Confidence vs. Ego: The Anti-Douche Quest for Humility
Confidence and Ego. Same-same? Literary scholars and thesaurus violators alike know of the wide ravine existing between the two.
Every single one of us is guilty of being egotistical at one point or another. Using Ego for gratification & feeding it's insatiable appetite is not only impossible to maintain but self-defeating in the long run. Even sadder yet, you and your Ego need to be fed by others. In turn, feeding the desire to be accepted, acknowledged, loved, and valued.
Shifting away from a goal-orientated, list ticking mentality that I developed in my upbringing hasn't been an overnight process. I admit the little tug of that mindset every now and again: "I ticked a V5, I ticked a V8... blah blah fucking blah." It is easy, and oh so bloody tempting to get swept up with Ego, goals & ticking lists. Defining people's climbing including my own by numbers and grades is entirely arrogant and not the person I would like myself to develop into. I'm not fond of ego tripping or the people that need it. Put that shit away. No, I will not stroke it.
Often I brush off comments on my accomplishments by saying "Thank you for feeding my ego today, but in reality, I'm just doing this because I love it." From the training, my body has changed. But I have been aware for a long fucking time of the stifling reality that inevitably I'll be wrinkly and more than likely a little plump when I'm older. Consequently, I'd like to share that wrinkly arse's time with people who don't bring out the worst in me, providing love and friendship on a conditional basis
Since I have started climbing my Ego has shrunk considerably. Forcibly. Consistently shoved to the side. Compacted into a smaller and smaller box. Hard training sessions over the last few months have broken and squeezed that fucker down so much that I have had to rely on other ways to feel some level of adequacy in my abilities.
But at the end of it all, it's just a bunch of men and women climbing a bunch of rocks. Topping out after completing a multi-pitch, looking to the horizon as the amber glow of another sunset kisses my face makes me feel comfortably small and insignificant. It hardly seems the place to grow an Ego. Bouldering and competition climbing, on the other hand, is a different matter.