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The Trap of Grand Ambitions

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

"How will you be remembered when you're gone?"

Legacy is a big point of anxiety for a lot of people I work with.

We know we'll die some day, and we want to make a difference—we want our lives to matter.

And when we fail to live up to our expectations, we feel like we are worthless—like we don't matter.

We might hear familiar voices in our head:

"You're not good enough, or smart enough."

"The whole world is racing forward—except you!"

"You've wasted your life!"

Shame lives in the space between expectation and reality.

The wider that gap, the greater the shame.

Each day we fail to live up to our enormous ambitions is a day when shame and self-hatred crush us down another inch.

If this sounds familiar, you might be trapped in the jaws of the Dragon of Grandiosity.

Psychologist Robert L. Moore says this dragon is one of the most dangerous on our life's path.

It uses our own dreams and ambitions against us.

The cure, writes Moore, is not excess humility, or penitence, or self-sacrifice (all of which are secret forms of grandiosity).

Grandiosity only dies, says Moore, when you do two simple things:

1) Admit you need help.

2) Get the help you need.

If I'm honest, I've struggled with this dragon most of my life.

I know what it's like to be stuck—for months, or years—going it alone, while digging myself deeper into a hole of self-loathing and self-defeat.

Grandiosity, ironically, condemns us to mediocrity.

And the more stubborn we are, the stronger it gets.

It only starts to die when we get the help we need.

That's when real impact begins.

That's when our true legacy can take shape.


If you think you're struggling with the Dragon of Grandiosity, it's helpful to talk to someone who knows what it's like.

Grab a free 45 min sample session to see if we'd work well together.

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