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that subconsciously remind us of memories that have caused us pain. We assume we are under attack and feel compelled to respond. Tis negative ego holds us captive and frequently results in self-sabotage and misery. Signs of the ego being active in

the work environment are when: ``

Tere is no sense of flow. Te business feels stuck, negative things keep recurring and never get solved satisfactorily.


We wake up in the morning and resent going to work, or else find ourselves getting excessively angry or upset by what others either say or do.

Tools for overcoming the ego

Here are seven ways to overcome your ego, and push on with your business.

1. Resist blaming external circumstances

Blaming outside circumstances such as a recession, government policy or cancelled orders actually disempowers us. We give away our potential to adapt and close ourselves off from seeing new opportunities. Tis all happens at a subtle level but the effects are real. Far better in such situations to check our thinking and ask ourselves quietly:

‘With regard to (name the challenge) what do I need to learn from this situation?’

We may have to do this several times over, but such self-inquiry helps release us from the prison in which we incar- cerate ourselves when we blame outer circumstances. Te answers we receive may not in themselves be the ‘big idea’ we need to break through, but they will nudge us towards the solution we need.

2. Resist judgment and criticism of others

Projection is the involuntary reaction we experience when faced with something within ourselves that we don’t want to recognise. It is a remarkably subtle and involuntary ego defence mechanism. Its purpose is to avoid the fearful thoughts and feelings the conscious mind believes it cannot deal with. Rather than face what we perceive to be our negative traits, we blame them on others. Projection comes into play when

someone either says or does something 18 | September 2017 | @TrainingJournal

that stirs up a lot of emotion within us. For example if I get excessively upset by someone I judge to be arrogant, what is actually being brought to my attention is my discomfort around my own arrogance. Maybe I’m uncomfortable at putting myself forward and always let others take centre stage. If this is the case when I meet someone who demonstrates arrogance I get upset because I’m being reminded of something within me that I have yet to resolve. We expend lots of energy in

suppressing the aspects of ourselves we reject, but what we resist always persists. Far better when we notice ourselves doing it, check our thinking and ask ourselves:

‘What is (name the person) reminding me of that is actually an aspect of my own personality that I do not like?’

Again, we may have to do this several times over, but the advantages are that we release ourselves from the projection and begin to see the other person in a new and positive light.

3. Attentive listening and ‘pacing’

It pays to be a good listener. When peo- ple feel heard they start to lay down their defences and open up to understanding what you have to say. Pacing is when we acknowledge what the other is saying by repeating back to them what we have heard. An introduction might be:

‘I’d really like to understand what you are saying. Can I repeat back what I think you are saying and you can tell me whether or not I have got it right, and if not where I’m going wrong?’

Pacing calms situations down, brings deeper understanding and creates

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