The reason an addict has some hope of recovery is always grounded in the realization they are hopelessly addicted in the first place. Usually this reality is forced upon them when they hit rock bottom through the loss of a job, important relationships, or their health.
Addiction to ego is driven by our mind’s ability to judge another person or idea as inferior. Sometimes it takes the form of blaming others for whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. Either way, an ego-driven leader feels superior. Just listen to or read the latest political rhetoric. Being cruel or judgmental is encouraged regardless of whose side you choose.
Breaking the cycle of ego addiction requires some serious self-reflection. Our perceptions of others and the challenging situations we all face need to be viewed through a different lens. By reframing how we think and feel about people or circumstances our ego isn’t exercising as much control.
Ego needs our help to survive and thrive. By questioning our automatic assumptions, we no longer allow ego to write the narrative. Instead of blaming the other person we now own a different response, one that doesn’t need to be in charge, to win, or to play the victim.
We are all created with the capacity to love yet most of us seem more interested in winning or whining. Ego-addicted leaders work hard to make competitors their enemies and feel threatened by those with differing opinions and experiences.
Learning how to show love, even to those intent on doing us harm, is one way to break the cycle of ego-driven decisions. Believing that others aren’t automatically rude, indifferent, or stupid requires reframing our thoughts and opinions.
These transformative changes must come from within. I wonder how many ego-addicted leaders are up for the task?