“I just have a fiery personality, I’ve always been like that. It’s just who I am so I can’t change.”
That’s what I thought was true about myself for most of my life. I never thought to question it really. There were times that I loved it - it served me well. But recently, I’ve discovered that my fiery personality wasn’t something I was born with... my flare ups represented a lack of skills and it took a while for my ego to move out of the way so I could recognize that.
Ego has been a tough one for me to grasp, and it’s one of the main reasons that I was stuck and afraid to move forward. But as I tried to categorize my definition of the ego, I realized that just like most things, ego isn’t good or bad. It’s a balance.
Once I realized that what I used to think was my personality was actually just my ego getting in the way, everything changed. I was at a point that I didn’t like who I had become: short tempered, easily annoyed, and ready to strike.
But it’s complicated because I like my ego! I rely on her bite. She has protected me many times in the past and when I need her, she’s always there to help me put up a fight. She is my warrior and I have great battlefield stories to tell.
However, where my warrior stands tall and steadfast, she is also blocking my ability to take a step back and see different perspectives. And that shift in perspective is what I need to begin embracing change instead of fighting it.
Last year, I listened to a podcast and it changed my perspective. I am learning how to lay my warrior down. I have accepted that I am not a fiery person but instead have fiery reactions. I am willing to learn new skills so I can tell when to stick up for myself or when to calmly respond, and maybe even one day, I’ll decide to do nothing at all.
I am still working on trying to understand my ego and recognize when she is running my life. The more time I spend doing the hard work by going inside and analyzing why I feel like I want to fight back, the more I give her the permission to lie down and take a rest.
The podcast that helped me shift my perspective and take some of my first steps is featured on our Tools page: On Purpose with Jay Shetty and his interview with Jada Pinkett Smith: ON how to heal your past and love yourself again.
If you have ever said to yourself: “this is just who I am so therefore I cannot change,” then this might be that tool that allows you to shift and see that change is possible for you too.