It’s after midday, and I haven’t made anything yet!

That is a thing my brain actually said just now. (Make sure your delivery is breathless and all in italics.)

Fortunately for me, randomness and the ever-brilliant Ming-Zhu are givers. Hence: an article about the difference between following your calling versus feeding your ego.

The whole thing is most totes def worth reading,* but the jump-out-and-tweak-my-nose bit was this:

Ego focuses on the result.

Because ego wants to manage anxiety by achieving more, it is especially concerned with the results of all this striving. By focusing on the outcome, your ego gets validation that all this work is worth it.

Without a satisfactory result, all the striving is pointless.

Yes. YES. YES.

I could hear the ego loud and clear through the panic: oh noes the day is nearly half-way over and we have not yet achieved anything designed to force other people into acknowledging us as a human being! we may dissolve into a mist if this situation is not resolved immediately no you can’t go and work on that skirt pattern you’ve been planning because it is not public enough is it why don’t you go and make a Vine or something we’ll never go viral at this rate no not once and then who will we beeeeeeeee…

Dude. Dude. Sit down. Take a breath.

*long slow inhale*

*long gusty exhale*

And then… write an article?

Ego! You managed to trick me into making something that will likely provide some of that validation mojo you crave so much!


scooby unmask
And I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for you damn mindfulness!

Bugger. Ah well, at least I made something.

Now to go eat some actual food, and hopefully work on that skirt pattern.

How do you know the difference between your ego telling you to make something, and your calling telling you to make something? Enquiring Catherines want to know!

*Dear brain: why did you insist we had to use the entire phrase “most totes def”? It’s fun to say, but we surely could have thought of a better one.
Dear editor: Nope, that was the bang-on baby.
Dear brain: Bang-on baby? Is this what happens when we eat a leftover Krispy Kreme donut for breakfast?
Dear editor: Prob’ly.
Dear brain: I… see.

  • Rob Farquhar

    Know that feeling. What with a possible cash crunch around the corner, I feel like I ought to be pushing opportunities and creating content and marketing my work and constructing editorial plans in every spare second, because I NEED A GIG STAT!

    It’s hard to just trust in the future sometimes…

    • Catherine Caine

      Is that ego talking, or fear? Another player enters the ring!

      • Rob Farquhar

        Yeah, more fear than ego, I’d say!

  • Mere Dreamer

    Love this! It used to bother me more, but somehow …. Well, the ego is a useful internal challenger for sharpening insight-building. I manage its excesses by tricking it into thinking that all the things I do for love are flavorful and delicious, and if I’m doing anything out of fear then bad things will happen.

    They call me a “rebel” but ego thinks that’s a compliment, and I don’t really care as long as I get to follow my joy.

    • Catherine Caine

      Ooooooh, you’re a cleverpants.

  • evanhadkins

    For me the ego is more of a push and the calling more of being drawn. Not entirely exclusive I guess.

    • Catherine Caine

      No, I guess you can have both. Do you prefer to follow one?

  • Meg

    For me the ego is always, always urgent and usually tells me how useless I am for not getting anything done. It also likes to worry about what other people think. Calling is more of a quiet certainty and I usually walk 6″ taller when I’ve finished a task. (More of that please!)

    • Catherine Caine

      Beautiful distinction, lovely! Thank you for sharing it.