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7 ways to detox your ego in the workplace

Would you recognise yourself as an egotistical person? Probably not. No one likes to think of themselves as self-centred or conceited. It might be framed up as confidence, sold as 'self-belief', but in order to succeed in the toughest of industries, some level of selfishness is required. The question is, what do you do with that selfishness when you make it? Think about it... you train yourself to be self-serving in order to compete with your peers. On the way up, you become ruthless, shrewd and tough - and it works. Then you get that promotion, you become Mr/Mrs Boss. Then what? Let go of those characteristics? Unlikely.

It's likely is that those behaviours have become entrenched - and very hard to shift (if you're even aware you have them). You made it to the top, so what's to stop someone else getting to the top and toppling you. You could hardly blame yourself for becoming even more egotistical, even more selfish, if only to defend your current status... So how do you go from selfish high-achiever to selfless leader? The answer is a full-on ego detox. Steven Sylvester, Author of DETOX YOUR EGO and professional cricketer-turned-psychologist is the founder of Leadership withoutEGO and has a seven-point plan to see you through. Think you (or your boss) might benefit? Take a look below How to detox your ego

  1. Believe in 'mastery'

We’re taught that life is about winning and we focus on results. But this creates stress and anxiety and can lead to poor mental health. Instead, we should focus on mastering what we can do - in relationships, skills and crafts. What can we do differently so we master 'it' to feel happy?

  1. Love your errors

It often starts in the classroom - not accepting the grades we got - but we must learn from our errors. We should not resist or ignore them, but drill down into them, examine them, and in due course, learn to love them.

  1. Be open

As human beings we are inherently closed. From a biological standpoint we are programmed to work together, so what can we do to marry that with our minds? Can we be open to what we experience and by extension, openly look into what we avoid?

  1. Be consistent

Inconsistency leads to failure. If we feel one thing and do another, it causes problems. In order to be authentic and have integrity, what you feel and what you say, need to be the same.

  1. Have fun

Do you have fun at work, in your hobbies, in life - or are you miserable? If you're having fun, you're freer - and if you're freer, you’ll have a far greater sense of well-being. Happiness is a massive indicator of good mental health.

  1. Be a giver - not just a taker

How much do you take from your relationships - at home or in the workplace? How much do you, unconditionally, give? We understand intellectually about 'unconditional' giving, but our selfishness, our ego, means we often end up 'taking' more than giving.

  1. Have clarity in life

It's a deep, philosophical question to ask ourselves, but are we clear on what our purpose and contribution is in the community that we live in or serve? There is more to life than just our work or just our play, and we need to ask what the ultimate legacy is that we wish to leave behind.

Interview By Edwina Langley for The Evening Standard - London.

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