I’ve learned how to distinguish who is running the show when it comes to pursuing a passion. Ego pursuits and soul pursuits often begin in much the same way with the initial spark of inspiration and excitement. It isn’t always easy to tell if your ego is running the show or if your authentic self (soul) is in charge.
Here is what I know: Ego doesn’t like to fail, your authentic self doesn’t care.
When faced with a desire to pursue a dream, a goal or an adventure your logical mind (ego) consciously or subconsciously may go through some sort of risk vs. reward scenario, or maybe it’ll make a pro’s and con’s list – some sort of method to determine the likelihood of it working out.
Even if success is a long shot your authentic self will risk it all and push ahead despite the nerves, clammy hands and fear of failure. Your ego will just pull the plug, but perhaps, not at first. Ego will push you along further and further because obstacles are to be expected – you tell yourself you can make this happen! But, when a large enough risk or challenge presents itself as insurmountable, ego will quit. Ego doesn’t like to fail. You will tell yourself you will ‘shelf’ the pursuit for now and re-visit later when the timing is right. If some time has past, and without regret, you have no desire to re-visit said pursuit – Congratulations! You have just dodged a bullet because it wasn’t meant for you to obtain, but merely an exercise in understanding that what the ego desires isn’t always in alignment with what the soul desires.
However, if you find yourself shelving a pursuit because the challenges seem too great to surmount and you are overcome with a wave of true grief, sadness and loss as if you’re really letting go of a part of yourself – Congratulations! You’ve just discovered your soul’s desire, maybe even your calling or purpose.
This is your authentic self telling your ego to follow your heart, that success doesn’t matter and quitting isn’t an option – unless of course, you don’t mind living a life of regret.
This is a choice point. Are you willing to humble your ego and let your authentic self take the lead?
It may not be easy, but it will be fulfilling. If you follow your souls desire your ego (personality) will serve your soul (authentic self) – no regrets.
P.S. If you’re embarking on your soul’s desire you’re gonna need support! Check out my post in The Reading Room: The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield and read this book 🙂