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ego boostingA couple of weeks ago one of me coworkers who have given me many compliments in the past said: “you are so creative, you are so good at all this computer stuff.” I could hear a slight experience of frustration and inferiority in her voice, pointing to the fact that I was good at things that she was not. Though initially I dismissed it. I was too occupied basking in the glory of her compliment within my mind.

I realized that I had been ‘basking in the glory’ of my newfound ‘status’ and that I had been so preoccupied with optimizing myself and showing other people my worth and value, that I had completely neglected how it may affect other people – or that rather, being inspirational doesn’t mean that you should stand out to such a degree that others feel diminished and disempowered by you. On the contrary, being an inspiration to others means that they should be inspired to empower themselves based on your example – otherwise it is quite pointless and only in fact a show of vanity and looking for attention to boost one’s ego.

So the other day when the same woman again gave me a similar compliment, instead of accepting the compliment and going into a positive experience of feeling good about myself, I started asking her about her skills and talents, about what she could come and share in front of the colleagues.

It turned out that she had a very empathic teaching principle that I immediately saw could be of benefit to many of our colleagues to hear about. She for example shared with me how she focused on giving individual attention to all the children and adjust the lessons to their individual needs. She also shared with me how she has done a lot of public speaking in the past and actually enjoy it, but that she also feels that she has to bring something good to the table. So I encouraged her to start preparing something she could share and I shared with her how valuable I saw her perspective and how much it would benefit the rest of the group.

In this moment I turned the attention away from me and focused it on another and it made me realize how much I have missed out on by being so focused on wanting attention for myself and from wanting to be validated by others. I have completely missed out on seeing the value in others. And even more importantly than this, by being so fixated on optimizing my own value, I have in a way sabotaged others from doing the same, because I did not do what I did with this woman, which was to use my own confidence and self-empowerment to assist another to empower themselves.

Obviously it is not like I am the one who will catapult others into self-empowerment lol – that would again be focusing the attention on me as some savior figure. And obviously it is not like they don’t’ have a responsibility to stand up within themselves. However at the same time, I do also see it as a responsibility to, once one has developed a certain skill or expression – to assist others to do the same.

It is ironic how we as human beings tend to complain about others lacking abilities to do certain things that we ourselves are good at, but we will not take the time to support them to learn how to be effective or develop the particular skills we see they are lacking.

So if there is something we are good at and effective at, and if we want others to do the same, we have a responsibility to assist and support them, which means taking a step back and step out of the ‘limelight’.

What I have seen for myself is that I’ve perpetually believed that I was not good enough and I have done many things from the starting-point of trying to feel valuable within myself, through trying to get others to validate my value. Now that I actually have developed some skills and have placed myself in an effective position (for example at my work) it makes no sense (even within the fuzzy logic of the mind) to continue trying to get even more credit/compliments – which then indicates two things:

1) I still tie my value/worth to emotional experiences (as in how I feel when people give me compliments)

2) I still tie my value/worth to being validated by others, where my value and worth becomes a point of ego and competition, as getting attention, being ‘the best’, being ‘on top’ – rather than practically recognizing and celebrating the fact that I have changed and that I am able to make a constructive impact. That in itself is worthy.

Like someone once told me: when you make a real difference in this world, it might be through a seemingly small point that no one will ever see or notice or give you credit for. And so real value has nothing to do with being praised or applauded by others – but about making an actual impact on the world: adding value to the world on a practical level.

It is fascinating because I actually see that my ego – or who I am as an ego – is standing on the way of me manifesting myself in my full potential. What this also means is that ‘to get, you have to give’. And giving from this starting-point can only be unconditional, and not tied to any expectations or anticipations of being applauded or thanked. The most valuable gifts I’ve ever gotten, I’ve only gotten after having given myself unconditionally – for example within seeing the marvel of another’s expression emerging and discovering that they have the most amazing skills and expressions within them, a gift given by simply stopping to talk and start listening.

So this is a next step that I am committing myself to take in my process, to step back from the limelight in some degree, to instead support others to step into it. This is not to say that I then shouldn’t place myself in positions of getting attention, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with that and in fact – the message we are sharing does require attention. The point is to stop doing it for the attention, because I don’t actually ‘need’ it. Someone who is afraid of speaking in public, someone who has amazing skills but believes they have nothing to share with others, they are the ones who need it and could possibly benefit from being supported with it.

Here I would also like to add that public speaking has never been a particular challenge for me. Just like some people are naturally good at math or has a preprogrammed knack for working with computers, public speaking has always come easy to me. So therefore, in this regard, it is obviously still cool for me to do public speaking, but what matters is who I am within it and whether I use this skill to boost my ego to feel like I am worth something or whether I am using it to actually make a difference in this world.

What I am also seeing is that once we have developed a certain point of self-empowerment, like for example in how I am directing myself at my work in an effective way, which I by the way – 6 years ago, could have never imagined myself doing – we’ve got to actually also ‘upgrade’ the way that we see ourselves.

Because while I’ve developed certain skills and points of self-empowerment, I’ve continued to wanting to rely on others for validation – which makes no sense. Why not simply recognize the value within oneself, especially when it is evident? Why keep trying to proof that one is good enough, when it has been long proven? There are two reasons for this. One is greed after positive energy. This is the point of ego, of wanting more, of wanting to ‘win’, be ‘the best’, be ‘on top’. The other is that it is a self-sabotage mechanism preprogrammed within the mind.

Because what for example happened when I established a position for myself at my workplace? I kept building on that position to feel good about myself, when I could have used that to assist others to empower themselves to do the same with their skills and abilities.

So let’s say that I’ve developed a point of self-empowerment within working with computers and let’s say that it is something I previously was not so good at. I now start basking in the glory of my newfound skill and start presenting myself as an expert because it makes me feel good. Whenever people tell me how amazing I am at computers I feel so good. Or let’s say that I was very insecure before, so even though I have developed the skills, I keep asking people for validation, like showing them my work and only feeling good about it when they’ve valued it for me. This is what is detrimental and self-sabotaging.

So whenever we hold our self-empowerment and our skills to ourselves, whenever we deliberately fall into default modes of programming of diminishing ourselves, we are actually acting in self-interest, because we are preventing the world from expanding through us sharing our gifts with others.

Another point within this is bragging about oneself, which I have most certainly done. And what is interesting is how, what was supposed to be an ego-boost actually becomes a point of self-diminishment, because you only brag when you are not secure within yourself. Here I am not talking about sharing the skills that one is good at – but deliberately speaking about oneself in a glorifying (even subtle) light to boost one’s experience of superiority or feeling worth or valued.

So we have this backwards unwritten rule in our societies that you are not allowed to stand by your own worth and value and you are certainly not educated to develop that within yourself and instead you have to brag and boost your ego and seek for attention and validation from others which is then also frowned upon although being the standard practice.

Another point that I also see is relevant to mention here is that when we step back from a position ‘in front’ – from the specific starting-point of seeing that pushing yourself in front is no longer necessary and that supporting others to step up is what is most beneficial – is to not now make this another ego-boosting point where one now sees oneself as a savior or as someone making a sacrifice and that thereby is gaining value. So when I for example start working with my co-worker to support her to start seeing and sharing her value, it is not to now make this another point that apparently makes me ‘better’ or ‘more’ than others. What matters are what come through into real actions and practical living. That is the real value in all of this.

As such, the keyword within all this is humbleness, unconditional giving and sharing and recognizing the value one is bringing to the world, not as something that makes one better or more than others, but as a celebration of the expansion of oneself. There is nothing more joyful or empowering – besides seeing that same expression emerging in another.

If we have gifts to share with the world, such as particular skills or expressions that we have developed through a process of change that can benefit others and the world as a whole, these will not manifest into real valuable points of change in other people’s lives, let alone our own – if we still walk around with insecurities or points of self-interest. And as such it is in a way robbing the world from something that can potentially contribute to substantial change to not work on purifying ourselves so that what we share and gift to the world – will be the absolute best expression of ourselves.

So this is what I will be working with; letting go of wanting to be something more, because in wanting to be it – I can’t become it, ironically. And what I want doesn’t really matter in the larger scheme of things. I have for example for a long time wanted to be attractive looking, but I have also realized that for what my purpose is in this life, it is actually of no significant practical value to me to be attractive looking. It is not important. Another point could be to want others to recognize us and then if no one sees what we do, we do not value it as having any impact and then we stop doing it or give up on ourselves.

What is also important to consider is that if we have already developed a skill or expression effectively, but we’re sabotaging it through falling back into insecurity or wanting validation from others, we’ll then keep trying to ‘fill the gap’ where there is no gap in fact, which also means that we won’t be focusing on other points where we actually do require giving a point attention to grow and develop and expand ourselves.

What I have found since starting to walk this point is that there is nothing more rewarding and satisfying than assisting others to empower themselves. But this can only be done effectively through our own self-empowerment. So first we empower ourselves, but then it is about not resting on our laurels but actually expand that self-empowerment beyond ourselves – until eventually we all can empower each other through bringing the best of ourselves into the world – and to through that, create a world that is best for all, a world that represents the best parts of ourselves, collectively as well as individually.

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