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Penny Power Ponders ego and the joy of letting go

This week, in a conversation with a new client, I shared my personal story of discovering that I had an ego that was affecting my joy. I thought I would ponder this with you and perhaps tempt you to think about it too.

Modern life is not easy, I am sure my parents said that too about their life. Some of our challenges are not about the environment we are in, nor the economy, some of them are man made by ourselves, life, unwittingly creating some beliefs and internal challenges that without us exploring them we are unaware of their impact.

Freedom is something we all seek, in some ways. Some seek financial freedom, some seek inner peace. For me, it is all about inner peace.

To explain my personal discovery, I need to provide some context of what led up to it. I promise this will be relevant to at least 70% of my readers.

In 1997, I was a fulfilled mum of 3 young children under 5. My career had been amazing, I left it to become a mum on a high, very at peace with my ability to meet my ambitions. Nothing mind blowing, I was a Sales and Marketing Director of an £80m company, with around 70 people in my team. We had a lovely little cottage, in a beautiful town, just enough money to manage holidays and good food. Thomas was a super breadwinner for our family.

In 1998, life changed, an idea to connect a few business owners via building a community online, turned into a 14 year roller coaster like nothing Thomas or I could have expected. Suddenly propelled to relative fame in the dotcom boom era. National and then International travel and we were so well known and celebrated as the most connected people in the world. I never had to introduce myself, the stage was my home and it was very heady.

In 2012, it all changed, having held an identity for 14 years, upholding it so our clients felt safe, the reality of our own life came to a head. For 5 years we had financially, personally, propped the business up, the business had to go. It was bought and overnight we were “nobodies”.

Since then, we have spoken to so many Founders that have ‘Exit Depression’, ‘Success Depression’ and ‘Miserably Successful. It is a real thing. We can identify with the loss of a business.

2014, I was asked to Speak at an event in Bristol, again, being paid for it, but not at the rate I once was. Driving to Bristol in the pouring rain was not pleasant. Arriving was even worse. Having previously experienced incredible welcomes, green rooms and people falling over me to make me happy, instead, I found myself queuing with everyone else, searching for someone that knew I was coming, walking into a room and discovering that only one person in the audience knew who I was. My confidence was at an all time low.

I went to the loo and googled, “how to get over your own ego’. I knew deep down that this shouldn’t matter at all. I have always connected with purpose, and here was a room of strangers that I could help. But it was tough, the battle between my heart and my ego.

On the drive home, I called Thomas and said the following..

“Thomas, that was so tough, no one knew who I was’.

and Thomas replied

“Isn’t it wonderful”.

Umph! that wasn’t the reply I was seeking, and the 3 hour drive home was dominated by his words and my battle.

As I stepped out of the car at home that evening, I was changed, back to Penny pre- the fame, the hype, the push. I was me again.


In this world of seeking to hold an identity that shows our credibility we can be in danger of seeking fame and notoriety. It masks the joy of our life. It creates comparison, it creates pain for ourselves.

Ultimately, we all just want to do a great job, give others loads of love and value, provide safety and feed our families.

We all need to have an ego, but it should work for us, not against us. I read in a book, ( I forget where), that we are born in ego and die in spirit; go too much to the left, or to the right, and we are too hard to connect with; building strong, trusted and lovable relationships are tough to achieve. We can have barriers that can seem superior.

My life is all about being me, so others can be themselves too. This is what makes the communities we build so strong.

So perhaps this week, think about EGO, when is it triggering, too low or too high, find that self awareness and ask yourself, why, what has been my journey that has created this challenge for me.

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