how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

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runstrails
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how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

Post by runstrails » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:58 pm

I have a question regarding personality traits. In my case, a major one is competitiveness. While this may be a useful trait in the illusory world, when unchecked it can lead to suffering for myself and more importantly interferes with my ability to feel compassion for others.

I can easily recognize ego’s competitiveness immediately as it arises. However, even though I recognize competitiveness as ego—I still continue to act competitively.

How can we deal with personality traits that are such a deep part of our conditioning that even after recognizing them clearly as ego, we still act according to them.

Many thanks for any consideration.

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Re: how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

Post by arel » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:21 pm

Hi runstrails.

I think healthy competitiveness is natural. Especially in guys. Guilt about it is also just ego. I think the best thing to do about being healthy, body and mind (ego) wise, is to be in ones body. Let's say I get competitive over a girl, or something, I get in touch with my body, and I realize the abundance and the play in that competitiveness. From there I still compete maybe, or maybe not. Or I compete is sports, soreness of losing comes up, but get in touch with my body, and you get a perspective of it being just play and not that important, but infused with lessons for next time maybe.

But if you want to react to something differently then I think establishing habits is the way to go. Presence is good for that, as for anything else really :)
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Re: how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

Post by runstrails » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:37 pm

Thanks arel! Great tips. I'd like to follow up on some of the things you said.

Unfortunately in my case, the competitiveness goes from being healthy to being unhealthy pretty quickly (it's all consuming).

When you say, get in touch with body, do you mean "inner body" like from ET?

I like the idea of recognizing that its all play and that its not very important what happens. This is really good insight and I need to incorporate this more.

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Re: how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

Post by Marcel Franke » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:21 pm

> how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?
> In my case, a major one is competitiveness.
> Many thanks for any consideration.

Grmbl…
You wont get any hints from me !
…trying to become the most laid-back member of the entire E-T-forum…
…tsss…
Last edited by Marcel Franke on Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
---ooOoo---

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Re: how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

Post by Ananda » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:23 pm

Because Ego is individuality then when there is still Ego there is still competitiveness through individuality. First knowthe Self, which is without another, to be yourself, and the tendencies and habits of Ego-centric living will eventually burn out because individuality will be gone.

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Re: how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

Post by arel » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:51 pm

runstrails wrote: When you say, get in touch with body, do you mean "inner body" like from ET?
Yes that's what I mean. When you hear inner body what do you right away think about? I think everything below the neck. In truth there is no inner body and then outside of the body... Space and time is created by our senses. (I close my eyes, and there is no space). So feeling the inner body focusing on the sense of vision creates "out there". As you focus on something, like a sound, or something you see, do you sense the rising of the sense of awareness of it? It's reflected by perception of something. Sensing the inner body does that to me, and it's always available and unchanging. The only unchanging perception, an anchor as ET calls it. When that happens, there is knowing that I'm not the body, but beyond that, "containing" everything. And that puts everything into a different perspective. More chill :) and accepting and loving, even towards the judgement of being too obsessed about something. (like competitiveness for you?)

Then I breath deep. Breathing is overlooked. Notice how we can live without water, food, etc, but without air, only a few mins, and our body is done! It is the best way to return to a a more normal natural emotional state. Try it, might help your over-competitiveness maybe.
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Re: how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

Post by Kutso » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:33 pm

Who is this "I" that is so competitive? Where is this "I"? Is it there all the time? If not, where is it when it is not there?

And an even more interesting question; who is it that wants to change this "I"?
Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that.

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Re: how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

Post by SirNikalot » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:02 am

I used to play basketball and every time I would try to prove myself I would play worse. For me, competition included the sense that "I have to be better than you" or more perhaps more importantly, "I need people to think I'm good." I noticed when I made a great play, it was with a sense of honesty and joy, but by no means was I soft, I was still intense, but I definitely played with a greater sense of honesty and joy. I'm sure you've experienced this before when you've had certain flashes of greatness at what ever it is you compete at, of course, after it occurs the mind wants to distort things into thinking that you just did some great, therefore you are great, and that's just the mind distorting your essence, your great even without doing great.

That's how I personally see it.

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Re: how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

Post by runstrails » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:00 pm

Thank you all for yourinsight. It is truly appreciated. I agree with all of you, that its about residing as Self and not identifying with individuality. (I really like the term individuality (used by ananda) since its less general than ego--its includes all one's individual personality traits, but its intuitively hard to locate/pinpoint at the same time). Again, thanks.

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Re: how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

Post by snowheight » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:03 pm

'trails,

Perhaps instead of wanting to defeat your opponent you could instead approach competitive situations from the perspective of trying to "do your best", or, more in keeping with the philosophy of non-dualism and enlightenment, "BE your best".

Of course, quantifying your best does mean measuring your performance against the performance of others, or more directly, if you are running a race and see another body running in front of the one that hosts your particular illusion of individuality, then subjectively, your best would mean passing that person. "Nothing personal other person I'm just being my best!"

I've often been given the advice in performance situations to "just be yourself" or to "just act naturally". I conjecture a reason for this being that the ego is actually a terrible (and ironically, "self-conscious") competitor and acting from it weakens us and draws energy from our efforts, hence the phrase "get into your head". A great example of this would be if your ego kept the thought quoted at end of the last paragraph stored up and quipped it out at just the wrong time during a future race.

But there is no denying a dark phenomenon, perhaps best described as being "fueled by hate". Those situations in which an angry burst of power pushes us over the top or serves to motivate us to move forward decisively at a key point in time. I've experienced this in my life many times. I'm reminded of some of the monologues by the Sith Lords in "Star Wars" :) Determination, grit, stubborn tenacity and the warrior's cry will probably always have a place in the arena.

Perhaps, since non-duality encompasses these negative mental states, they can be a source of "energy" in competitive situations, but our ND teachings and practices warn us about identifying with or associating these negative forms as traits to our competitors. At the end of the race remember to figuratively "Namaste" your opponent be they victor or vanquished and accept the outcome, which of course will be easiest to do if you have been your best.

Namaste,

snowheight

PS: I've found writing this to be quite cathartic and immediately was able to identify situations in my past where less ego would have led to much less suffering. Thanks for the thread!
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Re: how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

Post by runstrails » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:01 pm

remember to figuratively "Namaste" your opponent be they victor or vanquished and accept the outcome

I love this! You are absolutely correct. Thanks, snowheight for a thoughtful response.

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Re: how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

Post by Sighclone » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:13 am

When YE Yang crushed Tiger Woods in the last PGA championship, Tiger hovered during YE's putts...sort of lurked around the green to be seen. It wasn't enough.

Ignore the scoreboard. Do the tasks with full presence. Respect and even love the outcome. "Loving What Is" is Byron Katie's book on this.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

Post by snowheight » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:21 pm

Andy,

Tiger ... wow, talk about a case of the ego running amok wanting "MORE ! MORE ! MORE!". The man is a great study in a paradox: there is no denying the channel for Source that his talent is, how at his best, he is a thing of beauty to behold, but on the other hand ... Also the training/being dichotomy (the man has worked and obviously continues to work very hard).

That "MORE ! MORE ! MORE !" stuff kind of reminds me of the current global trend of very heavy federalized public debt.

Namaste,

snowheight
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Re: how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

Post by karmarider » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:22 pm

I'm not very competitive. If there were an Olympic even for non-competitiveness I would win it. Or lose it. :D

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Re: how to dissolve bothersome personality traits?

Post by Sighclone » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:09 pm

I'm not competitive either...even when all buried in my ego, I wasn't. Haven't made a lot of money in my life. Most competition is a "win-lose" game. I just like to hit great golf shots...don't care if I beat anybody. I do poorly in competitive events where "beating somebody" is the task. Fortunately I am part of a group of people who share commercial real estate appraisal work and assignments and databases. If I believed in a "God out there" I'd say "He's looking out for me." Knowing better, I realize it's just the dance of the universe.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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