September 28, 2020 by Dymphna

T-Bomb: why ego is a goal killer

Truth Bomb Tuesday: Most students make this mistake with their goal-setting…

You’ve got to get your ego out of your dreams.

Now, this is something that I tell all of my students, but what do I mean by that?

So, as you probably know, I’m a huge-fan of goal setting. If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there?

When you set goals, you get clear on what it is that you really want, and you’re taking the first step towards defining your journey from here to there.

So it’s fundamentally important.

But when we first do this with my students, you should hear the things that people say.

“I want to be a billionaire.”

“I want three private jets and a helicopter.”

“I want to own a castle in Scotland and an island in the Caribbean.”

It gets pretty out there.

But when you dig into these things, you realise that their heart isn’t in it. They want to be a billionaire with a capital ‘B’, but they’ve got no idea how much money a billion actually is.

They want three private jets, even though all of their family lives in Dubbo, and what do you need the second and third jet for anyway?

And they want to own a castle in Scotland, even though they’ve spent their whole life in Cairns and get panic attacks if the thermometer drops below 20 degrees.

You very quickly realise that these things aren’t actually going to make them happy.

So where are they coming from?


Now, ego is a complex psychological term that probably has very specific and very different meanings depending on the context, but what do I mean by it here?

In this case, what I’m talking about is the part of your mind that wants to present in a particular way in other people’s eyes – the part of you that wants to control the story other people have about you.

And so its, “I want to be a billionaire so everyone will know that I’ve ‘made it’.”

Or, “I want three jets so I can park them out the front of my house and everyone can marvel at how rich I am.”

Or, “I want a castle just so I can get a selfie out the front of it and post it to Facebook.”

These goals are nothing but a tool for telling a story about yourself, and they’re not going to make you happy.

And so they’ve got no place in your goal setting.

You’ve got to get out of your ego. Stop telling stories. Stop trying to impress people.

Ask yourself, what would I still want if I was the only person in the world that knew that I had it?

Do you really need a Scottish castle, or would you actually be happier with a small patch of acreage on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, where you love the weather and all the birds?

So watch out for this.

When you start naming your goals, it’s very easy to start coming from your ego – from a desire to impress people and tell a story about yourself.

But you’ve got to come back to what you truly want.

Because once you connect to what you truly want – what truly makes you happy – then you’re able to tap huge reserves of energy and motivation.

And then you’re on your way.