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Why Ego is The Greatest Opponent to Your Creativity and Success (And How to Fight Back)

The Ego is confusing

The Ego is a confusing paradox. Many are in agreement that ego was bad, that it destroyed creativity and happiness, that they knew plenty of toxic egomaniacs who had wrecked themselves. But they still think Ego is important.

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Why Ego is The Greatest Opponent to Your Creativity and Success (And How to Fight Back)

Why Ego is The Greatest Opponent to Your Creativity and Success (And How to Fight Back)

https://ryanholiday.net/why-ego-is-greatest-opponent-your-creativity-success-fight-back/

ryanholiday.net

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Key Ideas

The Ego is confusing

The Ego is a confusing paradox. Many are in agreement that ego was bad, that it destroyed creativity and happiness, that they knew plenty of toxic egomaniacs who had wrecked themselves. But they still think Ego is important.

Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday

"One does not need to be an egotistical maniac to be successful. 

This is one of the most misleading and destructive myths in all of Western culture."

Trouble starts with Ego

It starts where our notion of ourselves and the world grows so strong that it begins to distort the reality which surrounds us. 

The ego has then succeeded in completely separating us from the world.

The Essence of Creativity

It is a deep and continuous connection to the world around us. The Ego disconnects us from reality, stifling creativity.

Confidence vs Ego

  • Confidence is based on what is real and it's earned. It does not alienate us from others.
  • Ego is based on delusion and wishful thinking. It is artifice and makes us self-centered.

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Restrict yourself

Research suggests placing self-imposed limitations can boost creativity. 

It forces your brain to come up with creative solutions to finish a project around the parameters you’ve ...

Re-conceptualize the problem

Instead of thinking of a cut-and-dry end goal to certain situations, creative people sit back and examine the problem in different ways before beginning to work.

If you find yourself stagnating by focusing on generic problems, try to re-conceptualize the problem by focusing on a more meaningful angle.

For example: Instead of thinking “What would be something cool to paint?” rather ask, “What sort of painting evokes the feeling of loneliness that we all encounter after a break-up?”

Create psychological distance

Creating “psychological” distance may be useful for breaking through a creative block.

Try to imagine your creative task as being disconnected and distant from your current position/location - this may make the problem more accessible and can encourage higher level thinking.

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Resilience

It is our ability to survive and flourish through our traumas, stressors, responsibility shifts and challenges offered by life.

Self-Respecting

To be resilient, you must develop the ability to self-soothe when things get tough.

When things are in a particularly stressful place, you must tap into your will, motivation, and pliability to continue moving forward.

Emotionally Driven

Resilient people are not needy, desperate or overly reactive. 

They carry a relaxed attitude and view rejection as a new direction opportunity. They don’t get down when challenged, they commit to getting up. They do not depend upon others for our resources. 

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The starting point

We are often excited at the idea of learning something new. We are excellent at identifying new skills and can visualize how they may change our life. 

But, we tend to overlook where we ...

Pride stunts our growth

True humility allows you to plot Point A and accept that risk and failure are part of moving to Point B.

  • On the other hand, pride allows us to say we are beginners, but not to accept the process of learning that involves risk and failure. 
  • Then pride tries to protect our ego by convincing us that the price of possible failure is too great to achieve something new.
Humility and growth

Humility brings growth. Pride is good at trying to convince us that we are not prideful.

Approach learning and growth with real humility. Accept that pride affects us all and will try to limit you. Failure is part of the process. Set aside your ego and simply move past the failure. Make adjustments, and continue the process anew.