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  • Writer's pictureMaja Arnadottir

Ego and Leadership

What more is there to know about ego?

In Life and Leadership one will encounter many egos; ones own and other people's egos. Everybody has an ego and as we learn more about ourselves and our humanity we blatantly notice the big bad boy in the room; the ego. When our ego is left to its own (vices and) devices it may not always serve us in the best manner possible. Know thyself and you will also come to better know others.

Our ego is a far more complex creation than we often give it credit for and at times the best way to meet it is to; pause, notice and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and motives.

Who is really running the show? Where do all of these thoughts and ideas even come from?

Are you present in your Adult Ego or are you acting as your Child Ego or your Parent Ego?

Within each of us lives a version of our parents, our version of ourselves as children, and an adult version which is you now who has been developing all along in response to current reality. In this case the word ego refers to more than a person's sense of self-importance as it is a state of being a person experiences in any moment.

Do you have behaviours matching your parents?

Your Parent Ego lies in the beliefs, feelings, and behaviours you adopted from your parents and older, parental figures in your environment. This could include older siblings and teachers and entails many of our "how to's" in life. How to make your bed and how to make a meal, how to be a "good" human and so on.

If a parent was overly critical it can create an internal critic in the child and make it so than an adult child lives with the voice of a harsh critic (parent) for a lifetime. Some were raised by negatively inclined parents who were impossible to please and somehow always have a hard time feeling as if anything they do is good enough. If one is sticking to arbitrary rules and regulations without questioning the validity or value to the current reality than one may be operating as a Parent Ego.

Your Parent Ego is said to be most strongly created in your first five years of life meaning that many of the rules you live by are old news. If you find yourself or others reacting or responding in an old fashioned manner without questioning the usefulness in the current situation then a parent might be being channeled into the current reality.

When our parents provided dysregulated responses and ideas or were absent or otherwise unreliable, and the parental figures in our environment did not align, our Parent Ego can become fragmented. In this state there may be more sense of confusion than clarity.

Our Parent Ego is a recording of external events as data and sometimes we do not even notice this aspect of ourselves as it has been a part of us for a lifetime. How much of you resembles your parents? Which parts serve you? What old ideas are no longer serving you?

Are you connected to your inner child?

Your Child Ego is your recording of internal events as feelings and responses to what a child sees and hears. Most of those events occur before a child has a vocabulary to fully comprehend or translate events, and as such; are mostly stored as feelings.

Sometimes in adulthood situations may trigger our inner child, and when we are faced with challenges our responses can become that of a child, and not of an adult as a person plays out feelings that were inhibited during development. Were you allowed to express your anger or made to suppress it? How do you react or respond to anger now? Were you indulged when you manipulated your parents? Did you get your way if you sulked, whined or screamed? Did you hide for fear of shame or punishment?

You are likely to repeat behaviours in adult relationships unless you choose to grow up and see where those feelings and responses come from.

Our Child Ego fuels our creativity and curiosity, and our sense of hope and wonder. Being connected to various aspects of our inner child honours who we are & who we were & where we come from. Some aspects of our inner child can serve us well while other aspects can play a disservice, and cause us to show up immaturely in response to current reality.

A child does not accurately respond to the current reality for this is not a child's place, and yet all children must grow up.

Regressing to a childlike state is something that happens to some people when they experience trauma, stress or illness and this is a state of needing caretaking and guidance while failing to mature to provide this for oneself.

Hello to Your Adult Ego

When we live our lives to please others we are living as a child ego, externally seeking validation from others which in an Adult Ego would come from within themselves.

The beauty of humanity is that we all grow up... eventually. Nobody is coming to save you!

The moment I realised that nobody was coming to save me was the moment I realised that I had to be the one to save me. Nobody else was coming. Nobody was going to show me the way. Life was up to me! This was the first glimpse I remember experiencing about adulting. Someone has to be the grown up in the room. Sometimes, that someone is you.

Your Adult Ego State is the feelings, attitudes and behaviours you exhibit as a direct response to the here-and-now reality.

When you are being an adult your responses are not based on the past as an adult is aware of the present moment, evaluates pros and cons and sees various sides to situations. An adult will clarify and ask questions, reason and take responsibility. This ego state is said to start developing at just 10 months of age. Imagine your itty-bitty-Einstein-baby-self...

In so many ways you have always been so grown-up and resourceful. Look at you!

When we are under life's pressures the Adult Ego State may get impaired and not function properly. That is when we revert to other states of being.

Whenever you feel life's challenges and stress creep into your energy field notice where you are coming from... what state of being is on display.

If you feel responses related to fight, flight, freeze or fawning than you are operating from the past and making yourself smaller.

Notice when you witness other grown ups operate from a place of love with guidance and logic on display. Adults are good at problem solving and deal with life's events in a mature manner. What kind of an Adult Ego are you? What kind of an adult do you want to be?

We model our future selves by the behaviours of those we witness. Are you being a good role model? To Self and others? A Leader is the one who acts as the Adult in the room as a Leader always tries to come from that state of being. Someone has to be the grown up. Right? Is it going to be you or are you waiting for someone else to step up to the plate?

Have you ever wondered about the deep-rooted complexities of your ego?

It can be healing and helpful to befriend ones own ego.

Ask yourself;

What did parents and adults in my Life model to me about Life and Leadership?

What am I modelling to others about Life and Leadership?


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