Ego – #BearCave #freshlyspun
Who has an ego in rope bondage? Everyone.
So, I really want to rewrite this to make it a little less…. ‘businesses-y’ and more bondage focused. I just haven’t had the change yet . So stay tuned for updates!
Ego is defined as a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. We know self-esteem plays a major part in our success / progress. Whether we are starting our rope journey or we have been doing this for decades, the belief we have in our ability to achieve success is deemed as a main contributing factor. We need to believe in ourselves to succeed / progress. But when does our sense of self-importance get in the way of our progress? Does it prevent us from connecting with other people, creating goals to get to the next level or keeping up and learning a new skill?
In my journey , giggles & I have worked with very successful tops & bottoms to identify and overcome obstacles, both on the rope side of life and the people side, obstacles that get in the way of their continued progress & success. I read a book recently called “Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday, which focuses on the definition of ego being “an unhealthy belief in our own importance; arrogance.” For anyone experiencing a roadblock in front of their next level of success, the book offers some tough love to think about.
- Silence can breed accomplishment.
When we talk about all the amazing things we’re going to do next, it’s possible to spend all our time and energy just talking about it and never actually doing anything towards that goal. “hey I just had the worst/best idea ever!”, “I’m going to make it on K&P 10 times this month”, “ I’m going to practice every night”, “I’m going to start doing 9 suspension scenes a night in the dungeon”, “ I’m taking every class at FIRE”, ….. And then “ I’m gonna do this, and I’m gonna do this and I’m gonna do that, I want a hamburger, no a cheeseburger, I want a hot dog, no a chili dog, I want a coke….. ”
Talking makes us feel like we’re making progress towards the goal. Does this ring a bell for anyone? How are your new year’s resolutions going for you? We all have big goals, and they are hard and scary, so it’s natural that we want to do everything except what we need to do. If we stop talking about them and focus our energy and wrestle with the actions, we might move forward.
- Is it about the doing or the recognition?
Often times we fall in love with the image of what success looks like, but what we need to do to get there is usually not so glamorous. We should ask ourselves: what is our purpose? What do we want to accomplish? Will I be more “fulfilled”, if I just do this, or does everyone have to know I did this? Think of all of the anonymous donations to charities and hospitals. They don’t need to scream it from the rooftops, they just do it.
- Become a student.
Ego can prevent us from continuing to learn and improve by making us believe we don’t need to. Learning a technical or soft skill, in the rope community or not, allows us to continue to evolve. You can’t get better if you think you are the best. Learning something new is hard, humbling, and puts our ego in check. If rope brought you Into this community, try to learn something different like fire play, or knife play, wax play, or how to target with a single tail. Stepping out of our comfort zone to learn something new or be open to constructive criticism and even failure is the embodiment of getting out of our comfort zone which will only make us better people.
- Getting out of your own head.
If ego is confidence, it can get in the way of our ability to learn and make positive decisions. Ego tells us the world is looking at us. In our social media driven society, read ‘fetlife, Twitter, instagram’ , where the more “likes/loves” we get the more important we feel, it’s easy to be paralyzed by your next decision. Ever heard of “K&P”? Are we too concerned about how many “loves” and views our posts, photos, blog, podcasts or whatever, get; to live in the now? Are we too in love with the vision of our self that prevents us from what we need to do? To make the necessary decisions & sacrifices to reach our goals?
- Hard Work.
While we should always be cognizant of the difference between being busy and work, there is no substitute for hard work. Work doesn’t end once we get our first big break (being asked to perform, or teach, or travel or whatever); some might say that’s when the real work starts. Ego is what counts the hours & effort we’ve put into something and asks “hey, hey, when am I going to see the fruits of our labor.” This journey, if you are serious about it, is a lifelong journey whose light cannot dim once we achieved some success; there, right there, is where we fall in to the grip of ego.
I never recognized the roadblock described above as a symptom of my own arrogance. In fact, like a lot of people I work really hard to build my confidence and believe that I can actually be successful. But in my own self-reflection, I realized much of that might be holding me back from accomplishing my goals and doing bigger things. What has been your experience walking the thin line of earned confidence and ego? How do you know when you’re being confident or arrogant?
Individual egos vary wildly. With that, the approach to how we leverage our ego varies wildly, too. When experiencing a roadblock to what’s “next,” and there is no real black or white reasoning as to why, perhaps a review of these five elements can help determine if your ego is getting in your way.