“Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called ‘Ego.’” ~Frierich Nietzsche
At a young age, the bar for the rest of my life was set very high. I was a natural at anything I tried to do, and I was lucky enough to have my friends and family support me in just about every venture, so I became incredibly confident in my abilities and hopeful that life would always be easy and painless.
Eventually, I solidified the expectation for myself to always be number one because that is what my identity was based upon.
To give you a couple examples of my pre-adolescent stretch of glory: I was an all star swimmer (better than even the boys on my swim team); no one dared challenge me in verbal warfare due to my incredibly intellectual argumentative skills; I was “popular” for a pre-teen and had close friends; and I was very good at school.
Then I was humbled by reality.
I transferred from my safe 100-student private school to a public school of over 400 students in sixth grade, and my world was literally flipped upside down.
I lost my identity in a sea of kids who went toe to toe with my vivacious personality, and my ego took a big hit.
I was not the best at anything anymore, so who I was and my contribution to the world, in my young mind, was compromised,…