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  • Writer's pictureAndy Lambert

Mistaking our ideas for our identity

Many conflicts that arise in a professional situation are related to our ego.

Our ego is the result of the story we tell ourselves and what we perceive as our 'identity'

Unfortunately, our ego gets in the way of more things than we'd care to admit. One of the areas where ego is particularly unhelpful is in the area of problem-solving.

We often make the mistake of conflating our ideas with our identity. If our ideas are equated to our identity, then talking about ideas is very much the act of talking about yourself.

This means that any rejection or challenge of your idea is taken as a rejection or challenge of our identity. When anyone challenges our identity and how we see ourselves, that's when we often see our ego come out in full force.

The most successful problem solvers are people who have embraced a simple problem-solving-orientated method. Your current idea isn’t your identity, it’s simply a step closer to a solution to the problem in front of you.

One way to define our identity is to fall in love with an idea and use our ego and sheer will to get everyone to accept it.

Another, somewhat more useful method is to refuse to believe our identity is embodied in an idea, and instead embrace a method for continually finding and improving our ideas.

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