Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about how we often confuse confidence of the ego with steadiness of the soul. Here’s how I experience the difference between these two:
Confidence of the Ego
Confidence of the ego is boosted only by things that come from outside of me, like how I’m seen by others.
Confidence of the ego likes numbers (money numbers, audience size numbers, 1st place, etc.).
Confidence of the ego is fueled by the hunger for outer information to heal an inner fear/suspicion that I’m not okay.
Confidence of the ego is insatiable. It always needs to be reaffirmed, and it has no real memory of past validations or accomplishments.
Confidence of the ego is a little touchy, easily threatened, doesn’t like things that challenge it.
Because it depends on others’ estimations, confidence of the ego forces its host to conform to the trends and values of her particular time, place, culture.
Steadiness of the Soul
Steadiness of the soul is fueled by purpose, by the deep-seated desire to service.
Steadiness of the soul is willing to go forward not because of “me” but because of a devotion to values, energies, purposes that I feel need my hands and mind and feet to work on their behalf.
Steadiness of the soul stems not from others’ responses to me, but from a genuine knowing of myself as an expression of the divine. I’m worthy not because I’m better than but because I’m made of divinity, just like everyone else.
Steadiness of the soul is not so much willing to fail, as it is in understanding that there is no failure; there is only reality revealing itself in interesting ways.
Steadiness of the soul slows down to fully experience the journey on the way to the outcomes.
This week’s practice is to move more into steadiness of the soul.
Remember you aren’t supposed to know how to do it all, or do it all well, by yourself. Since you are human, there is room for asking for help, of people and of the divine.
Shift your focus away from how others see you, and back to who you want to serve. Holding them close in your mind and heart. Do your work to help them, not to be celebrated by anyone.
And remember the why, the deepest why, behind the work you are doing.
What do you notice happens when you do your work with the steadiness of the soul?
photo credit: Aleks Dahlberg