me tell you how great we are how great I am. And I would just start in chatter, chatter, chatter, right running on at the mouth and telling them all about the software.
And their eyes would gloss over and then they would like walk out of my booth or they would, you know, give me some reason to hang up the phone. And I was like, what’s wrong? I mean, I’m so great. Why can’t they possibly see that? And I quickly learned that my ego was getting in the way and it was stopping me because when I was doing all the talking I wasn’t doing any listening.
And when I learned to check my ego, especially in sales conversations, and instead I would ask the customer, hey, you know, well, what about your current system that you don’t like? Or what are your pain points? Like? What are the challenges that you’re having with your current system, and I checked my ego and I got quiet, and I really started listing. And in any sales conversation that you might be having, like, the person you’re talking to, will tell you exactly how to close the deal. But you’re gonna miss it if you’re not listening. And the only way to really be listening is to check that ego.
Here are a few other times when you want to really check your ego, when planning your day. Think about this for a second, have you ever sat down to plan your day and you’re kind of caught up in your ego? A little bit of whoo hoo, look at me, I’m so important. Look at all these important things I have to do. And then what do we do we over schedule ourselves, we overcome it. We don’t say no, because we’re Superman or Superwoman, right? And then we end up being super exhausted. And we don’t get the most important things done.
And so every day when I sit down, I open up my Best Planner Ever, and I’m gonna sit there and plan my day, I always make a conscious effort to okay, check your ego, Jen, you’re not all that important. You know, when it’s time to delegate, you know, there are other people who can do the job as good as you or better than you. And that, of course, requires us to check our egos. And we do this, I’m telling you right now, the planning just falls out so much easier. And it also becomes so much easier to delegate to members of our team.
Another time when you want to check your ego is really any time where you’re going to be communicating, right?ny form of communication, which requires you to be fully present. If you’re bringing your ego to that conversation. It’s like, you know, bringing somebody who wasn’t invited to the party, and it will have its own conversation up inside your head, and you’re going to be listening to that instead of the person in front of you.
So think about anytime you have to communicate, if you’re disciplining an employee, if you’re doing a training presentation, having a sales conversation, anything along those lines, even just talking with your partner, or talking with your children, you know. Be sure and check your ego so that you can really be fully present.
Another great time to check your ego is when you’re creating your vision statement. And what I mean by this is, the vision statement is intensely personal. It’s really what matters to us. And think about it. If you bring ego to the party, if you bring ego, you’re going to be comparing yourself to others, you’re going to be stepping into roles that maybe other people expect you to fill, not the roles YOU choose to fill. And so this is why it’s really important when you sit down to work on the vision statement of your life to check that ego, really get it you know, leave it at the door. So you can connect with your heart get out of your head. When you’re creating that vision, there’s no room for that ego.
And finally, when hiring team members, this was one of my hardest lessons learned. I used to hire employees back in the day who, you know, they were all really nice people, but they didn’t always have the skill set. And so when I would teach them or show them how to do things, it was a little bit of like, hey, look how, look how much better I am at this than you, okay? And it’s not that I ever was a jerk about it. But I noticed that then I started having employees where I was always having to go behind them and clean up their work and do things for them because they weren’t doing it to the level that I wanted it wanted them to do it.
And I quickly realized that I had to check my ego when it came time to hiring people. I had to hire people who could do the job as good as or better than me. Even if it was more than one person that it took to replace the role I was filling. That was fine, too. But I wanted people in there better than me. And that took me really checking my ego. And when I did that, gosh, everything changed. Because now I had an amazing team that made me look great. But also I could delegate to and it didn’t like keep me awake at night trying to figure out like how to do everybody’s work for them. So check the ego.
And when we talk about checking our ego, self-awareness is really the key here to using your ego for good, and then keeping it in check when necessary. Now you might be asking, how do we check our ego and so I’m going to give you 10 ways, 10 ways! If you think there’s only one way to check your ego, I have news for you, I’m going to give you 10 ways to check your ego.
So number 1, get out of your head and get into your heart space. The ego is really between your ears. It’s all that stuff that’s going on up there and when we’re so caught up in our head, we are not in our heart space. A really quick and easy way to get into that heart space. Just a big deep breath in. And a big deep breath out and when you let it out I love to make the “ahhhh” noise and when you make that noise “ahhhhhh” you can kind of feel everything shifting down, and it shifts into that heart space. And you might even feel that you shift into a sense of quiet and a sense of calm, and that’s going to be your heart space. So when you feel yourself up in your head, and you need to get down into the heart space and check that ego, big, deep breath in, big deep breath out.
Number 2, adopt a beginner’s mindset. Meaning that, you know, remember back to when you didn’t know how to do all of this stuff, either there was a time when you didn’t know how to do it. And if you can check your ego and put yourself back in the shoes of yourself, when you are a beginner, this is a great way to reset.
Number 3, stop telling yourself all those crazy stories that we tell ourselves, all the excuses and the reasons and the justifications of why we are better. And we don’t need to do this and why it doesn’t apply to us. It’s just all nonsense. And we have to stop telling ourselves those stories. Everyone is not out to get you, right? Everyone does not care what you’re doing. This is something I’ll pick on my husband for a second, he’ll go out and he’ll play sports. And if he doesn’t play really well, he’ll come home and I’ll just be just devastated about what his teammates might think of him. And I’m like, honey, nobody is thinking of you. They’re all home, obsessing over their poor performance in the game. They’re not thinking about what you did at all. And it’s so true, right? We get so caught up in our heads, worried about what everyone else is thinking about us, but they’re all up in their heads too. So we can just stop telling those stories right now and check those egos everybody isn’t out to get you or talking about you.
Number 4, stop talking and stop working. Sometimes ego can be a little chatterbox, right? And we’re just like ma na na na na. Well, if you find yourself doing a whole lot of talking and not really getting the action that you want, time to zip it in time to start working. And then that’s a great way to start checking that ego as well.
Number 5, forget credit and recognition. This is really important. Think about that for a second, check the ego and check getting credit and recognition. I had a great lesson from this over the weekend. So I went through the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru. And I when I go through the drive-thru, this is always a way for me, I just I love to do this is that I will pay for the person behind me. And here’s why I love it. The person behind you is behind you. They don’t know who you are, you’re not getting credit, you’re not getting recognition. Nobody knows the good deed you did. And it’s just always this fun little thing that I love to do that just helps me remember to check my own ego. Do something kind for somebody who will never ever know you are who know who you are, right? That’s number five.
Number 6, get outside connect with nature connect with the universe. Connect with the sky and the sun and the moon and the stars right, zoom out. Zoom out that perspective. When you realize just how big and massive the universe’s and everything that’s going on, these small little petty things that our ego is has caught us up in just don’t seem that important anymore. This is one of the tricks I love when it’s time for me to check my ego is I just zoom out, like I’m up in space, and I’m looking down at planet Earth. And I asked myself, from this view, does it really matter what silly little thing you’re worried about? And of course the answer is no. So it’s a great ego check.
Number 7, choose a alive time over dead time. And here’s what I mean by this alive time is time when we’re learning or acting or growing or doing right. Dead time is time when we’re just passive. We’re waiting. Maybe we’re making excuses. Maybe we’ve fallen into that victim behavior. Maybe we’re having a little temper tantrum because things are not going our way. So just be aware of your dead time and your own alive time and whenever possible, choose that alive time. Choose to learn, choose to grow, choose to take action. That’s a great way to put the ego back where it belongs.
Number 8, let go. You know the song from Frozen, where she says let it go right I love that song. Because it always reminds me to let go quit trying to control everything. That’s our ego thinking that everything has to be done exactly the way that we decide it has to be done and nobody else can do it. As good as us and bla bla bla bla. Okay, so let go of that. Quit trying to control everything that is all ego talking. It is not serving you.
Number 9, choose love, LOVE. Hatred is what happens when ego takes some little minor insult and decides it’s going to turn it into a huge, massive sore and it starts lashing out at everyone right to get back at them. Instead, you want to pause and you want to ask yourself, has hatred has lashing out ever helped anyone in our human existence? No, it hasn’t. So choose love instead, because it’s really the ego, which is taking things and blowing them way, way out of proportion. But when you choose love puts the ego right back where it belongs.
And finally, number 10, pursue mastery in your chosen field. Why? Because when you’re pursuing excellence in whatever you do, the better you get, the more humble you become. And it’s really such a beautiful thing, you start to really understand that there’s always something, always something that you can learn. And it’s so much harder to get that big head, when you’re on this path of always getting better and better and improving yourself. This is one of the things I love doing with coaching is that I always remind myself that I can always be a better coach. And I’m always focused on trying to master that field. And that’s a great, great way for me to check that ego and really focus on excellence.
So I hope this has helped you not to let your ego like carry you away down the wrong path. If you’re in any kind of sales, I hope it helps you get more sales calls. When you sit down to plan tomorrow and you maybe hopefully remember to check that ego a little bit. Maybe it’ll help you say no to some of the wrong things, say yes to some of the right things. Maybe take time off a little bit, right and spend some time with your family or do some self-care because you’ve checked that ego.
I hope that the next time that you’re in a conversation with your partner or a loved one or a family member, you stop, maybe take a moment, check that ego and really, really listen, not to yourself in your head but the person who’s in front of you, and really, really get connected to them.
Alright, I hope you take all these tips and you do good with them. Remember, keep the ego in check and for the love of God, use spellcheck, okay? That’s what it’s there for, especially before you go making some huge massive ego statement. And just you know, word to the wise if, if you sell your services and you’re presenting them in a proposal, you know, try to check that ego before you come up with the tagline for your for the front page of your proposal.
All right, you guys if you would ever like any help with this, please come check me out. You can find me at jenniferdawncoaching.com If Today’s the day you’re like hey, I really need a better way to plan my time. Consider our time management system which is the Best Planner Ever. Thank you so much for listening. Now get out there you guys and go have a Happy Productive day!