A Post-Coronavirus Ego
The truth of the matter is that uncertainty is inevitable, especially during a global crisis, even though most of us are on a neverending quest to reach stability. Growth as a result of change, however, is another one of life’s constants that can help us navigate potential difficulties with grace if harnessed responsibly.
While following Safer-at-Home protocol, I decided to dedicate a few hours a day towards meaningful reflection to check in with my needs, thoughts, and feelings. With limited distractions, I realized that time in quarantine had truly begun to shift my conscious and unconscious thinking.
Although typically associated with a negative connotation, your “ego” is greatly responsible for your sense of self, which continuously evolves as you learn more about yourself and others. As things began spiraling out of control externally, I better understood other aspects of my life in which I have more control than I initially thought.
Regardless of what happens in the world, I will forever control my attitude, which affects my behavior and future outcomes. Reintegrating this basic principle in my life has left a dramatic impact on my perspective. My ego is now more inclined to look inward FIRST. To be clear, I am not advocating complete self-centered thinking.
However, a greater emphasis on the self (i.e., your actions, your needs, your motivations) illuminates better solutions to your external problems.
An immature ego places a greater focus on others and is more inclined to accept a victim (or reactive identity) by refusing to acknowledge where their true power lies. When you intentionally work WITH your ego, however, you achieve better awareness of what you DO have control of, and therefore less likely to feel powerless even in the face of grave uncertainty.
Here are three ways this pandemic has transformed my ego and potentially yours:
1. Increased Flexibility
It is critical to operate with a greater sense of acceptance when outcomes do not necessarily work out as planned. Instead of “crying over spilled milk,” I am more likely to adapt to uncertainty instead of being derailed by it.
2. Greater Awareness
Two different perspectives can accompany uncertainty: the glass can be viewed as half full or half empty. Instead of reverting to a negative thought pattern, I choose wild optimism for the unlimited possibilities of reinventing myself and the systems in which the world operates. I choose to focus on what I can change to facilitate a more positive outcome, whatever that may be.
3. Defaulting to Gratitude
As people around the globe struggle for basic resources to survive, I have developed an inner knowing that my needs are met right at this very moment. Reducing stress from future self-imposed worry becomes more effortless by maintaining a clear mind with appreciation for my family, home, and available food. I may not know what’s coming next, but I am safe, loved, and protected right here and now.