Day 337 - Competition Breeds Ego
An interesting point came up today. My relationship to competition is well developed by this point in my life. I didn't ever spend the time with metacognition, thinking about how I think, in relation to competition. Now that I am considering this point, I can certainly see how I've been competing from a starting point of self-interest, fueling my ego. Let's unpack this.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to not realize that I am supporting my ego when I go into competition with another human being.
Define ego: The glorified representation of myself created in my mind. A selective self-definition. Who I am as my desires for myself. In this, my ego defense is a reaction to undesirable information about self in relation to others. I deal with this information by skipping over it, suppressing it, ignoring it, or humility. I will dig more into ego-defense in posts to come. For now, I'll just say that humility is not my initial, automated reaction to negative information about myself.
Another dynamic: Entering into competition is hardly a choice. I've automated the selection of my battles to reduce the risk of losing in an ego confrontation.
Also, when I am losing a confrontation, I will fight more recklessly to avoid the humility of defeat. This is done by standing my ground by perceptually up playing the weight of my argument, and not recognizing the other person's perspective as greater than or equal to my own, unless there really isn't a comeback that would trump the opponent's point. This is more from a conversational competition.
In a physical competition, again, I selectively participate in 'games' that I think I can win at and simply "do not like" games that I don't perceive a threshold of confidence that I will achieve victory. Now, victory isn't only defined in the context of another person, but also in relation to surpassing prior skill level. This is likely because with steps toward mastery, I will get ahead of the competition as a general entity of all possible competitors. Not to say that there isn't a dimension of physical enjoyment within the challenge of developing aptitude.
So, then there is this notion of competing with myself...verses collaborating with myself. Why am I inclined to fight with myself to better myself? I fight with others to 'better' them, I so often justify with a subtle thought based relationship that I created in my 'unknown' past. To restructure my methodology and application of self-support, I must first identify who I am now, and what I will become through change, then the rest is just a process.
In the context of self-support, I challenge myself to grow. Sounds great. Looking at the patterns and relationships in this, I see that there is a significant amount of self-judgement and/or fear of failure. When my ego battle is within myself alone, it can be very definitive. Bad = I am bad. Good = I am good. There is a feeling and emotional charge. This polarity and friction must arise out of a separation of self. How? Imagined, ideal self vs. the reality of self. Here is a key.
Success and failure emotions are created within the context of the idealized self. Furthermore, an ideal is limited by thoughts based on memories. How do I even know what I could become if I am spending all my time chasing an ideal copy of only what I've seen in my little set of past experiences? And even furthermore, the past thoughts that have arisen out of relationships to past events and experiences have all been constructed within a starting point of self-interest. Ego.
By participating in the throws of mind as thoughts, feelings and energy, I am accepting and allowing myself to be defined by my past successes and failures. The possibility of growth is very narrow, and at that, stinted by the fear of failure. I must realize how to collaborate with myself, until I really realize and embody the oneness and equality within and of myself, here. To not judge myself, but rather recognize the desires and fears as the primary internal motivation sources that I've so long obeyed without question. To walk with my breath. To live based on principle, not just what feels right and wrong alone because how can I trust my self-programmed reactions when they're based in such a limited context of a handful of personal experiences? I can't. A limited context = a limited response to the situation.
I commit myself to breathe through the reaction of desire and fear when faced with an ego point, a point that I would take personally. Here, I stand and stop. I do not allow myself to limit myself to the confines of personal experience based perception alone. With the principle of equality and oneness, I commit myself to giving as I would like to receive: What is BEST, of course.
Disclaimer: Walking realizations into physical application takes time and practice. Give self the space to change. Understand what a process is. Have fun with this physical challenge.