There are times that I battle with my ego and lose. Sometimes I crave the spotlight, but when that occurs I remember what happened when the spotlight became my addiction.
I was working as a sales consultant with a bank. My commitment was to save a fledgling sales program that had cost a lot of money but was failing.
The bank needed me to turn the sales program around to help the leaders that had been working so hard to make it succeed.
I had a purpose that involved helping others, and for months I worked tirelessly with similarly motivated leaders. My energy seemed to be boundless, and I looked forward to waking up every morning.
As the program started to finally move forward, my star began to shine a little more brightly. I received accolades from the CEO, and literal applause from line leaders. I was in the spotlight.
That spotlight was like crack. Suddenly my goal shifted from helping others to keeping the spotlight on me. I began to notice how others were trying to infringe on “my turf,” and I fought my way into every project. When someone else received recognition, I stopped being as happy for them. They were being handed my drug, and I needed a fix.
During this time, I lost my energy and became easily irritated. My modus operand went from “How can I help you?” to “How are you helping me?”
I quickly learned that standing in the spotlight day-in and day-out burns you out. The light begins to reveal flaws, and your willingness to share the warmth lessens.
I was miserable and paranoid and very quick to anger. I found fights where there were none.
Finally, I let go of the addiction. I found another noble purpose and left the spotlight. I found my energy again, and sweated a lot less. When my focus became helping others, I felt better about myself.
Spotlights are nice for brief periods, but don’t stand in them too long. Share them, and your energy will increase.