In the article, What Should I Be Doing? Here Are 5 Signs to Help Your Discover Your Calling, we shared that whatever industry you're in, you are in a position and have a platform to empower and inspire! However how do we know if we are operating out of our EGO rather than our Calling?
Well, first, what is ego?
In simple terms, the ego is made up a "piece-mealed" identity, which is false. It takes all of the things that we have made an agreement with ourselves as being true including agreements like;
"I am not good at writing."
"I cannot speak well."
"That was dumb of me."
"This scar on my chin makes me unattractive."
The ego is found in the "I" and the "me". It is selfish, rather than selfless. Developing a self image begin when we are children. From what we hear about ourselves on the playground, from what our parents tell us about ourselves or even what the media tells us about ourselves. We make an agreement in our minds that these statements and accusations are true, whether they are perceived to be good or bad, intentional or unintentional. That becomes our ego and that's what I mean by it being false. The ego ENJOYS and WILL cause drama. It feeds off chaos and survives off insecurity. It pumps itself up by wanting to the the "problem fixer."
Here are 5 Strategies to Distinguish Between Your Ego and Your Calling
#1 WAY TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN YOUR EGO AND YOUR CALLING:
Ego needs insecurity to survive. Calling needs silence.
Your EGO seeks and searches out where you feel most insecure. Your ego will dive in and work constantly to pinpoint and "repair" what it identifies as the problem. The REAL problem is that although your ego feels it's discovered an insecurity, THAT discovery can be your greatest gift. It's important that we don't allow our "ego" to ruin us.
Your CALLING, however is discovered through getting in a quiet space to really reflect on who you really are, not the false agreements you've made with yourself as to who you are. Practicing silence frees you from distractions. While it may be uncomfortable at first, listening to and discovering what it's asking of you is a rewarding experience. Remember, your true self knows what you should and should not be doing.
#2 WAY TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN YOUR EGO AND YOUR CALLING:
Ego produces feelings of being overwhelmed. Calling produces fulfillment.
To overwhelm means to load, heap, treat, or address with an overpowering or excessive amount of anything; it destroys or crushes. The ego is constantly trying to push you towards a bigger, better version of yourself, however it is never satisfied so it keeps pushing. The ego's master plan is to destroy you.
When you are operating in your calling, you are doing what your true self was created to do. It is doing what you love and will bring your great satisfaction. The calling is not meant to destroy you, but rather to create inspiration and awaken the power within you.
#3 WAY TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN YOUR EGO AND YOUR CALLING:
Ego fears not having or doing. Calling fears not expressing or being.
Your ego is ALWAYS on the go whispering in your ear saying things like "GO HARDER," "GET MORE," or "DO BETTER." Neither one of these statements are some bad thing in and of itself, however when you're being pushed to exhaustion and you're never satisfied, then ego has TAKEN OVER. The ego fears you being in a state of unworthiness so it communicates to you that you OUGHT to do more, you MUST do more, you SHOULD do more to prove your worthiness. Ego is all about the symbol of yourself, not your REAL self.
Your calling's lifeblood is to be a mode for you to express your TRUE SELF. It is unconcerned with you attaining MORE STUFF or accomplishing anything. Your true self is not bothered by having or doing. The true self fears NOT being able to express or JUST BE itself.
#4 WAY TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN YOUR EGO AND YOUR CALLING:
Ego believes its power lies in the symbol or the title.
Calling believes its power lies in the process of self discovery.
Here again, your ego will PUSH you to work, work, work, work, work and persuade you to believe that your power lies in getting things and reaching a certain level and/or title. You'll always be in search of that "I've arrived" status, which of course will never reach. You ego gets validation that all of this "hard work" you're doing is well worth it. However imagine if you LOST every single SYMBOL of a THING you've worked hard to get, "cars, money, clothes, the latest electronics, living in a gated community next door to Oprah, own 10 pieces of real estate, etc". Will you still have POWER if these things went away? If your answer is no, then you're operating in your ego.
A calling on the other hand, places NO POWER in things. It's power thrives through self-discovery. Your calling comes from within and evolves and unfolds as you live out your life. It doesn't matter if you lose every single material thing because your calling can handle it. Your calling knows that everything you go through in life, it is there to teach you a lesson and to be used to impact and help someone else.
#5 WAY TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN YOUR EGO AND YOUR CALLING:
Ego is passionate about saving self. Calling wants to impact others.
Ego is concerned with saving self and preserving what it wants. It may be motivated to serve others, however Its real motivation is maintaining and managing your "identity." The false one that you pieced together from your life experiences.
A calling expresses itself towards the needs of others. It wants to inspire and make a positive impact. Author Frederick Buechner says that your calling is "the place where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need."
As stated in the beginning, your ego is not necessarily a bad thing but can be when its 1) out of control and 2) it supercedes your TRUE SELF. The ego helps you to be apart OF the world. Your calling that creates an authentic, soulful and spiritual way to be IN the world.
We are NOT of this world but IN it. When it's time for the true self to transition, the calling goes also. What's left will be the legacy, the impact, the mark of your message. Leave a GREAT ONE!
Beauty and Greatness already resides within us. Remember that we have the POWER to CREATE each day INTENTIONALLY GOOD and to Be Beautifully Inspired!