The formula for success is simple and the same for everyone, no matter what walk of life you come from, how young or experienced you are, or the industry that you’re in or from. Success is a combination of Learning and Applying - learning what needs to be done to be successful and taking immediate action to apply these learnings to ensure success. However, the problem for most people in executing this formula is that there is an invisible barrier which stands tall and strong between learning and applying. This barrier is none other than EGO!
What is ego and what does it really mean? It is something that we’ve heard of and know we have, and yet, it is something that most of us don't completely understand. What I tell people is this: E.G.O. is the ‘Exit Gate for Opportunities'.
When you know what needs to be done to create positive changes for yourself but choose to defy taking action simply because you feel it’s “not you” or “not your style” to do so - then that’s your ego speaking. In this process of letting your ego dictate what you can or cannot do based on the self-imposed identity you’ve created for yourself, what you're really doing is allowing opportunities to go by you, leaving it up for grabs to anyone else who decides to leave their ego behind and take action.
So, is your E.G.O. hurting your success? If there’s something that you aren't achieving, then there is a good chance it is. Ask yourself, what is it that you know you should be doing but aren't doing because of the limitations you have set for yourself?
- Maybe it’s knowing that you need to ask someone to teach you something but can’t bring yourself to ask because it might make you look stupid or vulnerable;
- Maybe it’s knowing that you need to keep chasing the client to close a sale but you don't want to because it makes you feel like you're desperately begging for the sale;
- Maybe it’s knowing that you need to network at events to grow your business but don’t want to because you don't like socialising with strangers;
- Maybe it’s knowing that you need to own up for a mistake made and apologise but don't want to because it may make you look weak;
- Maybe it’s knowing that you need to collaborate with a competitor but refuse to because you feel it’s beneath you to do so;
- Maybe it’s knowing what needs to be done but you want to find a better way that’s more in line with your style.
“If indeed there are limits to what we can achieve, these are none other than the limits we set for ourselves.”
— Jit Puru
Therefore, learn to let go of your ego and transform it from ‘Exit Gate for Opportunities’ to ‘Entry Gate for Opportunities’ . Here’s how you can do this:
- Create a list of all the things you know you should currently be doing but aren’t.
- For each item on your list, ask yourself, “Why am I not doing this?”, and elicit as many answers as you can.
- Acknowledge that everything you’ve stated for Question #2 are the reasons you're giving yourself to justify inaction. This is your ego speaking and it is your ego that’s bringing your success to a halt.
- Ask yourself, “How much longer do I want my ego to hurt my success? Isn't it time to let go of my ego to take action and get the success I rightfully deserve?”.
- Shift your focus to why you should start doing the things on your list and all that you stand to gain by doing it.
- Take immediate action and do the things on your list.
Remember, you can either be your biggest obstacle or your greatest catalyst for success. Decide to be the latter!