The Mirrors That Help You See Yourself

Ego sees others but not itself.

Egoless is a silly myth.

Ego serves leaders well when self-interest drives service. But ego has a dark side.

You have an ego problem if:

  1. Fault-finding comes naturally, but affirmation is like choking on mosquitoes.
  2. Taking offense is an Olympic sport with you. Are you easily offended?
  3. You’re too busy or important for conversations.
  4. Correction from others offends you.
  5. You give explanations when someone corrects you.
  6. The problem is always “out there”.
  7. Giving advice is an exercise in recreation. It’s your attempt at getting people to be more like you.


Others are mirrors.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Carl Jung

The things that irritate you about others often reflect your own weaknesses. I see this in the clash of controlling people.

Controlling people hate each other.


Ask yourself, “What might I learn about myself?” when someone irritates me.

Others help you see yourself.

You won’t become self-aware by meditating under a tree. You see yourself when you brush against people. For example…

Controlling people irritate me. I bristle at the thought that I might be controlling. I wonder why?

You can’t change what you refuse to acknowledge.

Helping others see themselves:

#1. Maintain emotional calm when bringing up sensitive issues.

#2. Explain how you learned to see yourself in others. Lead by example.

#3. Be curious.

  • Who irritates you?
  • How might you share some of their irritating qualities?
  • What advice would you give to that irritating other?
  • How might that advice apply to you?

You connect with others when you accept your own imperfections.

What irritates you about others? How might those irritating qualities be in you?

How might leaders help others see themselves more clearly?