Mental Fitness Challenge – Ego

You may or may not know me. I am Kari’s intern, Sarah. Kari and I met last fall when I attended her class on cross-generational communication after seeing a flyer in the bank. Following the first session, we had coffee every Thursday until I graduated in May and currently I function as contributor to the Mental Fitness Challenge and intern.

For my first brian exercise, I joined an online dating site. The social aspect of brain health was something I felt comfortable with so I was more willing to step out of my comfort zone. Initially joining a free site, I discovered that overcoming my ego was going to be major challenge.

There are many reasons we don’t make changes in our lives and ego can be a big one. At first, I didn’t put a picture up for fear someone whom I knew might see it. Illogical, as the whole point is for people to know you have a profile. After a conversation with a friend who was also online dating, I decided to post a picture. For the next week, questions plagued me. Am I too young? Am I wasting my time? Does this mean I am pathetic and cannot meet people the “normal” way? Eventually, I realized that my questions were rooted in ego rather than self. I didn’t judge myself for creating a profile; I was just concerned others would. Once I came to that conclusion I was able to rule out my doubts and the whole experience became much more fun.

Here are some tips that helped me wade through the differentiation between ego and self:

1. Questioning yourself is normal: expect it and know your doubts will pass with time.

2. Ego comes in waves: when you feel like quitting, do something else for a few hours and then     reevaluate.

3. Acknowledge outside factors: I find I am most susceptible to ego in the evenings and when I am tired. Often I sleep through my concerns.

4. Set a time frame: it takes 21 consecutive days to create a new habit. When discouraged, it was helpful to tell myself there were only X number of days until the end of my month-long subscription. Having a definite goal made it easier to stick it out.

5. Raise the stakes: for me this meant buying a subscription and having money invested in the process.


What has helped you get through the moments of questioning?

What helps you differentiate between ego and self?

We would love to hear from you in the comments section!


Categories: Caregiving Issues

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