A couple of episodes back, I discussed some lessons I have learned in my less-than-half a year in jiu jitsu. One of my lessons was about “egoless learning.” Several people asked what I meant by my ego being involved. And what’s wrong with that… the ego?
Well, the ego tends to trip us up, throughout our lives. Why? Because our ego keeps us focused on how we appear, what others think of us, what we look like. And because of that, we try to keep up an image.
And because of that, we trip.
Soon after I learned to scuba dive, I decided I wanted to become an instructor. Partly because I wanted to learn more, partly because I enjoy teaching.
So, after some time of accumulating classes, dive time, and teaching experience, I was ready for my certification process. It was supposed to be a learning event. A place for me to learn more about teaching, got some feedback on how I was teaching, and demonstrated my capacity to teach.
They weren’t looking for me to be the best teacher. I was at the beginning of my teaching.
That said, part of my task was to teach… so they could evaluate me and help me to be better. And to get ready, I had practiced. I created a killer PowerPoint. I had “show and tells.” I just knew they would see what an amazing teacher I was. I would show them!
I finished. They offered feedback. The first piece, “You went 2 minutes longer than your limit.” I was in the middle of a rebuttal, when I realized… I was not learning. I was proving. I was worried about my appearance. My ego was there.
More feedback. More temptation for rebuttal. My ego tripped me up, and I knew it wasn’t the first time. When ego appears, learning disappears.
Listen to this episode to hear how ego trips us up.