Giving Up Your Symbols of Grandiosity

Ask yourself, “What do I feel I need to have to signal how very important I am?” Is it an expensive car? A job title that makes people look at you in awe? A Rolex watch? A trophy wife, wealthy husband, or child who attends an Ivy League school? The latest information on a controversial topic? The most salacious piece of gossip? A caustic attitude that intimidates others? A terrible childhood trauma that left you with no self-esteem?

its the people that know you the least, that judge you the most.

Remember that your symbol of grandiosity might be an object, a label, or a behavior that you believe communicates the message that you’re someone special who’s deserving of respect, pity, or awe. Try becoming like a monk and giving up your symbol of grandiosity for a time just to see what it feels like. If you measure your importance by how attractive and smart you are, dress down and attend a gathering of people where you do your best to ask questions but don’t provide information unless asked. Stop yourself from the need to be sarcastic or one-up others with references to your job title, who you know, or what trendy neighborhood you live in. If you feel that you’re very important because you engage in a great deal of community service, volunteer to do the least glamorous job for a while and let others take the more prestigious positions. If you actually feel insignificant and unimportant, try telling the group about a great deed you’ve attempted. Pay attention to your discomfort, not judging it but simply noticing it. Ask yourself, “Where is this coming from?” Let the answer arise, and allow yourself to be amused by your attachment to grandiosity. Now set your intent to release your fears of disapproval.


– Courageous Dreaming: How Shamans Dream the World into Being by Alberto Villoldo

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