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What drives you? Is it the desire to fulfill a promise you made to yourself? Or are you driven by tangible things like money, fame, or success? As we move forward towards our dream, we often rely on our internal power to drive ourselves, even when the going gets tough. Being driven, diligent, and steadfast in our pursuit of life’s many rewards is half the battle. While different people may be driven by different things, that feeling of desire all comes from a very similar place. The ego. A powerful force that contains our deepest needs for validation, acceptance, and praise, the ego of a person can drive us to push past our limits. However, a journey fueled entirely by ego isn’t always desirable or healthy — when we seek surface-level achievement, we may lose sight of the things that truly matter. Sometimes, even after we do the work of building our attractive character, that persona can also lead us to unhelpful goals if it relies heavily on the ego. In this blog post, we will explore the problem of being driven by ego or the ego of an attractive character and how this can hinder genuine fulfillment and personal growth. We will also uncover strategies to overcome ego-driven motivations and embrace authenticity, allowing us to achieve success that is aligned with our true selves and inner values.

What is the ego?

The ego is a part of our psyche that seeks recognition, validation, and superiority. It is the concept of ourselves that relates our internal states to the outside world, and the word itself is derived from Sigumund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of the mind. The idea is that the ego is the manifestation of our self esteem and self perception, and it mediates between our actions the we decide to tak in society and our deepest desires. It keeps our connection between our heart and society’s demands strong, and tries to align our desires with what others expect of us. It thrives on external achievements, accolades, and comparisons with others, often leading us to prioritize surface-level success over deeper fulfillment. Your attractive character can also develop an ego, one that is closely related to your own, but may desire new things separate from your own goals to feel satisfied.

Ego and Purpose in Leadership

So what’s all this talk about ego and drive, then? Well for starters, drive itself is a tricky thing to define, but the American Psychology Association defines it loosely as a state of readiness before an activity that motivates one to action. Thus, when we say someone is ego-driven, we mean to say that they are motivated by desires that satisfy the ego, the self we project to others. Egoism, however, tends to lead us to act in our own self interest rather than for others. It’s for that reason that when we say someone is ego-driven, they strive for achievement and success in order to reinforce their sense of self. This isn’t always necessarily a bad thing, but when we’re in positions of leadership, being driven by ego makes it difficult to find meaning in our work outside of trying to appear better than someone else. Furthermore, we may lost sight of our purpose. Being purpose-driven means that strive to achieve our goals simply for the goal itself, without trying to compare ourselves with others. It means finding happiness in achieving our goals because we believe it makes us a better version of ourselves in the long run. We are driven by a deep desire not to be better than someone else, but to improve ourselves.

Ego vs. Purpose Driven Behavior

Ego-driven behaviors are fueled by the desire for external validation and superiority, while purpose-driven behaviors are rooted in a deeper sense of meaning and alignment with our core values. Understanding the difference between these two approaches can help us navigate our paths more authentically and effectively.

Defining ego-driven and purpose-driven behaviors

Ego-driven behaviors and purpose-driven behaviors look very similar to each other in practice, but perspective matters here: their motivations are entirely different. Ego-driven behaviors are typically things such as:
  • Seeking validation from others: Prioritizing others’ opinions and approval over internal values, and directing attention away from any character flaws.
  • Competition and comparison: Constantly measuring oneself against others to feel superior.
  • Focus on image and presentation: Concentrating on maintaining a certain image or persona rather than living with authentic love for ourselves.
  • Fear of failure: A preoccupation with avoiding risks or challenges that could threaten our status in other’s eyes, or our own self-image.
Purpose-driven behaviors look more like:
  • Intrinsic motivation: Deriving satisfaction from meaningful activities rather than external rewards.
  • Collaboration and empathy: Valuing cooperation and understanding over competition.
  • Authenticity: Embracing one’s true self and acting in alignment with personal values.
  • Resilience: Facing challenges with a positive mindset and learning from failures as part of the growth process.

How does our attractive character become ego-driven?

When we create an attractive character or alter ego, we can tap into a powerful source of confidence and charisma. All of it comes from the same place, and despite being an alter ego, the authentic ego is where all of the attractive character’s motivations stem from. The intention of crafting an alter ego or attractive character is to prevent ourselves from becoming too attached to the negative aspects of our hearts, such as insecurity, fear, or perfectionism. It allows us to exert control over these thoughts and channel the energy into somewhere more productive. However, if this persona becomes driven by ego, we risk losing sight of our authentic selves and values, as we become more focused on maintaining an image rather than nurturing genuine connections and personal growth. This becomes more complicated with an attractive character, since we’re already prone to detach from checking in with ourselves, and the elements we focus on may steer us away from what really matters. The answer to this is by practicing self-awareness.

Using Self-Awareness and Growth to combat ego-driven Motivations

The first step to overcoming ego-driven motivations is to cultivate self-awareness, even within the attractive character. You may have heard the sage wisdom to “check in with yourself” and the sentiment is the exact same. There are many relationships you will have throughout life, but the relationship with yourself is the most important. Reflect on your actions, decisions, relationships and motivations, and ask yourself whether they are aligned with your true self and inner values. Truly reflect, and focus on the present. Ask yourself if you are growing while staying the course towards your goals, if they are really helpful as you create your ideal life. By becoming aware of the influence of ego, you open the door to an amazing discovery. You can begin to make more conscious and authentic choices, but above all, you remain present in the moment.

How to practice staying present and why it matters

Mindfulness and presence are powerful tools for overcoming ego-driven motivations. Different people have personal techniques for staying present, but they all fall under the umbrella of mindfulness. Staying present in the moment and practicing mindfulness enables us to shift our focus from external validation to internal fulfillment. Mindfulness helps you connect with your true self, embrace your emotions, and make decisions that align with your deeper human values. The rest is up to you as to how you decide to change your approach to achieving your dreams.

Conclusion: Choosing Purpose Over Ego

While ego can be a powerful motivator, it can also lead us astray, disconnecting us from our true selves and deeper values. But if we focus on cultivating self-awareness, practicing mindfulness, and embracing authenticity, we can overcome ego-driven motivations and achieve success that is aligned with our true selves. True fulfillment comes from living authentically, nurturing meaningful connections, and pursuing goals that resonate with our inner values. Check in with your ego, embrace your true self, and find the path to genuine success and fulfillment.

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