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Ego! Does it help or hinder your effort?
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arnoilgner


Jul 27, 2005, 6:40 PM
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Ego! Does it help or hinder your effort?
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Hello, this is Arno, author of The Rock Warrior's Way book.

First, I think it is helpful for me to say that I am still learning this mental training stuff and don't have the final word on any of it. So, I'm open to anyone's comments and suggestions so I can refine my understanding of it. Feel free to critize what I post with your understanding of the topic.

Second, our ego can become offended or defensive by what someone says. So, if you read something that is offending and you become defensive then take it as an opportunity to diminish the reactive nature of your ego. Simply reply to the comment is a constructive, curious way, without sarcasm.

Ok. We need to identify "ego" before we go further. What I mean by ego and how I define it in the RWW book is an identity we create that is based on what we have accomplished--I'm a 5.11 climber who has climbed such-and-such routes. We tend to associate how worthy we feel with how well we're climbing. "I feel like a good climber because I climbed up to my ego identity of being a 5.11 climber." That sort of comparison.

I've heard folks say that you need a strong ego to climb well. My contention is that ego can help initially by getting us engaged in challenges but beyond that it is a hinderance. "I'll show you I can do it" type self talk. This kind of self talk at least gets you on the route. But, what happens when you are on the route and it's looking like you are not going to "do it?" You become distracted by that expectation. Your attention, instead of being focused on climbing your best, is leaking into not meeting the expectation you began the climb with.

So, what do you think? Comments please.


wonderwoman


Jul 27, 2005, 7:30 PM
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First I want to say thank you to phillbox and others for allowing this forum to be open to everyone now. I feel that having unfiltered conversation, sarcastic posts and all that may come with it, will really benefit this forum. I hope that people will feel challenged in a good way, rather than attacked, if someone does challenge their ideas.

Just 5 minutes before logging on here, I finished writing an email to a group of 3 women that I am going on a climbing trip with this weekend. This is my first all woman trip and 2 of them have not lead trad before.

I was (am?) terrified at the thought of being the most experienced and in my email I started making recommendations for routes for us. I went on to describe myself at a 'timid leader'. Having read what Arno just wrote I know this is because I don't want them to have high expectations in my leading abilities. My ego doesn't want them to see me back off easy things just like I have done so many times recently. My ego forced me to describe myself as 'timid' so that I'll have an excuse to back off. It's like a 'get out of jail free card'.

On the flip side, because these women (who I met in a two day trad class) have never seen me lead, they don't have any expectations for my climbing ability. So when I get there I may feel less intimidated. Or my ego may say "I'll show you I can do it" which could potentially be a break through for me.

So, I think it can go either way. So far it's been working against me as I've been very conscious of how I am perceived. I have been allowing it to drain my focus from climbing the best that I can. I have been enjoying the journey less and less and focusing on the 'results' of finishing the climb. It has been so overwhelming lately that I have entertained thoughts quitting climbing altogether.

But I also have the will to change this right now and stop letting my ego determine how I climb.

Thanks for starting this post, Arno. Your timing was amazing. Thist turned into a rant for me, but I feel better.


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Jul 27, 2005, 10:11 PM
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I associate ego with pride and we all know what cometh before a fall. How often have we heard to leave ego at the bottom of a climb, it has no business being up there on the wall with me. Nevertheless I have suffered from an ego induced fall.

A couple of years ago I was to take a very well respected oldie baddy traddy up a new climb that a mate of mine and I had only in the recent past put up.

Thus the stage was set for me to show off this wonderful 6 pitch mixed trad and sport route. I felt compelled to perform in front of my betters, oh dear, not a good reason to be up there on the pointy end. Not having ever led the first two pitches but having an intimate knowledge of all the subsequent pitches I got myself bushed and wandered off route into scary friable rock territory. Of course the need to perform in front of ones betters got the better of me and I forged on regardless. Result was that I took a dive of around 30 metres and ended up 3 or 4 metres below my erstwhile better.

Yep, ego got the better of me and I am definitely wiser for the experience. Ego prevents one from backing off when that would be the wisest course of action. In fact knowing when to back off and take another option is a very handy skill that is quite often overlooked in our drive to achieve outcomes and the goal at the top. Ego can blind us to seeing when that would be the best course of action.

Yes, I most emphatically know that Ego can hinder.

Phil...

P.S. Thanks Arno for posting these questions.


arnoilgner


Jul 28, 2005, 9:12 AM
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Hello Wonderwoman. Your comment below.

"Or my ego may say 'I'll show you I can do it' which could potentially be a break through for me. So, I think it can go either way. So far it's been working against me as I've been very conscious of how I am perceived. I have been allowing it to drain my focus from climbing the best that I can."

What breakthrough are you looking for--learning how to climb better or getting up a climb that others perceive you should be able to do? The foundation of any experience should be learning and you need to learn in small increments. If you are motivated by "I'll show you I can do it" then perhaps you'll get yourself into a dangerous situation. Then you may be learning how to overcome a broken ankle--not the kind of learning you want.

We are all distracted by how others perceive us. It is a distraction. Let's bring this back to attention. If your attention is focused on how others perceive you then that amount of attention won't be focused on climbing. To climb as well as possible you must have all available attention focused on climbing. Paradoxically, if you do this you will rise to others' perceptions better than if you don't. You said it yourself "I have been allowing it to drain my focus from climbing the best that I can."
Do this help? arno


arnoilgner


Jul 28, 2005, 9:13 AM
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Hello Wonderwoman. Your comment below.

"Or my ego may say 'I'll show you I can do it' which could potentially be a break through for me. So, I think it can go either way. So far it's been working against me as I've been very conscious of how I am perceived. I have been allowing it to drain my focus from climbing the best that I can."

What breakthrough are you looking for--learning how to climb better or getting up a climb that others perceive you should be able to do? The foundation of any experience should be learning and you need to learn in small increments. If you are motivated by "I'll show you I can do it" then perhaps you'll get yourself into a dangerous situation. Then you may be learning how to overcome a broken ankle--not the kind of learning you want.

We are all distracted by how others perceive us. It is a distraction. Let's bring this back to attention. If your attention is focused on how others perceive you then that amount of attention won't be focused on climbing. To climb as well as possible you must have all available attention focused on climbing. Paradoxically, if you do this you will rise to others' perceptions better than if you don't. You said it yourself "I have been allowing it to drain my focus from climbing the best that I can."
Do this help? arno


maculated


Jul 28, 2005, 10:20 AM
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It's one thing to be aware of the effects of the ego and past history, and quite another to be able to release both.

Recently I was climbing pretty much daily and not having much expectation of myself - and by George, I was climbing better than I ever have. There was a particular climb that I'd always struggled on to the point of just not being interested in trying it above others. A friend led it and then I said I might want to try it, after watching him struggle.

Well, I get on it, and lo and behold, I didn't just climb it clean - it was EASY. EASY. I was so pleased with myself that it made my day - I let go of ego, and had no expectation and was greatly rewarded.

So I go back to lead it this week, expecting it to be easy again and it's gone. Ego is back.

So how you harness the power of no or low expectation is the one thing that eludes me. It's one thing to know you should have the above, and it's another to truly believe it.


dirtineye


Jul 28, 2005, 10:31 AM
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To climb as well as possible you must have all available attention focused on climbing.

This sentence cuts out all the fat for me.


wonderwoman


Jul 28, 2005, 4:59 PM
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Arno, thanks for your comments.
In reply to:
What breakthrough are you looking for--learning how to climb better or getting up a climb that others perceive you should be able to do? The foundation of any experience should be learning and you need to learn in small increments.

What I really want is to say to myself 'I'll show you I can do it' and then really follow through with the climb. That would be a break through for me.

I do have a few years of trad under my belt and have been making every effort to take classes, read more and practice my anchors every chance I get. I am still a new leader. Lately I feel that I have taken a huge step backward and have irrational fear even though I have working knowledge of anchor set up and even self rescue. But sometimes I place a good piece of gear and I can't get myself to climb above it. And this is a new thing for me.

The beauty of this weekend is that I get to pick a lot of the climbs so they will be well within my comfort level. Here is how I find myself distracted by how others perceive me. My primary climbing partner is my husband which is wonderful but sometimes hard for both of us. My husband might have the expectation that I'll back out and I have the security of knowing that if I get scared, I can always let him lead instead. So that's what happens. But these women don't have the expectation that I will back out, then maybe I will allow myself to be more committed to the climb.

In reply to:
We are all distracted by how others perceive us. It is a distraction. Let's bring this back to attention. If your attention is focused on how others perceive you then that amount of attention won't be focused on climbing. To climb as well as possible you must have all available attention focused on climbing. Paradoxically, if you do this you will rise to others' perceptions better than if you don't. You said it yourself "I have been allowing it to drain my focus from climbing the best that I can."
Do this help? arno

Yes, this does help and you are absolutely right. I will do my best to stay focused on the climbing and not on disappointing my new partners. No matter what happens, I'm sure they won't be disappointed in me. In general I feel very optomistic about this weekend and I'm happy to at least have these new women climbing friends.


naw


Jul 29, 2005, 9:42 AM
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On an interesting side note, I think that most of us are not climbing nearly close enough to our physical potential to make an accurate judgement to what are limits are to begin with. If I was to say "I'm a 5.11 sport climber," that would indicate that my ego identifies my current physical limit on sport routes as 5.11. However, due to the fact that I'm probably wasting attention and energy while I climb to begin with, I'm probably not conserving my strength or climbing efficiently enough to really be pushing my physical limits at all. I think the best policy is to stay away from putting a limit on your skill or strength to begin with, and I think that's exactly what the ego does when it makes statements like this. If you identify yourself as a 5.11 climber, you're probably going to be nervous climbing 5.11 because it's at your "limit." However, if you look at the experience as maybe "working a 5.11" (I dunno, something like that) than you're really just looking at it as a stepping stone and a learning experience and you'll probably be more relaxed and climb better. I prefer to think of myself as a 5.14 climber who's just spending a few years warming up :)

On a side note, I can see that it's also very important to identify your limits if you're planning on climbing a dangerous or runout trad route, etc. But you get the idea.


degaine


Jul 29, 2005, 2:31 PM
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If not wanting to let my partner down on a multi-pitch climb equals ego, then my ego has helped me to get through initial jitters when swinging leads in order to step up to the plate and do my share of the work.

At the crag, the rock itself usually forces humility if I am unwilling to be humble at first, so ego in the sense of puffing up my own ability for others is pretty much non-existent on a day out climbing.

At the coffee house or other social scene, my ego certainly go the best of me in my first year or two climbing. Getting royally spanked on a few climbs forcing my partners to lead everything has since prompted me to mostly understate my abilities and to honestly describe the manner and rating of past climbs completed.

In reply to:
On an interesting side note, I think that most of us are not climbing nearly close enough to our physical potential to make an accurate judgement to what are limits are to begin with. If I was to say "I'm a 5.11 sport climber," that would indicate that my ego identifies my current physical limit on sport routes as 5.11.

For me personally, on the rare occasion when I put a rating to my climbing ability, if I say "I'm a 5.X climber," 5.X is the level at which I can onsite 99% of the time (excluding off-widths of course), so I don't consider it limiting or a ceiling, but consider it the minimum of my capabilities.

Of course there are limits to my desires - you won't see me on any 5.13 off-width a la "belly full of bad berries" (correct name?) anytime soon.


jt512


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So how you harness the power of no or low expectation is the one thing that eludes me. It's one thing to know you should have the above, and it's another to truly believe it.

I don't think it's a question of belief, but of recognizing that your focus is not where it needs to be, and redirecting it. You can't think about the climbing and the outcome simultaneously, so if you find your attention wandering to the outcome, redirect it to the climbing: pay attention to your balance, the next handhold, the efficiency of your movement, etc. That's what maximized the probablility of the outcome your ego wants, anyway!

-Jay


arnoilgner


Jul 29, 2005, 5:28 PM
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Hello Maculated.
Your question, I think, is how to go into climbing challenges with a diminished ego and low expectation, right?
Yes, I agree, knowing is the first step but doing is more difficult. However, many climbers haven't got that first step, so you are at least on the path to learn how to overcome this. Funny, expectation is the topic of my next newsletter.

Essentially, expectation and ego are tied to valuing the end-result---the top or performing well. If you work on valuing the process of learning you will begin to loosen your tendency to have ego intrude. By valuing learning your expectation is on possibility not on getting to the top. When you go climbing, use this to help: Expect that it is possible to do a climb, not that you will.
arno


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Jul 29, 2005, 5:36 PM
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Hello Wonderwoman

The husband/wife climbing team thing is a common one. At the last New River Gorge Rendezvous Jeff Achey and Tracy Martin did a clinic on just this. I'd suggest that on some routes that you will be leading (while husband belaying) that if you cannot complete the climb that you both go to another route rather than have him bail you out. Perhaps this would help motivate you to not give up for fear but for real concerns.

When climbing with your girl friends you may still fall into the distraction of meeting their expectations. If you at least have awareness that you are doing this then it is the first step in working through that problem. Don't be too hard on yourself. Be aware each time you fall into that behavior and see if you can refocus attention onto problem solving.
best, arno


jt512


Jul 29, 2005, 5:43 PM
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Ok. We need to identify "ego" before we go further. What I mean by ego and how I define it in the RWW book is an identity we create that is based on what we have accomplished--I'm a 5.11 climber who has climbed such-and-such routes. We tend to associate how worthy we feel with how well we're climbing. "I feel like a good climber because I climbed up to my ego identity of being a 5.11 climber." That sort of comparison.

Perhaps I just don't get it, but I am not aware that ego is a major contributer to my not climbing up to my potential. I do allow how well I am climbing to affect how good I feel about myself...(Interestingly, a moment's reflection reveals how silly this is. I frequently have days that I climb worse than others that seem to have no apparent cause, so I am essentially letting a random event affect my self-esteem.)...and I do occasionally feel performance anxiety in front of a new partner, a visiting pro, women, etc., but I don't see that this is a major limiting factor for me. I might feel bad about having a "bad day," but I don't think it affects my climbing much.

In reply to:
But, what happens when you are on the route and it's looking like you are not going to "do it?" You become distracted by that expectation. Your attention, instead of being focused on climbing your best, is leaking into not meeting the expectation you began the climb with.

Let me give you an example. On a recent redpoint project that I had been working for several weekends, I felt like I was close to redpointing the route before I was. I felt like I could get it within a few more tries, a day or two at the most. Well, after those two days came and went without a redpoint, I became frustrated: my ability wasn't up to my expectations. But I still feel like I was giving a full effort on each attempt. I might have felt like a loser, but I was still climbing my best, I think.

-Jay


arnoilgner


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Hi Naw,

Yes, I agree. One thing to keep in mind is that we cannot get rid of ego. However, we can diminish it. Even if we don't verbally and consciously say "I'm a 5.11 climber" we know it unconsciously based on past experience. However, you are right, we need to distance ourself from that identity as much as possible and look at route as what is possible for us. That is why I like to get on routes without knowing the rating. I look at routes that appeal to me.

I remember recently getting on a route at the Red River Gorge that I heard someone say was 5.12b. It was a beautiful steep crack. Looking at it, it somehow didn't look that hard but I've learn that it is very difficult to determine that from the bottom. Anyway, I onsighted the route and found out it was 5.11b. But, I was nervous the whole way wondering, "where is the 12b?" Interesting how expectations affect performance.
arno


arnoilgner


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Hi Degaine,

I see what you are saying. Being motivated by the ego to step up and do our share can help cut through what may be irrational fear and real fear. I remember doing this years ago in an alpine setting where I was whining and complaining about the cold and snow and wanted to go home (poor me). But my partner told me we'd invested time and money to get to that mountain and we were going to do our best to climb it. So ego or finally accepting responsibility for being there got me motivated to continue.
arno


arnoilgner


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Jay, I don't think it is a matter of climbing your best but rather being distracted by your expectation to redpoint within two days. Remember, frustration is wanting something for nothing. You didn't redpoint because you had something else to learn, otherwise you would have redpointed. Don't be distracted by frustration or some expectation, but rather stay curious to what else needs to be learned. I think you already know this. arno


jt512


Jul 29, 2005, 6:34 PM
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In reply to:
Remember, frustration is wanting something for nothing. You didn't redpoint because you had something else to learn, otherwise you would have redpointed. Don't be distracted by frustration or some expectation, but rather stay curious to what else needs to be learned. I think you already know this. arno

One thing that has helped me reduce my frustration -- and I don't remember whether you said this or someone else -- is to realize that frustration indicates that your expectations are out of line with reality. I expected to be able to redpoint, but the reality was I wasn't yet up to it -- I either had more to learn about climbing the route or I had to increase my fitness. I find that when I start feeling frustrated, simply being honest with myself about this leads to thinking about what I need to do or learn to improve on the route.

-Jay


vbhide


Jul 31, 2005, 10:49 PM
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Our ego begins when we start making images of ourselves.. saying... im a 5.x climber.. wow!!
We start climbing for the grade.
Thats never ever good, beleive me. Its never about grades, only about fun. I climb much better with freinds who dont give a damn about how well (or badly) they are climbing than with people who keep analysing their, and others' climbing.
Our goal needs to change. The more desperatly you want those grades, the worse your chances of getting them.


dirtineye


Aug 1, 2005, 1:20 AM
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Hey Arno, I think frustration is more often a case of expectation exceeding outcome, for whatever reason.

One good way I have found for dealing with frustration is the method Bob Cormany told me about-- and that is, with bouldering, give a problem 4 or 5 tries, and then move on. The way Bob put it, this way you get in more problems, you don't get worn out on one or two, frustration levels stay lower, and often when you come back later you have learned something that your subconcious needed time to process.

I think that if one is ego-involved with a climb, it is hard to take this detached approach.


degaine


Aug 1, 2005, 2:04 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
So how you harness the power of no or low expectation is the one thing that eludes me. It's one thing to know you should have the above, and it's another to truly believe it.

I don't think it's a question of belief, but of recognizing that your focus is not where it needs to be, and redirecting it. You can't think about the climbing and the outcome simultaneously, so if you find your attention wandering to the outcome, redirect it to the climbing: pay attention to your balance, the next handhold, the efficiency of your movement, etc. That's what maximized the probablility of the outcome your ego wants, anyway!

-Jay

Nice post, Jay. I completely agree with you, focus on the task at hand. I have taken more than one fall below a crux due to over-focus on the upcoming crux moves and not paying attention to the immediate moves staring me in the face.


degaine


Aug 1, 2005, 2:05 PM
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In reply to:
Hi Degaine,

I see what you are saying. Being motivated by the ego to step up and do our share can help cut through what may be irrational fear and real fear. I remember doing this years ago in an alpine setting where I was whining and complaining about the cold and snow and wanted to go home (poor me). But my partner told me we'd invested time and money to get to that mountain and we were going to do our best to climb it. So ego or finally accepting responsibility for being there got me motivated to continue.
arno

Arno, thanks for the response.


arnoilgner


Aug 1, 2005, 2:30 PM
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Hi Vbhide,
Yes, our expectations can get in the way because we tend to climb to that expectation and not to what needs to be done to climb the route. Again, it is a distraction of attention.

Now, learning is the goal and we cannot learn if we just take a "I'm just climbing for fun and don't care if I get to the top or not" approach. With that approach we won't get out of our comfort zone and learning occurs outside our comfort zone.

Always remind yourself of the true goal: learning.
arno


arnoilgner


Aug 1, 2005, 2:34 PM
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Hi Curt (dirtineye),

Yes, Bob's approach can help. But, remember that frustration is caused by the ego wanting something for nothing. Someone can get frustrated after one effort on a climb while someone else (with diminished ego) can throw him- herself at a climb for months and not get frustrated. It is a matter of our internal makeup.
arno


dirtineye


Aug 1, 2005, 3:07 PM
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Hi Curt (dirtineye),

Yes, Bob's approach can help. But, remember that frustration is caused by the ego wanting something for nothing. Someone can get frustrated after one effort on a climb while someone else (with diminished ego) can throw him- herself at a climb for months and not get frustrated. It is a matter of our internal makeup.
arno

Well, let's call it two different ways to cause frustration, and I am guilty of both sometimes.

I never really thought about the something for nothing approach, but I think it applies directly to the situation where, after a long layoff, I have come to a climb I think I should be able to do (even though I am badly out of shape), and can't do it. That really is wanting something for nothing, namely, wanting to be back in shape right then without making the effort to get back in shape.


guangzhou


Aug 2, 2005, 12:12 AM
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The husband/wife climbing team thing is a common one. At the last New River Gorge Rendezvous Jeff Achey and Tracy Martin did a clinic on just this. I'd suggest that on some routes that you will be leading (while husband belaying) that if you cannot complete the climb that you both go to another route rather than have him bail you out. Perhaps this would help motivate you to not give up for fear but for real concerns.

I like this idea and I will pass it on to Barb

Welcome back Arno. I am glad to see you will be a regular, and I may start frequenting the forum again. Thereís so much to learn.

By the way, I use you guiding principles to encourage my students to take risk in my classroom now. Seems to have an impact. When I get a chance, I will email you a brief write up on how I do this.


arnoilgner


Aug 2, 2005, 5:22 PM
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guangzhou quote:
"When I get a chance, I will email you a brief write up on how I do this."

That would be great. Send to: warriorsway@mindspring.com
arno


Partner kimgraves


Aug 3, 2005, 5:11 PM
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Hi Arno,

How you doing? Iím so glad this forum is back and youíre at the helm. Now we just need to get it out of the ďclubĒ box and up in the list.

My own feeling is that ego and all the other talk in your head is just fear and weakness poking its head up. When the voices are still, I can focus on the situation at hand and whatís in front of me. Iím actually learning this from yoga, not from climbing. Iím involved in a very difficult style of yoga called ashtanga. It is absolutely wild how afraid I can become trying to do a pose thatís either new to me or pushes me in some way. And this happens in the objectively safe environment standing on the level floor, in a warm room, with a caring teacher in front of me. I deal with this fear by breathing in the way yoga teaches Ė the fear disappears and I can focus on the pose.

Iím learning to bring this same work to my trad leading. Last weekend I was pretty under the weather with stomach problems. I had a lot of self doubts about being able to lead anything and so we decided to do something really, really easy. Luckily, even easy climbs at the Gunks can be spectacular. The climb was rated PG but the first place for pro was 25í off the deck (how is that PG?)! Even though this was way below my current level, the thought of decking if I lost it was there. That coupled with my stomach and I was not a pretty picture. I just did the breathing thing and focused of the flow of movement. I was at the crack in 15 seconds and slotting in pro. By the second pitch I was feeling better and in the zone. It ended up being a good day after all.

So me feeling is that ego in all things is useless for getting anything done. Not just climbing wise. But in my home life and business life as well. It just gets in the way. And whatís more all those stories I tell myself about myself are ultimately not very interesting. Itís actually much more interesting to be doing something.

Best, Kim


supe


Aug 3, 2005, 6:11 PM
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Hey arno,

Ego is a very interesting thing in climbing. I remember when I started climbing three years having no ego at all, but just feeling remarkably humble watching the guys I went with scurry up the climbs. After taking half an hour toproping my first climb, and being lowered down with bleeding palms I remember looking at a climb up the crag to my left named Second Coming. It went up a prestigous overhang and with the sunshine catching it just right looked as if it could only be climbed by demigods. I got down and asked my brother what it was rated. 12a he said. I remember saying, "the day I climb that will be the greatest day of my life and I will never ask for anything more in climbing."

Well with a great deal of training at the hands of very experienced and patient people I redpointed it six months later. I've kind of found that this has helped me out with the whole ego thing. Whenever I think to myself "I should be able to climb this!" or "why did I fall on that, its only 5.x?" I just think, "well according to what I thought when I first got into this I have already reached the zenith of my climbing experience. Everything after this is just a bonus.

The other thing that has helped me is once I get on the rock I enjoy myself so much that I nearly forget about everything else. If I fall on something that is supposedly well within my ability I usually end up thinking "man! that was a gnarly climb! I need to get back on it and beat that sucker!"

Another thing that has helped me lately is I have been out of climbing a bit. I used to go about 3 times a week and now I am lucky if I get to go once every two weeks. This has decreased my climbing ability, but made me enjoy the few times I get out much more. The other day I was just so happy to be out that I forgot totally about everything and onsited 3 climbs that were significantly harder than my old hardest onsite was. I was very pleasantly suprised.

Sorry, this is getting really long but I have just one more thing to say. My best buddy and climbing partner has had a much harder time with the ego thing. He is a very good climber and I think knowing this has hampered him. 2 years ago he reached his pinnacle and redpointed his 13.b project in one of the most beautiful climbing moments I have evers seen. But the trouble is that it seems like forever since then he has been trying to live up to that moment. Now when we go on trips and see some awe inspiring 12 rising up above us I get a gut clenching feeling and just looking at it and my buddy just says, "well its only a 12." Well when we get on it I struggle up it but enjoy the moves and think the same old thought in my head, when I redpoint this it will be the best climbing day of my life. " My buddy on the other hand gets pissed off when he has trouble with the moves (12 moves are still hard for anyone) and ends up making up excuses when he takes a fall. Well, in reality the climb wasn't bolted by losers, and his shoulder isn't jacked like he says it is. Its just we don't climb as much as we used to. He is still trying to live up to that image he has in his mind of himself sailing up the 13.b. I think if he just forgot that he ever redpointed it and just focused on that queasy wonderful feeling you get in your stomach when you're on a 15 foot runout and one leg is elvis pumping, one hand is slipping of the sloper, and the other hand is scrabbling desperatley for that last elusive quickdraw on your harness that feels like its slipping off your sweating hips he would have a lot better time.

The key for me is just to go out with no other expectations than that no matter how bad I climb I will assuredly have a better time climbing than I will have at work.


slcliffdiver


Aug 3, 2005, 8:08 PM
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Always remind yourself of the true goal: learning.
arno

My approach (or at least how I word it) is different my true goal is joy. The most direct path for me in this is "playful" focus. Much of society tends to view play as frivolus unproductive etc. However play is the most productive state I know if channeled into the task at hand. A sense of play is energetic, focused, creative, spontaneous and generally leaves you open to learning also anyone disagree or think of a better productive state of mind? On the other hand if there is a more productive state I'd be curious to hear but as a practical matter I really don't care to often because a sense of play is fun.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=43729 Photo of Kaitlyn by climbsomething

Twice in one day but my ideal of the ultimate "rock warrior" and what I'm talking about.

As far as the general thread goes people especially in the west are used to using ego as a motivational tool. It's fast and easy to do. We generally have less models and training for using non ego related motivations like love and joy (of being in process). Setting goals is not neccasarily and ego thing having expectiation about reaching your goals or not is.

The following is not my model but something I read somewhere and found helpful but I forget where to attribute it. Basically you set goals that require a level of focus you are capable of but that isn't to easy. It's the focus required in trying to achieve the goal that provides the joy. I think it's the awarness that you set the goal at least in part to provide you joy in being involved in the process of trying achieve the goal allows for stepping outside of "expecting" to achieve it. For me "expectation" equals ego and ego kills pure joy. One other thing from "the book" having something important to you and setting goals to achieve it doesn't neccisarily emesh you in ego. It's holding on to the goal (attachment) once you put yourself in process and expections that set up the internal conflicts. Not sure if I worded it great but I hope it's clear enough to make something more fun for at least one person.

Anyway glad the forum opened up now. Got myself in a funk over some stuff I'd been dealing with and I need a reminder to focus on the process, remember whats worked for me and maybe learn some new tricks to spend more time in process and joy. Most "mental training" I've done weather standard meditation techniques, climbing etc. have applied fairly broadly to my life and vice versa.


curt


Aug 3, 2005, 8:31 PM
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.....Ok. We need to identify "ego" before we go further. What I mean by ego and how I define it in the RWW book is an identity we create that is based on what we have accomplished--I'm a 5.11 climber who has climbed such-and-such routes. We tend to associate how worthy we feel with how well we're climbing. "I feel like a good climber because I climbed up to my ego identity of being a 5.11 climber." That sort of comparison......

Arno,

If I reflect back on my personal climbing career, there was a time (early on) when I possessed the strength and technical skills to do many routes and boulder problems that I would regularly fail on. Even though I "could" climb or boulder that hard, I was still a bit in awe of the grades themselves (or something) and thinking about how hard the problem or route was would make me subconsciously doubt myself and I would then fail. As my career progressed and I gained confidence, I would begin to approch any given boulder problem or climb assuming that I could do it--until I had evidence to the contrary. Obviously this type of optimism or confidence leads greatly to success. However, is this type of confidence just the same thing you are calling ego?

Curt


blueeyedclimber


Aug 4, 2005, 8:35 AM
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Arno,

Dealing with my ego, has perhaps, been the most important step in my climbing career thus far. I see it in two ways:
1. Early on i was very focused on grades and defined myself as a 5.xx climber. Now I don't even like to talk about it and I don't know how to answer anyone who asks what grade I climb. If someone really needs to know what I climb, then they can watch me, but I feel that telling someone a number does two things; gives them an impression of me that may or may not be true and also limits myself to live up to that. Maybe I am better than the number I gave.
2. THe second way I have seen my ego is my expectation that I have to succeed (finish a route). I would never back off before. Because of that it has caused at least two accidents. I have no problem backing off a route if I feel the need to. For example, I was leading a 5.3 in the Gunks. A nice leisurely climb. Well, I got to a point where it seemed to get a lot harder. I assumed I was off route and it was getting late. The old me would have been saying "come on, this is a 5.3, stop being such a pussy!" There happened to be a couple of pink tricams stuck in a hole so I left a biner and downclimbed to the last rapple station. Yeah, I could have finshed the pitch, but I didn't need to and I am fine with that.

Josh


arnoilgner


Aug 4, 2005, 1:56 PM
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Hi kimgraves,

Yes, you point out many types of ego distractions. What helps is to develop awareness when distractions happen. We do it by developing what I call the Witness position--that part of you that notices the attention leak. Then you can stop the leak and refocus attention onto the situation.
best, arno


arnoilgner


Aug 4, 2005, 2:07 PM
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Hi Supe

Expectations! Seems like I'm hearing a lot about this lately. And it is interesting that "expectations" is the topic of my next newsletter.

Anyway, yes, we create an image of ourselves based on a performance (in this case your friend's 13b walkup) and then create expectations based on that. When we do that our attention is focused on that expectation instead of on climbing the best we can TODAY. It all boils down to attention. If we leak attention to some expectation we won't be effective in climbing what we are faced with today.

Again, like I mentioned to kimgraves, we need to be the Witness to these leaks and STOP them. Then refocus on climbing.
arno


arnoilgner


Aug 4, 2005, 2:21 PM
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Hello David (slcliffdiver)

Basically agree with you, and the pic of the little one smiling is a great example of your point. A few things to consider.

1. Yes, we must set goals. I recommend setting two types--destination and journey. The destination goals are like climbing certain routes or grades. The journey goals are specific skills, techniques, strengths (mental and physical) that need to be learned in order to accomplish the destination goals.

2. Expectation doesn't have to be an ego thing tied to the destination. You can have expectations on process. You can look at a climb and identify skills it will require, like jamming, stemming, crimping--all things you can do. So there isn't anything wrong with saying "I expect to be able to do those things because I've done them before." Expectations that focus attention onto what you need to do to climb the route are okay.

3. Joy vs. learning. If we could be motivated by joy all the time that would be best probably. But, we are in many situations in our lives where it is difficult to find joy. Take a tragedy or a job you don't particularly like. Probably difficult to find joy in it, but if we look for what we can learn we focus attention back into the moment.

best, arno


arnoilgner


Aug 4, 2005, 2:27 PM
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Hi Curt, you quote below.

"As my career progressed and I gained confidence, I would begin to approach any given boulder problem or climb assuming that I could do it--until I had evidence to the contrary. Obviously this type of optimism or confidence leads greatly to success. However, is this type of confidence just the same thing you are calling ego?"

When you say that you are going into the effort assuming you can "do it" then you are focused on the destination--the top. What do you mean by "do it?" Our ego want to have done a climb; it isn't interested in the doing it that involves the pain and effort that goes into climbing it.
Does this help?
arno


arnoilgner


Aug 4, 2005, 2:37 PM
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Hi Josh (blueeyedclimber)

Hey, watch the wording. Many folks, girls included, use wussy or worse to identify someone who is always afraid or lacks courage. Granted, it is mostly an unconscious habit. But, women have enough of a challenge in our male dominated world. No need to add to it.

Anyway, that was a sidetrack. Sorry. Sounds like you're saying you made decisions in your climbing career based on ego and that got you into trouble and accidents, right? So, your ego decisions caused you to refocus on what is most important in your climbing. Ego got you engaged on routes and then while there you learned what you really should be focusing on, which I dare say is having fun and seeing if you can rise to the challenge.
Be well. arno


Partner angry


Aug 4, 2005, 2:51 PM
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Arno, I first have to say I have never so much as looked at your book. I did get to overhear two very strong climbers (12+/13- trad) argue this ego issue.

A few random points

1) Most people consider ego as an arrogance in their identity. No matter how well defined it is. Most people will never get past this connotation. This will be why ego is so often argued about. People are saying the same thing with different words.

2) I have personally onsighted climbs out of brash arrogance and to stroke my ego (to back up a lie I told), that have taken me a year to repeat under my more normal attitude. ---It was pretty funny actually.

3) There is an inverted U theory on sports performance. The more aroused you are, the better you perform until you are too aroused, this will cause your performance to drop. There is a catastrophic U theory that has a severe drop off instead of a gradual decline.

I'd like to talk about #3. If I say I'm a 5.11 climber to myself, I will be fully aroused to climb at that level. This could help me on routes that I have been told are 5.11. I'm thinking I'm capable the whole time. Now I could get on a 5.12 that doesn't have a move harder than 5.11c and fall simply because I believe the route is slightly beyond me. And I have sanbagged people into onsighting routes they believed were beyond them.

So if the route is a known quantity within your ability, ego helps. If the route is sandbagged, ego helps. If the route is within your ability but you are told it is not, ego is a huge hinderance. It took me several years of climbing to disregard my own belief of how hard a climber I am (something I still struggle with) and to disregard the published or known rating of a route when deciding to climb it.

Am I even in the same ballpark?


andy_reagan


Aug 4, 2005, 3:27 PM
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I've had good results with learning to adopt a "big picture" outlook on climbing. That is to say, climbing is my life's passion, and I forsee myself growing and learning to climb more difficult routes and in different styles. This makes it much more easier to deal with the hard reality of climbing, some days you're "on" and some days you're "off," its OK in the long run though since its all part of the PROCESS.

Using this mentality I've then examined my relationship to climbing and the way those on and off days effect my mood, motivation, and general outlook on life. I've come to believe it is in fact the "on" days that are most dangerous to my overall performance as a climber insofar as they are orders of magnitude harder to harness and control compared to the "off" days. I mess up a sequence and fall off a route, it's really OK, I'll try again, maybe I get it, maybe I don't, chances are I will learn something. BUT...I nail a sequence, GREAT, my training and climbing has paid off, but the ego starts rearing its ugly head and attempting to solidify a dangerous mentality, in which climbing is only good when I am "sending."

So, BEWARE, Arno is right, the ego is a devious and tricky fella.

Peace,
Andy


lewisiarediviva


Aug 4, 2005, 4:02 PM
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I say ego hinders, but can be used as a tool to push yourself. I''m turning my ego into a friend.

I use to get so caught up in trying to prove myself that I'd not be focusing on the rock I was on, but rather what others thought of the rock I was on (I guess that means I was more worried that other people thought I was good enough to be waisting their time with me). This ego I discovered one day had more to do with why I was afraid to fall than falling itself (yes, this just dawned on me). Now that I put the two together I realize that since I started pushing myself hard enough to actually attempt the move I'd likely fall on, I have also started saying "okay, that's enough for the day."

But then again, all of you who actually climb rocks, rather than walk up with a few hand moves, I'm in awe of you.

But ego as a tool, I've started to use it to encourage myself to get over the crux. I remind myself that just because the crux is hard doesn't mean I'm not good enough for it. Infact my climbing partners were playing on a 5.11 the other day. I didn't even try because I figure since I have yet to succeed on a 5.10 I have no right to be on a 5.11. Is that dumb or what? Every time they got on the rock I saw all sorts of shadows. I could have gotten just as far as they did. My 8 year old did, and believe me- she has an ego.


slcliffdiver


Aug 5, 2005, 12:04 AM
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double post


slcliffdiver


Aug 5, 2005, 12:04 AM
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In reply to:
Hello David (slcliffdiver)

Basically agree with you, and the pic of the little one smiling is a great example of your point. A few things to consider.

1. Yes, we must set goals. I recommend setting two types--destination and journey. The destination goals are like climbing certain routes or grades. The journey goals are specific skills, techniques, strengths (mental and physical) that need to be learned in order to accomplish the destination goals.

2. Expectation doesn't have to be an ego thing tied to the destination. You can have expectations on process. You can look at a climb and identify skills it will require, like jamming, stemming, crimping--all things you can do. So there isn't anything wrong with saying "I expect to be able to do those things because I've done them before." Expectations that focus attention onto what you need to do to climb the route are okay.

3. Joy vs. learning. If we could be motivated by joy all the time that would be best probably. But, we are in many situations in our lives where it is difficult to find joy. Take a tragedy or a job you don't particularly like. Probably difficult to find joy in it, but if we look for what we can learn we focus attention back into the moment.

best, arno

Going to do this backwards.
Joy: It's a bit akward talking about the kind of joy I mean english language being what it is. It's a certian kind of peace and sense of well being mixed with joy that can be a constant and I believe is a result of being in a certain state of focus. For a time (year or two maybe a little longer) it was pretty much constant in my life it was their when I mourned my grandmothers death (I was about a sad as I'd ever been in my life). It was there when I was angry, turned on whatever. I think it was that I had simply learned to not be "tied to" expectiations of how I would or should be feeling or thinking. I ended up letting it go and most of the reason I've been posting the past couple of days is to reclaim it.

Expectation: Maybe I was wrong. One thing I know is learning and maintaining the awareness that expection is a process of my imagination and accepting that I'm frequently wrong about it was one of the things that brought a great deal of joy/peace to me. Maybe it's the attachment to expectaitions that would best fit the label ego best. I'll probably relook at this in a bit but I believe one of ego's main modes of operation/tricks is to convince us that our expectaition are real things and that if they aren't met we will be discontent/miserable/unhappy.

Goals: The main thing that I object to is the word "must" in must set goals (especially as related to climbing). For me the word must is ego's playground. It's and important tool to realize when I'm "choosing" goals for my entertainment. Ego catches me when I don't take the time to be clear about why I'm setting the goal. Anyway it's important to my sense of freedom (from my ego) that I have a good sense that many goals are arbitriary in and of themselves but are a means to and end and that end utlimately is food, water, shelter, love, joy or growth if it isn't one of these then it's probably helpful to change my perspective about my goal or the goal itself. It's a wide spread cultural habit to motivate ones self to the achievement of somewhat arbitrary goals by artificially thinking of the goals themselves as important. This is a source of much misery and ego involvement and as far as I'm concerned one of the main sources of ego control and misery in our society. It's a much more pleasant/liberating process if I motivate myself by realize I'm working on the goals out of love either for myself or someone else. This is one reason I do better if I take time in the beggining to rely clarify/absorb/bask in the real spiritual point of setting my goals. Any even for little subgoals that are a logically a part of the process to achieving a larger goal I suggest people take a few extra moments to slow down and connect on a spiritual level to the point behind the goal and notice how it changes your perspective while trying to achieve it. When I leave this out it's like leaving out or hurrying past my preclimb ritual my flow just isn't the same.

Anyway not sure if we really disagree about anything or even have much different perspectives it's hard to tell from a few words on a screen about stuff like this. I'll go get your book soon to see if I can learn something and maybe get some more background on where you are coming from. I am finding it helpful to clarify some of this stuff for myself I've gone back to some old habits and am realizing what's worked before with me that I've esentially stopped doing. My ego's suckered me into sleepwalking my way trying to avoid feeling stress and it's time to wake up. I thank you for starting this tread I can feel writing and reading about ego helping me wake up a bit.


murf


Aug 5, 2005, 8:49 AM
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Re: Ego! Does it help or hinder your effort? [In reply to]
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Arno,

Thanks for the contributions!

In reply to:
1. Yes, we must set goals. I recommend setting two types--destination and journey. The destination goals are like climbing certain routes or grades.

How does one separate destination goals from the ego?

In reply to:
2. Expectation doesn't have to be an ego thing tied to the destination. You can have expectations on process. Expectations that focus attention onto what you need to do to climb the route are okay.

When I think about expectations/ego -vs- learning/journey many times it appears as a rationalization for failure. Sure I didn't perform xxx but I did learn that I can yyy. It appears that you can always find some nugget of learning that could make up for the fact that you didn't relax/onsite/send/???. Brought down to an absurdity, I got out of bed today. I learned that I can get out of bed at 7:00am on the first Friday of August. However, I didn't get up at 6 and run. This is taken out of climbing context, but the same thing applies.

When are you just making an excuse for failing?

Murf


saxfiend


Aug 5, 2005, 9:53 AM
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Re: Ego! Does it help or hinder your effort? [In reply to]
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I recently picked up "Rock Warrior's Way" and am finding it very illuminating.

Regarding ego, I have a couple of personal scenarios I'd be interested in hearing comments on:

1. Since I've only been climbing for eight months, I'm still in what I'd call a sort of "grace period" of being able to exceed the low expectations of my more experienced fellow climbers. I'll get congratulations from somebody for completing a climb with no falls where they might have thought I'd have more trouble with the climb. This sort of thing makes me uncomfortable and I try to sort of deflect the attention elsewhere, because I don't want to get focused on other peoples' praise. Because if I do, I'll be focused on the fact that I'm no longer getting that praise once the "grace period" is over! I really want to avoid indulging myself in what other people think (good or bad) of my climbing ability.

2. I get a lot of enjoyment out of doing harder routes than I've done before in terms of some new thing I've had to learn to climb those routes. Or going back to routes I've already done and trying some new thing I've learned. For instance, I recently took a climbing workshop with Florin Grama where he worked on doing things that made me concentrate a lot more on where my feet and hips were placed. So I took that to some routes I'd done before and it made a big difference; instead of lunging for holds, I was making more effortless moves. That gave me a lot of pleasure, and I don't know if this enjoyment is tied to ego or not.

Thanks for any feedback!

JL


arnoilgner


Aug 5, 2005, 3:22 PM
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slcliffdiver,
Yes, words are limiting when explaining something. We're probably talking very closing to the same point. I'd say the ultimate goal is self awareness so any goals we set need to be aligned with that foundational goal.
arno


arnoilgner


Aug 5, 2005, 3:27 PM
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murf

"When are you just making an excuse for failing?"
Again, self awareness is the ultimate goal because with that you understand your weaknesses better. If you know your weaknesses you can do something about them.
Become self aware if you are making rationalizations or if you are being honest with yourself. Through honesty you become more self aware.
arno
P.S. Side note: I do not like to use the words "success" and "failure" because they are tied to the destination (the top) and take attention away from the ultimate goal of learning, which essentially is self awareness.


arnoilgner


Aug 5, 2005, 5:27 PM
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Hi fshizzle (a couple of your quotes below and responses)

"Am I even in the same ballpark?" Well...yes. We all probably have a different definition of what ego is. Sigmund had his, etc...

"So if the route is a known quantity within your ability, ego helps. If the route is sandbagged, ego helps. If the route is within your ability but you are told it is not, ego is a huge hinderance."

I agree with you that we perform better if we are aroused (to the most effective level). We can be aroused by ego and we can be aroused by learning--meaning aroused by the desire to challenge our self. Your examples of the 5.11 climber don't show consistency in performance.
Knowing the rating helps sometimes and hinders sometimes. One of the most important aspects of performance is consistency. We need to be consistently performing at a high level regardless of outside factors. We need to draw our power from within ourselves, without depending on the external environment (the route) to do it. Granted, this is an ideal to strive for. Allowing ourselves to be aroused and motivated by the route can help--just doesn't help all the time. And "all the time" is what we need to strive for.
If we can be aroused from one main foundational place--learning--we are grounded and aligned with how the world works. Everything living is in the process of growing. Climbers too only grow if they are learning more about themselves.

You pose some interesting points that many climbers have discussed. And climbers will probably continue to discuss them. Remember, this is my view; doesn't mean it is right. Thanks for sharing.
arno


arnoilgner


Aug 5, 2005, 5:41 PM
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Hello saxfiend

You seem to be motivated by learning, at least at this point in your climbing. As you mentioned, early in our climbing we don't have a lot of expectations about how we are to perform. This frees you to focus on simply climbing your best.

Of course you do NOT want to be dependent on other people's praise. We each need to draw from within ourselves for the reasons we climb. That is a more consistent source, as I pointed out in fshizzle's post. We do climb better in a supportive environment so it is very helpful to have a great group of folks to climb with. But, don't be dependent on receiving praise and don't be deterred by negative comments (yes you'll get some of those from time to time).

Your comments in #2 are based on learning. Tell Florin I said hi. He is teaching you (and you are learning) new things and learning again by applying those teachings on the routes you've done before. I think I said "learning" several times in this paragraph, so... Ego is subtle though. Observe if you feel better/worse than someone else because you climb better/worse. This is a great indicator if ego is involved.
Does this help? arno


saxfiend


Aug 6, 2005, 7:46 AM
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In reply to:
Observe if you feel better/worse than someone else because you climb better/worse. This is a great indicator if ego is involved.
Thanks for the comments! As to feeling better/worse than others, I have to be honest that there's been a few occasions I've patted myself on the back for being able to complete a hard climb with no falls and one of my experienced friends had problems with the climb (obviously that doesn't happen a lot). Most of the time though, my regular climbing partners provide a pretty good counterbalance to that sort of ego stroking. For every route that I can finish and A isn't able to, there's another route that she can finish and I can't. A good reminder that neither of us is "better."

JL


slcliffdiver


Aug 6, 2005, 1:14 PM
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Re: Ego! Does it help or hinder your effort? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
slcliffdiver,
Yes, words are limiting when explaining something. We're probably talking very closing to the same point. I'd say the ultimate goal is self awareness so any goals we set need to be aligned with that foundational goal.
arno

Thanks, having the ultimate goal/process as self awareness is probably the most practicle path for me with the ultimate motive (reminder of why I'm doing this) love/joy/peace sounds really right to me. Ultimately I beleive I was being persnikity in my post to try and make things clear for myself I really am just reawakening in many ways.

In reply to:
Observe if you feel better/worse than someone else because you climb better/worse. This is a great indicator if ego is involved.
Think we are on the same page and for me this has been one of the most useful observations. The most consistent sign for me that ego has walked into my head is when the fun level drops.

Anyway I do want to thank you again for starting this thread. I'm starting have the inward smile a good bit more already.


lou_dale


Aug 7, 2005, 4:58 PM
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Re: Ego! Does it help or hinder your effort? [In reply to]
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My name is Lou and I personally have seen many faces of ego - some i believe are good, some - maybe not so good initially. i say initially because we've all been at a place where we wanted that pat on the back, i can do this and i'm great at that, etc. this would be maybe the ego that gets us to engage the challenge of climbing in general. ego - or what i consider the personality - which is multi-layered - can change our views on wow, what a challenge to - i can't do that because i'm not as good as him or her next to me - comparison - fear-based.

however - even at its - not worst but not best - as long as you learn something from the ego and are able to step outside of yourself and examine what caused you to do what you did, say what you said, feel the way you felt - maybe then, ego has value to learn. an example would be a race i was running. what started as a challenge, turned into - i have to place which quickly turned into i need to be FIRST - next thing i know, ego has me beating the best time ever in history. all in my head - and this is when ego was running wild - in the process of me listening to ego instead of just enjoying the experience (and we can relate this to anything in life, especially in climbing i think) - i injured myself. i really really injured myself.

i barely was able to walk after the race. if ego had had a face or body other than mine, it was at LEAST 7 feet tall - and had a really really big fat head - HOWEVER - i walked away from this experience understanding what had happened. stepping outside of yourself - being able to objectively look at the face your ego shows - can bring lessons to remember and learn from.

it was more important AFTER the race - to be able to run again - to walk again.

i think ego plays a valuable role in our learning and growing - in all areas of our lives, climbing included. stepping outside of yourself and looking at the experience objectively can help you learn if you are willing to look honestly at yourself and the part ego played in the scenerio.

i have seen it show itself as me being inferior, to me being superior, comparisons, being afraid of failing (when i hadn't even started) - in all things. but understanding this and understanding that i'm here to learn from all experiences - stepping outside of yourself to understand what role ego played - initially, maybe it hinders - looking at it with different eyes - as long as you can learn from your experience - maybe it can help too.

i think it's another part of paradox - good/bad - up/down - light/dark - it can have a dark affect on you if you can't learn from it and if you can, a light affect - positive/negative, etc.

thanks for listening.


_fiend_


Dec 21, 2005, 3:04 PM
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[
In reply to:
So, what do you think?

Yes I agree, ego in the way you mentioned it, I find it a hinderance. Maybe it isn't for some people, but it is for me. It's also not the most inspiring thing to witness in other people.

Thinking "this is what I am, I should be able to do this", defining yourself by your ability, defining yourself by your standard instead of using it as a guideline ....these are problematic. I have them lead to disappointment and frustration. Too many expectations, too much pressure.

This also leads to comparisons and competitiveness, which are fruitless in climbing as you're just part of the continuum.

I keep having to remind myself to keep avoiding getting too wrapped up in my ego. Pretty hard thing to do when I'm keen to progress, and how I climb fluctuates so much, but I try.


saltamonte


Dec 21, 2005, 3:24 PM
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potentially both [In reply to]
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It depends a bit on how your ego expresses itself and a bit on your climbing ability allow me to explain

if you are have a huge ego (you believe very highly of yourself) then your ego can provide you with the added confidence necesary to pull off a dicey move a person with a balanced self image would dread. this would be a positive effect

if your ego translates into a normal self image but an obsession with portraying your self as more than what you feel you are in front of people (this is very common amoung egomaniacs) then your ego will create an additional fear failure while attempting a move it could raise the stakes and your nervousness level about each move which would negatively affect your climbing


degaine


Dec 21, 2005, 11:25 PM
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In reply to:
if you are have a huge ego (you believe very highly of yourself) then your ego can provide you with the added confidence necesary to pull off a dicey move a person with a balanced self image would dread. this would be a positive effect

I would think this has more to do with composure than ego.

Just my humble opinion.


reg


Dec 22, 2005, 5:29 AM
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Re: Ego! Does it help or hinder your effort? [In reply to]
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ego ALWAYS get's in the way! when i played tabletop shuffle board
i would play V. much better if i looked at the other end of the table just once then looked down at the shuttle - felt it's weight and the amount of friction then let 'er go. the ego-conscious mind is all conflicted! the sub-conscious is where it's at. someone else's words put it well:
" close your eyes so that you may see "


saltamonte


Dec 22, 2005, 3:30 PM
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Re: potentially both [In reply to]
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In reply to:
In reply to:
if you are have a huge ego (you believe very highly of yourself) then your ego can provide you with the added confidence necesary to pull off a dicey move a person with a balanced self image would dread. this would be a positive effect

I would think this has more to do with composure than ego.

Just my humble opinion.


composure is the term we use for calm in the face of dificulty my argument isn't that ego replaces it only that it could potentially increase it. So yes i agree what i described could also be said "an inflated self image might increase your composure"

to illustrate i simply recal to memory world records that stood for years like the 4 minute mile or even better though i forget which event exactly one of the weight lifting records that stood at an even number like 400 or 500lbs many people lifted near that weight but none surpassed it, untill one day a trainer put extra weight on the bar with out telling the weight lifter the weight lifter was told it was just under the record and so he lifted it and in doing so set a new record, and proved that it could be done and very shortly there after several others also lifted above the previous record. My point is that when you expect to be able to do something it increases your ability to actually do it. and that is how a large ego could help you climb. of course many people are just trash talkers we may percieve them to have big egos but they actually have very low self esteem or should i say low expectations of their abilities and those people would not be benefitted by their talk at all. Since their talk is only words and not an accompanying expectation.


arnoilgner


Dec 28, 2005, 12:33 PM
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Re: Ego! Does it help or hinder your effort? [In reply to]
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Hi _fiend_

Your comment: I keep having to remind myself to keep avoiding getting too wrapped up in my ego. Pretty hard thing to do when I'm keen to progress, and how I climb fluctuates so much, but I try.

How do you measure "progress?" The foundation of the warrior's way is valuing learning. Each climbing experience offers you an opportunity for learning. Perhaps it would be helpful for you to redefine progress to how receptive you are to what can be learned from each climbing experience.
What do you think?
arno


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