Tag Archives: ego

‘Enough is Enough!’

iGnite - remove the unnecessary

Photo from this summer’s iGnite Escape in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Point to Ponder:
What have you had “enough” of? What are you wasting your time and life on?
What keeps you running on the treadmill to nowhere and is keeping you from living your life, being fully present and feeling great?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Recently I ran across a motivating radio show series called “Enough is Enough,” and as I listened, I became more inspired to also declare what I had had enough of in my life.

In last week’s journal I shared my realization that my current purpose/mission changed from what I originally thought it would be at this time. Prior to this, I was running myself ragged and trying to live up to the ridiculous expectations I placed on myself, which led me to declaring that ‘enough was enough!’ of letting my ego be my north star. ‘Enough was enough!’ of giving into the lie that my controlling ways were better than turning everything over to God in prayer. ‘Enough was enough!” of screaming at my kids and not being a present mom because I was stressed out of my mind due to believing that I needed to do more and was not enough unless I was multi-tasking and focused on accomplishing a million things.

So, what have you had “enough” of? What types of things are consuming your time and energy? What keeps you running on a treadmill to nowhere and is keeping you from living your best life, being fully present and feeling great? Because women share similar heartbeats and the human experience is not unique, here are some ‘enoughs’ that instantly came to my mind and might resonate with you too:

Do you struggle with living up to the expectations of others and are too hard on yourself? Are the people you are spending the majority of your time with life-suckers rather than life-givers? Do you live on an emotional roller-coaster because you are too involved in your children’s lives, care too much about the opinions of others, make too many assumptions and take everything personally? Have you neglected your needs and are not getting enough sleep, healthy food, adequate hydration and exercise? Have you busied yourself, are completely stressed-out and therefore your words, interactions and body language are negative, cold and argumentative? Do you no longer attend church or have a day off for faith, family and rest because your children’s extra-curricular activities have taken over or you’ve replaced it with more work? Do you wrestle with control and worry too much? Is your financial situation and spending out of balance? Have you placed a higher value on work and outside commitments and as a result neglected the needs of your spouse or the people you love? Have you bought into the lie that God didn’t create you “enough,” and therefore you have low confidence? Do the destructive emotions of shame, fear and doubt control your life? Do you reject the love of others or can’t trust others because someone didn’t love you back or violated your trust? Do you procrastinate or keep putting off what is necessary and important in your life?

With only a little over two months left in 2015 (EEK!), I want us to be intentional with the way we spend the remainder of our year by declaring and writing down the “enoughs” in our lives on this printable worksheet. By doing this, your spirit will give you valuable knowledge and information about what you are willing to accept in your life. This level of awareness and information will minimize the chances of transferring negative actions and emotional garbage into 2016 and will promote healthy progress by adding what’s necessary, rich and wonderful into your new year and life!

Action Item:
Be intentional with the way you spend the remainder of your year by declaring and writing down the ‘enoughs’ in your life on this printable worksheet.

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The First Step: Be True to Yourself

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive.  And then go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
-Howard Thurman

Point to Ponder:
Is your ego holding you back from anything?

Action Item:
As you consider your passions and making them a priority in 2014, do so without allowing your ego to cast a positive or negative light on them. Your passion just is, and as long as it doesn’t involve harming others, go for it and don’t look back!

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Have you ever taken a personality, skills or spiritual gifts test? I have taken two out of the three, and at the beginning of each test they always advise the following: “for best results answer each statement and question according to who you are, not who you would like to be or who you ought to be.”  Despite this prompt, I am always very tempted to answer inauthentically. For example, one of the spiritual gifts test questions was:  “I enjoy doing everyday tasks that support the various ministries of the church.”  Even though I don’t make this a priority and it’s is not on my enjoyment list, I felt like I should have answered with a strong “yes!” After all, shouldn’t I want to partake in everyday tasks that support the various missions of the church?… and even more, what kind of person does that make me if I don’t enjoy these types of tasks? Another example from the personality test was: “You know how to put every minute of your time to good purpose.” Again, I wanted to answer “‘absolutely yes” because I really want to be that person who excels in time management. After all, isn’t that the type of person who makes the best businessman or businesswoman? And, because I do get sidetracked, that must mean I’m a failure!

As difficult as it was to provide the accurate answers, I didn’t fudge the truth. But, instead of feeling good about the strengths and gifts I’ve been given, I judged myself, thought I should be better and even made assumptions about what it means that I’m not good at certain things. Of course any reasonable and rational person knows you can’t be good at everything, so why was I trying to answer ‘perfectly’ when there isn’t even a pass/fail or good/bad score? This is insane! I thought I liked myself?!

After much thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason why I was so concerned with giving the “right answers” was because of my ego — i.e. my sense of self-esteem or self importance (not to be confused with egotistical). And the more I thought about it, it dawned on me that it is most likely our ego that prevents us from being 100% authentic, embracing all of who we are, accepting others for who they are and fearlessly pursuing our passions. We may not even be aware that our ego is at play every minute of the day through thoughts, questions and judgements like: “what will my friends, parents, children, spouse and colleagues think?” “I should be better,” “This is bad,” “That is good,” “I am right,” “You are wrong,” etc.

A personal example is since becoming a mother, my social life (outside of iGnite) has gone from a level 100 to a 2. Even though my reprioritization is a necessary and healthy one, I am constantly having to fight my ego and make peace with the fact that I have to say “no” a lot. The truth is that I really want to be liked, and being included in things makes me feel important and boosts my self-esteem.

To suggest that we can eliminate our ego is unrealistic. Rather, the goal is to be aware of the influence our ego has on our judgements about ourselves and others, as well as on the decisions we make.