dealing with your ego in high stakes situations

Editor’s Note: This is a post by guest writer Astrid!

Have you encountered power struggle situations, such as ending a relationship, where you had a lot to lose by being the first to make a decision?  Despite knowing what you could lose, have you made this decision as an attempt to remain in control?  When I saw something coming to an end, I would verbally declare an end and closed the book permanently for both parties.  I would do this so that I could say it was my choice to leave. In retrospect, I lost more by focusing only on my ego and my need to control the closure. I cut my losses and left the relationship war room. Recently, I went through a momentous life changing situation when I decided that I would not take control to end a relationship. I attempted to repair this dissatisfaction initially, but after zero results, I saw the eventual end.  I felt used for my intelligence and generosity and I had become empty and resentful. I toiled about pulling the trigger.  I imagined myself getting the satisfaction of saying “I quit this” only to show I held the power. This time however, I looked broadly at the factors at play.  The offending party had maintained close ties to my connections and I felt it unfair for me to jeopardize their relationships because mine was not working.  Pulling this decision would also be emotionally taxing and unsatisfying as I am addressing yet an existing and irreconcilable problem.  In this situation, my pulling the trigger meant that I had given up any negotiation cards at play.  I would have the satisfaction of exiting the game.  In consequence, the other party would determine what I would leave with.  In situations where you stand more to lose by deciding first, it is now up to you to create a mindset that empowers you to mentally decide first.  I dealt with the ego issue before any decision had been made by either of us.  In my mind, I had left.  I had begun with the mindset that what I prioritized was leaving with minimal damage to the rest of the parties that will be indirectly affected by the demise of our relationship.  Letting the other party decide then becomes mere formality. For these high stakes situation, when you prepare your ego for the eventual outcome, what you gain during decision time is what the other party has to offer.

Have you had similar experiences in your life where you chose to not make the decision first to maximize the gains in the end?  How have you chosen to deal internally, with being the recipient of an unpleasant decision?

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